Setting the Classpath
Tomcat sets its own class path and uses specialized class loaders to access classes and other resources. If you need to make resources globally accessible, you should place them in the common/lib/ subdirectory of the Tomcat installation. You can install unpackaged classes in common/classes/ and libraries that replace an endorsed standard in common/endorsed/. Resources that are application specific need to be packaged with the application. You should avoid modifying startup scripts to alter the default class paths.