With regards to JavaBeans, what is a manifest file and how is it used?

John Zukowski

You can think of the manifest file as the Jar-file meta-data, describing the contents of the files inside the Jar. Each file in the .jar file can have an entry in the manifest file. This entry can include information stating that the entry is a JavaBean component and/or whether or not the entry has been signed.

For JavaBeans, the manifest file will be read when you import the JAR into your Bean builder tool. The tool will search the manifest file for those entries that have been flagged as JavaBeans, and more likely then not, add them to the tools component palette.