Normally, each context in server.xml file has a corresponding directory under webapps, and vice versa.
However, when I deployed a app under webapps directory with the help of the manager app, I noticed that there is no change to server.xml. When I restarted the server, the newly deployed app is picked up and become accessible as normal. Looks like as long as the app directory is there, it does not matter much wether the context is in the server.xml file or not.
My question is that is it true that Tomcat looks for deployed apps/contexts under webapps directory and server.xml only provides additional information for the apps/contexts?
An brief explanation on the relationship between these two entities will be greatly appreciated.