Regarding JSR 109, chapter 6.3 the "handler chain file can also be packaged and specified in the annotation such that, it is accessible as a resource from the ClassPath. At runtime, container providers must first try to access the handler chain file as per the locations specified in JSR-181 specification. Failing that, they must try to access it as a resource from the ClassPath."
The JBoss AS Documentation states that "The war is considered to be a single module, so classes defined in WEB-INF/lib are treated the same as classes in WEB-INF/classes. All classes packaged in the war will be loaded with the same class loader" (https://docs.jboss.org/author/display/AS71/Class+Loading+in+AS7).
Following this statements I think it should be fine to have a HandlerChain-annnotated Webservice within a JAR inside a WAR (WEB-INF/lib) referencing a handler chain file that ist not part of the JAR but resides in WEB-INF/classes. However this situation results in
The implementation of org.jboss.as.webservices.injection.WSHandlerChainAnnotationProcessor seems to expect, that the handler chain file is always part of the ResourceRoot the annotated WebService lives in. With respect to JSR 109 I think that this expectation is wrong and that a handler chain file outside the JAR is a valid scenario.