"Hot deployment" refers to the SOA Platform server's ability to detect a deployed ESB archive as soon as it lands in the server profile's deploy directory. The SOA Platform server software constantly monitors that directory and automatically detects any changes to it. It can also detect changes to the state of existing archives and automatically re-deploy them.
These actions have life-cycle support. This means that, upon hot re-deployment, they terminate "gracefully" by finishing active requests. They will not accept any more incoming messages until they are re-started. (All of this occurs automatically.)
You cannot deploy archives if the JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform is running in standalone mode.
The node monitors the time-stamp on this file and re-reads its contents if a change occurs.