IBM alphaWorks has released an interesting tool called Nested Archive Tookit that allows to look inside the nested zip/jar/ear/war files. It looks to be useful for modification of config files deep inside the structure (e.g. web.xml inside foo.war inside bar.ear). It can also provide XML file with the description of the archive to the full depth. This makes it useful for postprocessing with XSLT and/or visualization tools.
There is a big problem with the tool however and it is its license. As with most of other alphaWorks tools, it uses 90 days evaluation license. This means that production use is not really allowed and certainly not for long term. Given that the tool is not for everyday use, it is questionable whether good evaluation can be made in the time permitted.
I have spoken with alphaWorks representative about the license issues at JavaOne and he said that it is possible to request for the tool to be open sourced. So, check it out and if it matches your needs, ask for it to be open sourced via license form.
Oh and your IBM id is most probably an email (this one catches me every time).
Finally, if the license issue irks you as much as it does me, there is always TrueZIP with its Apache license. TrueZIP has some advanced functionality of its own, so it is worth a good look as well.
BlogicBlogger Over and Out