I know I know I KNOW !!! this is so freaking basic, but I need a reference to explain what it is and how it works...
JAR files are packaged with the ZIP file format, so you can use them for tasks such as lossless data compression, archiving, decompression, and archive unpacking. These tasks are among the most common uses of JAR files, and you can realize many JAR file benefits using only these basic features.
Even if you want to take advantage of advanced functionality provided by the JAR file format such as electronic signing, you'll first need to become familiar with the fundamental operations.
To perform basic tasks with JAR files, you use the Java Archive Tool provided as part of the Java Development Kit (JDK). Because the Java Archive tool is invoked by using the jar command, this tutorial refers to it as 'the Jar tool'.