The WAR distribution had been "discouraged" for quite some time. There are plenty of good reasons why we don't want to support it, with the most obvious being that our distributions can ensure that you run with a supported JVM, Tomcat, and database driver, which is something we can't easily ensure with the WAR distribution. But the final decision was driven by the fact that we were packaging JIRA into 3 distinct offerings: JIRA Core, JIRA Software, and JIRA Service Desk.
It was no longer clear what the WAR distribution would even be in this new world, so it was dropped as part of the 7.0 release.
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