Web archive(WAR) and enterprise archive(EAR) files.
Are they a standard now (used in industry commonly)or are they just specific to IBM Websphere...and IBM products ?
They are a J2EE standard used industry wide.
Yes and no. :-) :-(
The archive format is standard (JAR format).
What you have to put in them is defined (up to a point) in the J2EE specs, so some base standard there, too, but, every vendor has that something extra in them. This is why porting enterprise applications across app servers is a big issue.
So, IBM WebSphere supports WAR and EAR as per the standards but also requires some IBM specific files in them.