Figure 17 illustrates the availability of the Java EE 5 platform APIs in each Java EE container type. The following sections give a brief summary of the technologies required by the Java EE platform, and the APIs used in Java EE applications.
Figure 17. Java EE Platform APIs
Enterprise JavaBeans Technology
An Enterprise JavaBeans™ (EJB™) component, or enterprise bean, is a body of code having fields and methods to implement modules of business logic. You can think of an enterprise bean as a building block that can be used alone or with other enterprise beans to execute business logic on the Java EE server.
There are two kinds of enterprise beans: session beans and message-driven beans. A session bean represents a transient conversation with a client. When the client finishes executing, the session bean and its data are gone. A message-driven bean combines features of a session bean and a message listener, allowing a business component to receive messages asynchronously. Commonly, these are Java Message Service (JMS) messages.
In Java EE 5, entity beans have been replaced by Java™ persistence API entities. An entity represents persistent data stored in one row of a database table. If the client terminates, or if the server shuts down, the persistence manager ensures that the entity data is saved.
Java Servlet Technology
Java servlet technology lets you define HTTP-specific servlet classes. A servlet class extends the capabilities of servers that host applications that are accessed by way of a request-response programming model. Although servlets can respond to any type of request, they are commonly used to extend the applications hosted by web servers.
JavaServer Pages Technology
JavaServer Pages™ (JSP™) technology lets you put snippets of servlet code directly into a text-based document. A JSP page is a text-based document that contains two types of text: static data (which can be expressed in any text-based format such as HTML, WML, and XML) and JSP elements, which determine how the page constructs dynamic content.
JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library
The JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library (JSTL) encapsulates core functionality common to many JSP applications. Instead of mixing tags from numerous vendors in your JSP applications, you employ a single, standard set of tags. This standardization allows you to deploy your applications on any JSP container that supports JSTL and makes it more likely that the implementation of the tags is optimized.
JSTL has iterator and conditional tags for handling flow control, tags for manipulating XML documents, internationalization tags, tags for accessing databases using SQL, and commonly used functions.
JavaServer Faces technology is a user interface framework for building web applications. The main components of JavaServer Faces technology are as follows:
The following features support the GUI components:
All this functionality is available using standard Java APIs and XML-based configuration files.
Java Message Service API
The Java Message Service (JMS) API is a messaging standard that allows Java EE application components to create, send, receive, and read messages. It enables distributed communication that is loosely coupled, reliable, and asynchronous.
Java Transaction API
The Java Transaction API (JTA) provides a standard interface for demarcating transactions. The Java EE architecture provides a default auto commit to handle transaction commits and rollbacks. An auto commit means that any other applications that are viewing data will see the updated data after each database read or write operation. However, if your application performs two separate database access operations that depend on each other, you will want to use the JTA API to demarcate where the entire transaction, including both operations, begins, rolls back, and commits.
Java EE applications use the JavaMail™ API to send email notifications. The JavaMail API has two parts: an application-level interface used by the application components to send mail, and a service provider interface. The Java EE platform includes JavaMail with a service provider that allows application components to send Internet mail.
JavaBeans Activation Framework
The JavaBeans Activation Framework (JAF) is included because JavaMail uses it. JAF provides standard services to determine the type of an arbitrary piece of data, encapsulate access to it, discover the operations available on it, and create the appropriate JavaBeans component to perform those operations.
Java API for XML Processing
The Java API for XML Processing (JAXP), part of the Java SE platform, supports the processing of XML documents using Document Object Model (DOM), Simple API for XML (SAX), and Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT). JAXP enables applications to parse and transform XML documents independent of a particular XML processing implementation.
JAXP also provides namespace support, which lets you work with schemas that might otherwise have naming conflicts. Designed to be flexible, JAXP lets you use any XML-compliant parser or XSL processor from within your application and supports the W3C schema. You can find information on the W3C schema at this URL: http://www.w3.org/XML/Schema.
Java API for XML Web Services (JAX-WS)
The JAX-WS specification provides support for web services that use the JAXB API for binding XML data to Java objects. The JAX-WS specification defines client APIs for accessing web services as well as techniques for implementing web service endpoints. The Web Services for J2EE specification describes the deployment of JAX-WS-based services and clients. The EJB and servlet specifications also describe aspects of such deployment. It must be possible to deploy JAX-WS-based applications using any of these deployment models.
The JAX-WS specification describes the support for message handlers that can process message requests and responses. In general, these message handlers execute in the same container and with the same privileges and execution context as the JAX-WS client or endpoint component with which they are associated. These message handlers have access to the same JNDI java:comp/env namespace as their associated component. Custom serializers and deserializers, if supported, are treated in the same way as message handlers.
Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB)
The Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB) provides a convenient way to bind an XML schema to a representation in Java language programs. JAXB can be used independently or in combination with JAX-WS, where it provides a standard data binding for web service messages. All Java EE application client containers, web containers, and EJB containers support the JAXB API.
SOAP with Attachments API for Java
The SOAP with Attachments API for Java (SAAJ) is a low-level API on which JAX-WS and JAXR depend. SAAJ enables the production and consumption of messages that conform to the SOAP 1.1 specification and SOAP with Attachments note. Most developers do not use the SAAJ API, instead using the higher-level JAX-WS API.
Java API for XML Registries
The Java API for XML Registries (JAXR) lets you access business and general-purpose registries over the web. JAXR supports the ebXML Registry and Repository standards and the emerging UDDI specifications. By using JAXR, developers can learn a single API and gain access to both of these important registry technologies.
Additionally, businesses can submit material to be shared and search for material that others have submitted. Standards groups have developed schemas for particular kinds of XML documents; two businesses might, for example, agree to use the schema for their industry's standard purchase order form. Because the schema is stored in a standard business registry, both parties can use JAXR to access it.
J2EE Connector Architecture
The J2EE Connector architecture is used by tools vendors and system integrators to create resource adapters that support access to enterprise information systems that can be plugged in to any Java EE product. A resource adapter is a software component that allows Java EE application components to access and interact with the underlying resource manager of the EIS. Because a resource adapter is specific to its resource manager, typically there is a different resource adapter for each type of database or enterprise information system.
The J2EE Connector architecture also provides a performance-oriented, secure, scalable, and message-based transactional integration of Java EE-based web services with existing EISs that can be either synchronous or asynchronous. Existing applications and EISs integrated through the J2EE Connector architecture into the Java EE platform can be exposed as XML-based web services by using JAX-WS and Java EE component models. Thus JAX-WS and the J2EE Connector architecture are complementary technologies for enterprise application integration (EAI) and end-to-end business integration.
Java Database Connectivity API
The Java™ Database Connectivity (JDBC) API lets you invoke SQL commands from Java programming language methods. You use the JDBC API in an enterprise bean when you have a session bean access the database. You can also use the JDBC API from a servlet or a JSP page to access the database directly without going through an enterprise bean.
The JDBC API has two parts: an application-level interface used by the application components to access a database, and a service provider interface to attach a JDBC driver to the Java EE platform.
Java Persistence API
The Java™ Persistence API is a Java standards-based solution for persistence. Persistence uses an object-relational mapping approach to bridge the gap between an object oriented model and a relational database. Java Persistence consists of three areas:
Java Naming and Directory Interface
The Java Naming and Directory Interface™ (JNDI) provides naming and directory functionality, enabling applications to access multiple naming and directory services, including existing naming and directory services such as LDAP, NDS, DNS, and NIS. It provides applications with methods for performing standard directory operations, such as associating attributes with objects and searching for objects using their attributes. Using JNDI, a Java EE application can store and retrieve any type of named Java object, allowing Java EE applications to coexist with many legacy applications and systems.
Java EE naming services provide application clients, enterprise beans, and web components with access to a JNDI naming environment. A naming environment allows a component to be customized without the need to access or change the component's source code. A container implements the component's environment and provides it to the component as a JNDI naming context.
A Java EE component can locate its environment naming context using JNDI interfaces. A component can create a javax.naming.InitialContext object and looks up the environment naming context in InitialContext under the name java:comp/env. A component's naming environment is stored directly in the environment naming context or in any of its direct or indirect subcontexts.
A Java EE component can access named system-provided and user-defined objects. The names of system-provided objects, such as JTA UserTransaction objects, are stored in the environment naming context, java:comp/env. The Java EE platform allows a component to name user-defined objects, such as enterprise beans, environment entries, JDBC DataSource objects, and message connections. An object should be named within a subcontext of the naming environment according to the type of the object. For example, enterprise beans are named within the subcontext java:comp/env/ejb, and JDBC DataSource references in the subcontext java:comp/env/jdbc.
Java Authentication and Authorization Service
The Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) provides a way for a Java EE application to authenticate and authorize a specific user or group of users to run it.
JAAS is a Java programming language version of the standard Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) framework, which extends the Java Platform security architecture to support user-based authorization.
Simplified Systems Integration
The Java EE platform is a platform-independent, full systems integration solution that creates an open marketplace in which every vendor can sell to every customer. Such a marketplace encourages vendors to compete, not by trying to lock customers into their technologies but instead by trying to outdo each other in providing products and services that benefit customers, such as better performance, better tools, or better customer support.
The Java EE 5 APIs enable systems and applications integration through the following: