The Java EE 5 Tutorial

Enterprise JavaBeans Technology

An Enterprise JavaBeansTM (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In Java EE 5, entity beans have been replaced by Java persistence API entities.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.