The Java EE 5 Tutorial

Declaring a Reference to a Resource

The @Resource annotation is used to declare a reference to a resource such as a data source, an enterprise bean, or an environment entry. This annotation is equivalent to declaring a resource-ref element in the deployment descriptor.

The @Resource annotation is specified on a class, method or field. The container is responsible for injecting references to resources declared by the @Resource annotation and mapping it to the proper JNDI resources. In the following example, the @Resource annotation is used to inject a data source into a component that needs to make a connection to the data source, as is done when using JDBC technology to access a relational database:

@Resource javax.sql.DataSource catalogDS;
public getProductsByCategory() {
    // get a connection and execute the query
    Connection conn = catalogDS.getConnection();

The container injects this data source prior to the component being made available to the application. The data source JNDI mapping is inferred from the field name catalogDS and the type, javax.sql.DataSource.

If you have multiple resources that you need to inject into one component, you need to use the @Resources annotation to contain them, as shown by the following example:

@Resources ({
    @Resource (name="myDB" type=java.sql.DataSource),
    @Resource(name="myMQ" type=javax.jms.ConnectionFactory)

The web application examples in this tutorial use the Java Persistence API to access relational databases. This API does not require you to explicitly create a connection to a data source. Therefore, the examples do not use the @Resource annotation to inject a data source. However, this API supports the @PersistenceUnit and @PersistenceContext annotations for injecting EntityManagerFactory and EntityManager instances, respectively. Chapter 25, Persistence in the Web Tier describes these annotations and the use of the Java Persistence API in web applications.