A JNDI name is a people-friendly name for an object. These names are bound to their objects by the naming and directory service that is provided by a J2EE server. Because J2EE components access this service through the JNDI API, the object usually uses its JNDI name. For example, the JNDI name of the PointBase database is jdbc/Pointbase. When it starts up, the Application Server reads information from the configuration file and automatically adds JNDI database names to the name space.
J2EE application clients, enterprise beans, and web components are required to have access to a JNDI naming environment.
The application component's naming environment is a mechanism that allows customization of the application component's business logic during deployment or assembly. Use of the application component's environment allows the application component to be customized without the need to access or change the application component's source code.
A J2EE container implements the application component's environment, and provides it to the application component instance as a JNDI naming context. The application component's environment is used as follows:
The application component's business methods access the environment using the JNDI interfaces. The application component provider declares in the deployment descriptor all the environment entries that the application component expects to be provided in its environment at runtime.
The container provides an implementation of the JNDI naming context that stores the application component environment. The container also provides the tools that allow the deployer to create and manage the environment of each application component.
A deployer uses the tools provided by the container to initialize the environment entries that are declared in the application component's deployment descriptor. The deployer sets and modifies the values of the environment entries.
The container makes the environment naming context available to the application component instances at runtime. The application component's instances use the JNDI interfaces to obtain the values of the environment entries.
Each application component defines its own set of environment entries. All instances of an application component within the same container share the same environment entries. Application component instances are not allowed to modify the environment at runtime.