When the JMS API was introduced in 1998, its most important purpose was to allow Java applications to access existing messaging-oriented middleware (MOM) systems, such as MQSeries from IBM. Since that time, many vendors have adopted and implemented the JMS API, so a JMS product can now provide a complete messaging capability for an enterprise.
Beginning with the 1.3 release of the Java EE platform, the JMS API has been an integral part of the platform, and application developers can use messaging with Java EE components.
The JMS API in the Java EE platform has the following features.
Application clients, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) components, and web components can send or synchronously receive a JMS message. Application clients can in addition receive JMS messages asynchronously. (Applets, however, are not required to support the JMS API.)
Message-driven beans, which are a kind of enterprise bean, enable the asynchronous consumption of messages. A JMS provider can optionally implement concurrent processing of messages by message-driven beans.
Message send and receive operations can participate in distributed transactions, which allow JMS operations and database accesses to take place within a single transaction.
The JMS API enhances the Java EE platform by simplifying enterprise development, allowing loosely coupled, reliable, asynchronous interactions among Java EE components and legacy systems capable of messaging. A developer can easily add new behavior to a Java EE application that has existing business events by adding a new message-driven bean to operate on specific business events. The Java EE platform, moreover, enhances the JMS API by providing support for distributed transactions and allowing for the concurrent consumption of messages. For more information, see the Enterprise JavaBeans specification, v3.1.
The JMS provider can be integrated with the application server using the Java EE Connector architecture. You access the JMS provider through a resource adapter. This capability allows vendors to create JMS providers that can be plugged in to multiple application servers, and it allows application servers to support multiple JMS providers. For more information, see the Java EE Connector architecture specification, v1.6.