The Application Client Container (ACC) includes a set of Java classes, libraries, and other files that are required for and distributed with Java client programs that execute in their own Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The ACC manages the execution of Java EE application client components (application clients), which are used to access a variety of Java EE services (such as JMS resources, EJB components, web services, security, and so on.) from a JVM outside the Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server.
The ACC communicates with the Enterprise Server using RMI-IIOP protocol and manages the details of RMI-IIOP communication using the client ORB that is bundled with it. Compared to other Java EE containers, the ACC is lightweight.
For information about debugging application clients, see Application Client Debugging.
Interoperability between application clients and Enterprise Servers running under different major versions is not supported.
The ACC determines when authentication is needed. This typically occurs when the client refers to an EJB component or when annotations in the client's main class trigger injection which, in turn, requires contact with the Enterprise Server's naming service. To authenticate the end user, the ACC prompts for any required information, such as a username and password. The ACC itself provides a very simple dialog box to prompt for and read these values.
The ACC integrates with the Enterprise Server’s authentication system. It also supports SSL (Secure Socket Layer)/IIOP if configured and when necessary; see Using RMI/IIOP Over SSL.
You can provide an alternate implementation to gather authentication information, tailored to the needs of the application client. To do so, include the class to perform these duties in the application client and identify the fully-qualified name of this class in the callback-handler element of the application-client.xml descriptor for the client. The ACC uses this class instead of its default class for asking for and reading the authentication information. The class must implement the javax.security.auth.callback.CallbackHandler interface. See the Java EE specification, section 9.2, Application Clients: Security, for more details.
Application clients can use Programmatic Login.
The client container enables the application clients to use the Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) to look up Java EE services (such as JMS resources, EJB components, web services, security, and so on.) and to reference configurable parameters set at the time of deployment.
Annotation is supported for application clients. For more information, see section 9.4 of the Java EE 5 Specification and Java EE Standard Annotation in Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server 2.1 Application Deployment Guide.
Java Web Start allows your application client to be easily launched and automatically downloaded and updated. It is enabled for all application clients by default. For more information, see Using Java Web Start.