A transaction is a way of grouping the production and/or consumption of one or more messages into an atomic unit. The client and broker acknowledgement process described above applies, as well, to transactions. In this case, however, when a transaction commits, it implicitly performs the relevant broker or client acknowledgements. You cannot have an end-to-end transaction encompassing both the production and consumption of the same message.
The JMS specification supports both local and distributed transactions, as described below.
A session can be configured as transacted, and the JMS API provides methods for initiating, committing, or rolling back local transactions.
As messages are produced or consumed within a local transaction, the message service tracks the various sends and receives, completing these operations only when the JMS client issues a call to commit the transaction. If a particular send or receive operation within the transaction fails, an exception is raised. The client code can handle the exception by ignoring it, retrying the operation, or rolling back the entire transaction. When a transaction is committed, all its operations are completed. When a transaction is rolled back, all successful operations are cancelled.
The scope of a local transaction is always a single session. That is, one or more producer or consumer operations performed in the context of a single session can be grouped into a single local transaction.
The JMS specification also supports distributed transactions. That is, the production and consumption of messages can be part of a larger, distributed transaction that includes operations involving other resource managers, such as database systems. A distributed transaction manager, like the one supplied by the Sun Java System Application Server, must be available to support distributed transactions.
In distributed transactions, the distributed transaction manager tracks and manages operations performed by multiple resource managers (such as a message service and a database manager) using a two-phase commit protocol defined in the Java Transaction API (JTA), XA Resource API Specification. In the Java world, interaction between resource managers and a distributed transaction manager are described in the JTA specification.
Support for distributed transactions means that messaging clients can participate in distributed transactions through the XAResource interface defined by JTA. This interface defines a number of methods used in implementing two-phase commit. While the API calls are made on the client side, the JMS message service tracks the various send and receive operations within the distributed transaction, tracks the transactional state, and completes the messaging operations only in coordination with a distributed transaction manager—provided by a Java Transaction Service (JTS). As with local transactions, the client can handle exceptions by ignoring them, retrying operations, or rolling back an entire distributed transaction.
Message Queue supports distributed transactions only when it is used as a JMS provider in a Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) application server. For additional information on how to use distributed transactions, please consult the Java EE documentation furnished by your application server provider.