The container maintains a cache of enterprise bean data for the most used enterprise beans. This allows the container to respond more quickly to requests from other application modules for data from the enterprise beans. This section applies only to stateful session beans and entity beans.
Cached enterprise beans are in one of three states: active, idle, or passivated. An active enterprise bean is currently being accessed by clients. An idle enterprise bean’s data is currently in the cache, but no clients are accessing the bean. A passivated bean’s data is temporarily stored, and read back into the cache if a client requests the bean.