Another feature that the Application Server provides is the read-only bean, an entity bean that is never modified by an EJB client. Read-only beans avoid database updates completely. A read-only bean is not portable.
A read-only bean can be used to cache a database entry that is frequently accessed but rarely updated (externally by other beans). When the data that is cached by a read-only bean is updated by another bean, the read-only bean can be notified to refresh its cached data.
The Application Server provides a number of ways by which a read-only bean’s state can be refreshed. By setting the refresh-period-in-seconds element in the sun-ejb-jar.xml file and the trans-attribute element in the ejb-jar.xml file, it is easy to configure a read-only bean that is (a) always refreshed, (b) periodically refreshed, (c) never refreshed, or (d) programmatically refreshed.
Read-only beans are best suited for situations where the underlying data never changes, or changes infrequently. For further information and usage guidelines, see Using Read-Only Beans.