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Programming WebLogic Server J2EE Connectors

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Overview of WebLogic J2EE Connectors

The following sections provide an overview of WebLogic J2EE connectors (also referred to as resource adapters):


WebLogic J2EE Connector Terminology

Key terms and concepts that you will encounter throughout this documentation include the following:


Overview of the BEA WebLogic J2EE Connector Implementation

BEA WebLogic Server continues to build upon the implementation of the Sun Microsystems J2EE Platform Specification, Version 1.3. The J2EE Connector Architecture adds simplified Enterprise Information System (EIS) integration to the J2EE platform. The goal is to leverage the strengths of the J2EE platform—including component models, transaction and security infrastructures—to address the challenges of EIS integration.

The J2EE Connector Architecture provides a Java solution to the problem of connectivity between the multitude of application servers and EISes. By using the Connector Architecture, it is no longer necessary for EIS vendors to customize their product for each application server. By conforming to the J2EE Connector Architecture, BEA WebLogic Server does not require added custom code in order to extend its support connectivity to a new EIS.

The J2EE Connector Architecture enables an EIS vendor to provide a standard resource adapter for its EIS. This resource adapter plugs into WebLogic Server and provides the underlying infrastructure for the integration between an EIS and WebLogic Server.

By supporting the J2EE Connector Architecture, BEA WebLogic Server is assured of connectivity to multiple EISes. In turn, EIS vendors must provide only one standard Connector Architecture-compliant resource adapter that has the capability to plug into BEA WebLogic Server.

Note: This version of BEA WebLogic Server is completely compliant with J2EE 1.3.


J2EE Connector Architecture Components

The J2EE Connector Architecture is implemented in an application server such as WebLogic Server and an EIS-specific resource adapter. A resource adapter is a system library specific to an EIS and provides connectivity to the EIS. A resource adapter is analogous to a JDBC driver. The interface between a resource adapter and the EIS is specific to the underlying EIS; it can be a native interface.

The J2EE Connector Architecture has three main components:

The following diagram illustrates the J2EE Connector Architecture:

Figure 1-1 J2EE Connector Architecture

J2EE Connector Architecture


A resource adapter serves as the "J2EE connector." WebLogic Server supports resource adapters developed by Enterprise Information Systems (EISes) vendors and third-party application developers that can be deployed in any application server supporting the Sun Microsystems J2EE Platform Specification, Version 1.3. Resource adapters contain the Java, and if necessary, the native components required to interact with the EIS.

System-level Contracts

The J2EE Connector Architecture specification defines a set of system-level contracts between the J2EE-compliant application server (WebLogic Server) and an EIS-specific resource adapter. WebLogic Server, in compliance with this specification, has implemented a set of defined standard contracts for:

Note: For more information on connection management, refer to Connection Management.

Note: For more information on transaction management, refer to Transaction Management.

Note: For more information on security management, refer to Security.

Common Client Interface (CCI)

The Common Client Interface (CCI) defines a standard client API for application components. The CCI enables application components and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) frameworks to drive interactions across heterogeneous EISes using a common client API.

The target users of the CCI are enterprise tool vendors and EAI vendors. Application components themselves may also write to the API, but the CCI is a low-level API. The specification recommends that the CCI be the basis for richer functionality provided by the tool vendors, rather than being an application-level programming interface used by most application developers.

Further, the CCI defines a remote function-call interface that focuses on executing functions on an EIS and retrieving the results. The CCI is independent of a specific EIS; for example: data types specific to an EIS. However, the CCI is capable of being driven by EIS-specific metadata from a repository.

The CCI enables WebLogic Server applications to create and manage connections to an EIS, execute an interaction, and manage data records as input, output or return values. The CCI is designed to leverage the JavaBeans architecture and Java Collection framework.

The J2EE Connector Architecture recommends that a resource adapter support CCI as its client API, while it requires that the resource adapter implement the system contracts. A resource adapter may choose to have a client API different from CCI, such as the client API based on the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API.

Note: For more information relating to the Common Client Interface, refer to Client Considerations.

Packaging and Deployment

The J2EE Connector Architecture provides packaging and deployment interfaces, so that various resources adapters can easily plug into compliant J2EE application servers such as WebLogic Server in a modular manner.

Figure 1-2 Packaging and Deployment

Packaging and Deployment


A resource adapter provider develops a set of Java interfaces and classes as part of its implementation of a resource adapter. These Java classes implement J2EE Connector Architecture-specified contracts and EIS-specific functionality provided by the resource adapter. The development of a resource adapter can also require use of native libraries specific to the underlying EIS.

The Java interfaces and classes are packaged together (with required native libraries, help files, documentation, and other resources) with a deployment descriptor to create a Resource Adapter Module. A deployment descriptor defines the contract between a resource adapter provider and a deployer for the deployment of a resource adapter.

You can deploy resource adapter module as a shared, stand-alone module or packaged as part of an application. During deployment, you install a resource adapter module on an application server such as WebLogic Server and then configure it into the target operational environment. The configuration of a resource adapter is based on the properties defined in the deployment descriptor as part of the resource adapter module.

Note: For more information on packaging and deployment, refer to Packaging and Deploying Connectors.


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