The Java EE Connector architecture is used by tools vendors and system integrators to create resource adapters that support access to enterprise information systems that can be plugged in to any Java EE product. A resource adapter is a software component that allows Java EE application components to access and interact with the underlying resource manager of the EIS. Because a resource adapter is specific to its resource manager, typically there is a different resource adapter for each type of database or enterprise information system.
The Java EE Connector architecture also provides a performance-oriented, secure, scalable, and message-based transactional integration of Java EE-based web services with existing EISs that can be either synchronous or asynchronous. Existing applications and EISs integrated through the Java EE Connector architecture into the Java EE platform can be exposed as XML-based web services by using JAX-WS and Java EE component models. Thus JAX-WS and the Java EE Connector architecture are complementary technologies for enterprise application integration (EAI) and end-to-end business integration.