The Java EE 6 Tutorial, Volume I

Application-Managed Entity Managers

With application-managed entity managers, on the other hand, the persistence context is not propagated to application components, and the life cycle of EntityManager instances is managed by the application.

Application-managed entity managers are used when applications need to access a persistence context that is not propagated with the JTA transaction across EntityManager instances in a particular persistence unit. In this case, each EntityManager creates a new, isolated persistence context. The EntityManager, and its associated persistence context, is created and destroyed explicitly by the application. They are also used when directly injecting EntityManager instances can't be done because EntityManager instances are not thread-safe. EntityManagerFactory instances are thread-safe.

Applications create EntityManager instances in this case by using the createEntityManager method of javax.persistence.EntityManagerFactory.

To obtain an EntityManager instance, you first must obtain an EntityManagerFactory instance by injecting it into the application component by means of the javax.persistence.PersistenceUnit annotation:

EntityManagerFactory emf;

Then, obtain an EntityManager from the EntityManagerFactory instance:

EntityManager em = emf.createEntityManager();

Application-managed entity managers don't automatically propagate the JTA transaction context. Such applications need to manually gain access to the JTA transaction manager and add transaction demarcation information when performing entity operations. The javax.transaction.UserTransaction interface defines methods to begin, commit, and rollback transactions. Inject an instance of UserTransaction by creating an instance variable annotated with @Resource.

UserTransaction utx;

To begin a transaction, call the UserTransaction.begin method. When all the entity operations are complete, call the UserTransaction.commit method to commit the transaction. The UserTransaction.rollback method is used to roll back the current transaction.

Example 19–4 User-Managed Transactions

The following example shows how to manage transactions in an application that uses an application-managed entity manager.

EntityManagerFactory emf;
EntityManager em;
UserTransaction utx;
em = emf.createEntityManager();
try {
} catch (Exception e) {