The Java EE Connector 1.6 architecture enables Java EE components to interact with enterprise information systems (EISs) and EISs to interact with Java EE components. EIS software includes various types of systems: enterprise resource planning (ERP), mainframe transaction processing, and nonrelational databases, among others. Connector architecture simplifies the integration of diverse EISs. Each EIS requires only one implementation of the Connector architecture. Because an implementation adheres to the Connector specification, it is portable across all compliant Java EE servers.
The specification defines the contracts for an application server as well as for resource adapters, which are system-level software drivers for specific EIS resources. These standard contracts provide pluggability between application servers and EISs. The Java EE Connector 1.6 specification defines new system contracts such as Generic Work Context and Security Inflow.
The Java EE Connector 1.6 specification is available at: http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=322
A resource adapter is a Java EE component that implements the Connector architecture for a specific EIS.
A resource adapter can choose to support the following levels of transactions:
NoTransaction- No transaction support is provided.
LocalTransaction - Resource manager local transactions are supported..
XATransaction - Resource adapter supports XA and the JTA XATransaction interface. .
See the Chapter 28, Resource Connections chapter for a more detailed explanation of resource adapters.