Java EE Connector Architecture 1.6 introduces a set of annotations to minimize the need for deployment descriptors.
The @Connector annotation can be used by the resource adapter developer to specify that the JavaBeans component is a resource adapter JavaBeans component. This annotation is used for providing metadata about the capabilities of the resource adapter. Optionally, you can provide a JavaBeans component implementing the ResourceAdapter interface.
The @ConnectionDefinition annotation defines a set of connection interfaces and classes pertaining to a particular connection type. The role of this annotation is identical to the role played by the connection-definition element in the deployment descriptor.
The @AdministeredObject annotation designates a JavaBeans component as an administered object.
The @Activation annotation contains the configuration information pertaining to inbound connectivity from an EIS instance.
The @ConfigProperty annotation can be used on JavaBeans components to indicate to the application server that a specific JavaBeans property is a configuration property for that JavaBeans component. A configuration property may be used by the deployer and resource adapter provider to provide additional configuration information. The application server provides configuration tools to automatically discover the configuration properties of a JavaBeans component through JavaBeans introspection and need not be specified by using a deployment descriptor.
The specification allows a resource adapter to be developed in mixed-mode form, that is the ability for a resource adapter developer to use both metadata annotations and deployment descriptors in applications. An application assembler or deployer may use the deployment descriptor to override the metadata annotations specified by the resource adapter developer.
A new attribute, metadata-complete, is introduced in the Connector 1.6 deployment descriptor (the ra.xml file). The metadata-complete attribute defines whether the deployment descriptor for the resource adapter module is complete, or whether the class files available to the module and packaged with the resource adapter need to be examined for annotations that specify deployment information.
For the complete list of annotations and JavaBeans components introduced in Java EE 6, see http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=322.