The Java EE 5 Tutorial

Declaring Resource References

If your web component uses objects such as enterprise beans, data sources, or web services, you use Java EE annotations to inject these resources into your application. Annotations eliminate a lot of the boilerplate lookup code and configuration elements that previous versions of Java EE required.

Although resource injection using annotations can be more convenient for the developer, there are some restrictions from using it in web applications. First, you can only inject resources into container-managed objects. This is because a container must have control over the creation of a component so that it can perform the injection into a component. As a result, you cannot inject resources into objects such as simple JavaBeans components. However, JavaServer Faces managed beans are managed by the container; therefore, they can accept resource injections.

Additionally, JSP pages cannot accept resource injections. This is because the information represented by annotations must be available at deployment time, but the JSP page is compiled after that; therefore, the annotation will not be seen when it is needed. Those components that can accept resource injections are listed in Table 3–1.

This section describes how to use a couple of the annotations supported by a servlet container to inject resources. Chapter 25, Persistence in the Web Tier describes how web applications use annotations supported by the Java Persistence API. Chapter 30, Securing Web Applications describes how to use annotations to specify information about securing web applications.

Table 3–1 Web Components That Accept Resource Injections





Servlet Filters 


Event Listeners 








Taglib Listeners 

Same as above 

Taglib Tag Handlers 


Managed Beans 

Plain Old Java Objects 

Declaring a Reference to a Resource

The @Resource annotation is used to declare a reference to a resource such as a data source, an enterprise bean, or an environment entry. This annotation is equivalent to declaring a resource-ref element in the deployment descriptor.

The @Resource annotation is specified on a class, method or field. The container is responsible for injecting references to resources declared by the @Resource annotation and mapping it to the proper JNDI resources. In the following example, the @Resource annotation is used to inject a data source into a component that needs to make a connection to the data source, as is done when using JDBC technology to access a relational database:

@Resource javax.sql.DataSource catalogDS;
public getProductsByCategory() {
    // get a connection and execute the query
    Connection conn = catalogDS.getConnection();

The container injects this data source prior to the component being made available to the application. The data source JNDI mapping is inferred from the field name catalogDS and the type, javax.sql.DataSource.

If you have multiple resources that you need to inject into one component, you need to use the @Resources annotation to contain them, as shown by the following example:

@Resources ({
    @Resource (name="myDB" type=java.sql.DataSource),
    @Resource(name="myMQ" type=javax.jms.ConnectionFactory)

The web application examples in this tutorial use the Java Persistence API to access relational databases. This API does not require you to explicitly create a connection to a data source. Therefore, the examples do not use the @Resource annotation to inject a data source. However, this API supports the @PersistenceUnit and @PersistenceContext annotations for injecting EntityManagerFactory and EntityManager instances, respectively. Chapter 25, Persistence in the Web Tier describes these annotations and the use of the Java Persistence API in web applications.

Declaring a Reference to a Web Service

The @WebServiceRef annotation provides a reference to a web service. The following example shows uses the @WebServiceRef annotation to declare a reference to a web service. WebServiceRef uses the wsdlLocation element to specify the URI of the deployed service’s WSDL file:

public class ResponseServlet extends HTTPServlet {
static HelloService service;