Sun Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8.2 Upgrade and Migration Guide

Chapter 5 Migrating from EJB 1.1 to EJB 2.0

Although the EJB 1.1 specification will continue to be supported in Application Server 8.2, the use of the EJB 2.0 architecture is recommended, so that you can leverage its enhanced capabilities.

To migrate EJB 1.1 to EJB 2.0 you need to make several modifications, including a few within the source code of the components.

Essentially, the required modifications relate to the differences between EJB 1.1 and EJB 2.0, all of which are described in the following topics:

EJB Query Language

The EJB 1.1 specification left the manner and language for forming and expressing queries for finder methods to each individual application server. While many application server vendors let developers form queries using SQL, others use their own proprietary language specific to their particular application server product. This mixture of query implementations causes inconsistencies between application servers.

The EJB 2.0 specification introduces a query language called EJB Query Language, or EJB QL to correct many of these inconsistencies and shortcomings. EJB QL is based on SQL92. It defines query methods, in the form of both finder and select methods, specifically for entity beans with container-managed persistence. EJB QL’s principal advantage over SQL is its portability across EJB containers and its ability to navigate entity bean relationships.

Local Interfaces

In the EJB 1.1 architecture, session and entity beans have one type of interface, a remote interface, through which they can be accessed by clients and other application components. The remote interface is designed such that a bean instance has remote capabilities; the bean inherits from RMI and can interact with distributed clients across the network.

With EJB 2.0, session beans and entity beans can expose their methods to clients through two types of interfaces: a remote interface and a local interface. The 2.0 remote interface is identical to the remote interface used in the 1.1 architecture, whereby, the bean inherits from RMI, exposes its methods across the network tier, and has the same capability to interact with distributed clients.

However, the local interfaces for session and entity beans provide support for lightweight access from EJBs that are local clients; that is, clients co-located in the same EJB container. The EJB 2.0 specification further requires that EJBs that use local interfaces be within the same application. That is, the deployment descriptors for an application’s EJBs using local interfaces must be contained within one ejb-jar file.

The local interface is a standard Java interface. It does not inherit from RMI. An enterprise bean uses the local interface to expose its methods to other beans that reside within the same container. By using a local interface, a bean may be more tightly coupled with its clients and may be directly accessed without the overhead of a remote method call.

In addition, local interfaces permit values to be passed between beans with pass by reference semantics. Because you are now passing a reference to an object, rather than the object itself, this reduces the overhead incurred when passing objects with large amounts of data, resulting in a performance gain.

EJB 2.0 Container-Managed Persistence (CMP)

The EJB 2.0 specification expanded CMP to allow multiple entity beans to have relationships among themselves. This is referred to as Container-Managed Relationships (CMR). The container manages the relationships and the referential integrity of the relationships.

The EJB 1.1 specification presented a more limited CMP model. The EJB 1.1 architecture limited CMP to data access that is independent of the database or resource manager type. It allowed you to expose only an entity bean’s instance state through its remote interface; there is no means to expose bean relationships. The EJB 1.1 version of CMP depends on mapping the instance variables of an entity bean class to the data items representing their state in the database or resource manager. The CMP instance fields are specified in the deployment descriptor, and when the bean is deployed, the deployer uses tools to generate code that implements the mapping of the instance fields to the data items.

You must also change the way you code the bean’s implementation class. According to the EJB 2.0 specification, the implementation class for an entity bean that uses CMP is now defined as an abstract class.

The following topics are discussed in this section:

Defining Persistent Fields

The EJB 2.0 specification lets you designate an entity bean’s instance variables as CMP fields or CMR fields. You define these fields in the deployment descriptor. CMP fields are marked with the element cmp-field, while container-managed relationship fields are marked with the element cmr-field.

In the implementation class, note that you do not declare the CMP and CMR fields as public variables. Instead, you define get and set methods in the entity bean to retrieve and set the values of these CMP and CMR fields. In this sense, beans using the 2.0 CMP follow the JavaBeans model: instead of accessing instance variables directly, clients use the entity bean’s get and set methods to retrieve and set these instance variables. Keep in mind that the get and set methods only pertain to variables that have been designated as CMP or CMR fields.

Defining Entity Bean Relationships

As noted previously, the EJB 1.1 architecture does not support CMRs between entity beans. The EJB 2.0 architecture does support both one-to-one and one-to-many CMRs. Relationships are expressed using CMR fields, and these fields are marked as such in the deployment descriptor. You set up the CMR fields in the deployment descriptor using the appropriate deployment tool for your application server.

Similar to CMP fields, the bean does not declare the CMR fields as instance variables. Instead, the bean provides get and set methods for these fields.

Message-Driven Beans

Message-driven beans are another new feature introduced by the EJB 2.0 architecture. Message-driven beans are transaction-aware components that process asynchronous messages delivered through the Java Message Service (JMS). The JMS API is an integral part of the J2EE 1.3 and J2EE 1.4 platform.

Asynchronous messaging allows applications to communicate by exchanging messages so that senders are independent of receivers. The sender sends its message and does not have to wait for the receiver to receive or process that message. This differs from synchronous communication, which requires the component that is invoking a method on another component to wait or block until the processing completes and control returns to the caller component.

Migrating EJB Client Applications

This section includes the following topics:

Declaring EJBs in the JNDI Context

In Application Server 8.2, EJBs are systematically mapped to the JNDI sub-context ejb/. If you attribute the JNDI name Account to an EJB, theApplication Server 8.2 automatically creates the reference ejb/Account in the global JNDI context. The clients of this EJB therefore have to look up ejb/Account to retrieve the corresponding home interface.

Let us examine the code for a servlet method deployed in Sun ONE Application Server 6.x.

The servlet presented here calls on a stateful session bean, BankTeller, mapped to the root of the JNDI context. The method whose code you are considering is responsible for retrieving the home interface of the EJB, to enable a BankTeller object to be instantiated, and a remote interface for this object to be retrieved, so that you can make business method calls to this component.

   * Look up the BankTellerHome interface using JNDI.
private BankTellerHome lookupBankTellerHome(Context ctx)
      throws NamingException
      Object home = (BankTellerHome) ctx.lookup("ejb/BankTeller");
      return (BankTellerHome) PortableRemoteObject.narrow(home, 
    catch (NamingException ne)
      log("lookupBankTellerHome: unable to lookup BankTellerHome" +
          "with JNDI name ’BankTeller’: " + ne.getMessage() );
      throw ne;

As the code already uses ejb/BankTeller as an argument for the lookup, there is no need for modifying the code to be deployed on Application Server 8.2.

Recap on Using EJB JNDI References

This section summarizes the considerations when using EJB JNDI references. Where noted, the consideration details are specific to a particular source application server platform.

Placing EJB References in the JNDI Context

It is only necessary to modify the name of the EJB references in the JNDI context mentioned above (moving these references from the JNDI context root to the sub-context ejb/) when the EJBs are mapped to the root of the JNDI context in the existing WebLogic application.

If these EJBs are already mapped to the JNDI sub-context ejb/ in the existing application, no modification is required.

However, when configuring the JNDI names of EJBs in the deployment descriptor within the Sun Java Studio IDE, it is important to avoid including the prefix ejb/ in the JNDI name of an EJB. Remember that these EJB references are automatically placed in the JNDI ejb/ sub-context with Application Server 8.2. So, if an EJB is given to the JNDI name BankTeller in its deployment descriptor, the reference to this EJB will be translated byApplication Server 8.2 into ejb/BankTeller, and this is the JNDI name that client components of this EJB must use when carrying out a lookup.

Global JNDI context versus local JNDI context

Using the global JNDI context to obtain EJB references is a perfectly valid, feasible approach with Application Server 8.2. Nonetheless, it is preferable to stay as close as possible to the J2EE specification, and retrieve EJB references through the local JNDI context of EJB client applications. When using the local JNDI context, you must first declare EJB resource references in the deployment descriptor of the client part (web.xml for a Web application, ejb-jar.xml for an EJB component).

Migrating CMP Entity EJBs

This section describes the steps to migrate your application components from the EJB 1.1 architecture to the EJB 2.0 architecture.

To migrate a CMP 1.1 bean to CMP 2.0, you first need to verify if a particular bean can be migrated. The steps to perform this verification are as follows.

ProcedureTo Verify if a Bean Can be Migrated

  1. From the ejb-jar.xml file, go to the <cmp-fields> names and check if the optional tag <prim-key-field> is present in the ejb-jar.xml file and has an indicated value. If it does, go to next step.

    Look for the <prim-key-class> field name in the ejb-jar.xml, get the class name, and get the public instance variables declared in the class. Now see if the signature (name and case) of these variables matches with the <cmp-field> names above. Segregate the ones that are found. In these segregated fields, check if some of them start with an upper case letter. If any of them do, then migration cannot be performed.

  2. Look into the bean class source code and obtain the java types of all the <cmp-field> variables.

  3. Change all the <cmp-field> names to lowercase and construct accessors from them. For example if the original field name is Name and its java type is String, the accessor method signature is:

    Public void setName(String name)Public String getName()

  4. Compare these accessor method signatures with the method signatures in the bean class. If an exact match is found, migration is not possible.

  5. Get the custom finder methods signatures and their corresponding SQLs. Check if there is a Join, Outer join, or an OrderBy in the SQL. If yes, you cannot migrate, because EJB QL does not support Join, Outer join, orOrderBy.

  6. Any CMP 1.1 finder, which used java.util.Enumeration, must now use java.util.Collection. Change your code to reflect this. CMP2.0 finders cannot return java.util.Enumeration.

    Migrating the Bean Class explains how to perform the actual migration process.

Migrating the Bean Class

This section describes the steps required to migrate the bean class to Application Server 8.2.

ProcedureTo Migrate the Bean Class

  1. Prepend the bean class declaration with the keyword abstract.

    For example if the bean class declaration was:

    public class CabinBean implements EntityBean

    change it to:

    abstract public class CabinBean implements EntityBean
  2. Prefix the accessors with the keyword abstract.

  3. Insert all the accessors after modification into the source(.java) file of the bean class at class level.

  4. Comment out all the cmp fields in the source file of the bean class.

  5. Construct protected instance variable declarations from the cmp-field names in lowercase and insert them at the class level.

  6. Read up all the ejbCreate() method bodies (there could be more than one ejbCreate).

    Look for the pattern ”<cmp-field>=some value or local variable’, and replace it with the expression, abstract mutator method name (same value or local variable).

    For example, if the ejbCreate body before migration is:

    public MyPK ejbCreate(int id, String name) { = 10*id;
       Name = name;   //1
       return null;

    Change it to:

    public MyPK ejbCreate(int id, String name) {
       setName(name);   //1
       return null;

    Note that the method signature of the abstract accessor in //1 is as per the Camel Case convention mandated by the EJB 2.0 specification. Also, the keyword this may or may not be present in the original source, but it must be removed from the modified source file.

  7. Initialize all the protected variables declared in the ejbPostCreate()methods in step 5.

    The protected variables will be equal in number with the ejbCreate() methods. This initialization will be done by inserting the initialization code in the following manner:

    protected String name;  //from step 5
    protected int id;  //from step 5
    public void ejbPostCreate(int id, String name) {
       name = getName();    /*abstract accessor*/ //inserted in this step
       id  = getId();        /*abstract accessor*/ //inserted in this step
  8. Inside the ejbLoad method, set the protected variables to the beans’ database state.

    To do so, insert the following lines of code:

    public void ejbLoad() {
       name = getName();    // inserted in this step
       id = getId();        // inserted in this step
       ...                  // existing code
  9. Similarly, update the bean's state inside ejbStore()so that its database state gets updated.

    But remember, you are not allowed to update the setters that correspond to the primary key outside the ejbCreate(), so do not include them inside this method. Insert the following lines of code:

    public void ejbStore() {
        setName(name);       //inserted in this step
        setId(id);           //Do not insert this if
                             //it is a part of the
                             //primary key.
        ...                  //already present code
  10. Replace all occurrences of any <cmp-field> variable names with the equivalent protected variable name (as declared in step 5).

    If you do not migrate the bean, at the minimum you need to insert the <cmp-version>1.x</cmp-version> tag inside the ejb-jar.xml file at the appropriate place, so that the unmigrated bean still works on Application Server 8.2.

Migration of ejb-jar.xml

The following steps show how to migrate the file ejb-jar.xml to Application Server 8.2.

ProcedureTo Migrate the EJB Deployment Descriptor

To migrate the EJB deployment descriptor file, ejb-jar.xml, edit the file and make the following changes.

  1. Convert all <cmp-fields> to lowercase.

  2. Insert the tag <abstract-schema-name> after the <reentrant> tag.

    The schema name will be the name of the bean as in the < ejb-name> tag, prefixed with “ias_”.

  3. Insert the following tags after the <primkey-field> tag:

  4. Use the SQL obtained above to construct the EJB QL from SQL.

  5. Insert the <query> tag and all its nested child tags with all the required information just after the <security-identity> tag.

Custom Finder Methods

The custom finder methods are the findBy... methods (other than the default findByPrimaryKey method), which can be defined in the home interface of an entity bean. Since the EJB 1.1 specification does not stipulate a standard for defining the logic of these finder methods, EJB server vendors are free to choose their implementations. As a result, the procedures used to define the methods vary considerably between the different implementations chosen by vendors.

Application Server 6.x uses standard SQL to specify the finder logic.

Information concerning the definition of this finder method is stored in the enterprise bean’s persistence descriptor (Account-ias-cmp.xml) as follows:


Each findXXX finder method therefore has two corresponding entries in the deployment descriptor (SQL code for the query, and the associated parameters).

InApplication Server 8.2 the custom finder method logic is also declarative, but is based on the EJB query language EJB QL.

The EJB-QL language cannot be used on its own. It has to be specified inside the file ejb-jar.xml, in the <ejb-ql> tag. This tag is inside the <query> tag, which defines a query (finder or select method) inside an EJB. The EJB container can transform each query into the implementation of the finder or select method. Here is an example of an <ejb-ql> tag:

          <![CDATA[SELECT OBJECT(t) FROM TMBankSchemaName AS t 
                                         WHERE = ?1]]>
  </enterprise-beans> ...