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Set - 2

Question 1 :

What are the methods of Entity Bean?What is the difference between Container-Managed Persistent (CMP) bean and Bean-Managed Persistent(BMP) ?

Answer :

Container-managed persistence beans are the simplest for the bean developer to create and the most difficult for the EJB server to support. This is because all the logic for synchronizing the bean's state with the database is handled automatically by the container. This means that the bean developer doesn't need to write any data access logic, while the EJB server is supposed to take care of all the persistence needs automatically. With CMP, the container manages the persistence of the entity bean. A CMP bean developer doesn't need to worry about JDBC code and transactions, because the Container performs database calls and transaction management instead of the programmer. Vendor tools are used to map the entity fields to the database and absolutely no database access code is written in the bean class. All table mapping is specified in the deployment descriptor. Otherwise, a BMP bean developer takes the load of linking an application and a database on his shoulders.

The bean-managed persistence (BMP) enterprise bean manages synchronizing its state with the database as directed by the container. The bean uses a database API to read and write its fields to the database, but the container tells it when to do each synchronization operation and manages the transactions for the bean automatically. Bean-managed persistence gives the bean developer the flexibility to perform persistence operations that are too complicated for the container or to use a data source that is not supported by the container.BMP beans are not 100% database-independent, because they may contain database-specific code, but CMP beans are unable to perform complicated DML (data manipulation language) statements. EJB 2.0 specification introduced some new ways of querying database (by using the EJB QL - query language).


Question 2 :

What are the methods of Entity Bean?

Answer :

An entity bean consists of 4 groups of methods:
1. create methods: To create a new instance of a CMP entity bean, and therefore insert data into the database, the create() method on the bean's home interface must be invoked. They look like this: EntityBeanClass ejbCreateXXX(parameters), where EntityBeanClass is an Entity Bean you are trying to instantiate, ejbCreateXXX(parameters) methods are used for creating Entity Bean instances according to the parameters specified and to some programmer-defined conditions.

A bean's home interface may declare zero or more create() methods, each of which must have corresponding ejbCreate() and ejbPostCreate() methods in the bean class. These creation methods are linked at run time, so that when a create() method is invoked on the home interface, the container delegates the invocation to the corresponding ejbCreate() and ejbPostCreate() methods on the bean class.
2. finder methods: The methods in the home interface that begin with "find" are called the find methods. These are used to query the EJB server for specific entity beans, based on the name of the method and arguments passed. Unfortunately, there is no standard query language defined for find methods, so each vendor will implement the find method differently. In CMP entity beans, the find methods are not implemented with matching methods in the bean class; containers implement them when the bean is deployed in a vendor specific manner. The deployer will use vendor specific tools to tell the container how a particular find method should behave. Some vendors will use object-relational mapping tools to define the behavior of a find method while others will simply require the deployer to enter the appropriate SQL command.

There are two basic kinds of find methods: single-entity and multi-entity. Single-entity find methods return a remote reference to the one specific entity bean that matches the find request. If no entity beans are found, the method throws an ObjectNotFoundException . Every entity bean must define the single-entity find method with the method name findByPrimaryKey(), which takes the bean's primary key type as an argument.

The multi-entity find methods return a collection ( Enumeration or Collection type) of entities that match the find request. If no entities are found, the multi-entity find returns an empty collection.

3. remove methods: These methods (you may have up to 2 remove methods, or don't have them at all) allow the client to physically remove Entity beans by specifying either Handle or a Primary Key for the Entity Bean.

4. home methods: These methods are designed and implemented by a developer, and EJB specification doesn't have any requirements for them except the need to throw a RemoteException is each home method


Question 3 :

When should I adopt BMP and when I should use CMP?

Answer :

You can use CMP and BMP beans in the same application… obviously, a bean can be BMP or CMP, not both at the same time (they are mutually exclusive).
There is a common approach that is normally used and considered a good one. You should start developing CMP beans, unless you require some kind of special bean, like multi-tables, that cannot be completely realized with a single bean. Then, when you realize that you need something more or that you would prefer handling the persistence (performanbce issue are the most common reason), you can change the bean from a CMP to a BMP.


Question 4 :

Static variables in EJB should not be relied upon as they may break in clusters.Why?

Answer :

Static variables are only ok if they are final. If they are not final, they will break the cluster. What that means is that if you cluster your application server (spread it across several machines) each part of the cluster will run in its own JVM.
Say a method on the EJB is invoked on cluster 1 (we will have two clusters - 1 and 2) that causes value of the static variable to be increased to 101. On the subsequent call to the same EJB from the same client, a cluster 2 may be invoked to handle the request. A value of the static variable in cluster 2 is still 100 because it was not increased yet and therefore your application ceases to be consistent. Therefore, static non-final variables are strongly discouraged in EJBs.


Question 5 :

Can I develop an Entity Bean without implementing the create() method in the home interface?

Answer :

As per the specifications, there can be 'ZERO' or 'MORE' create() methods defined in an Entity Bean. In cases where create() method is not provided, the only way to access the bean is by knowing its primary key, and by acquiring a handle to it by using its corresponding finder method. In those cases, you can create an instance of a bean based on the data present in the table. All one needs to know is the primary key of that table. i.e. a set a columns that uniquely identify a single row in that table. Once this is known, one can use the 'getPrimaryKey()' to get a remote reference to that bean, which can further be used to invoke business methods.