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EJB Interview Questions

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Message driven beans are the latest addition to the family of component bean types defined by the EJB specification. The original bean types include session beans, which contain business logic and maintain a state associated with client sessions, and entity beans, which map objects to persistent data. Message driven beans will provide asynchrony to EJB based applications by acting as JMS message consumers. A message bean is associated with a JMS topic or queue and receives JMS messages sent by EJB clients or other beans. Unlike entity beans and session beans, message beans do not have home or remote interfaces. Instead, message driven beans are instantiated by the container as required. Like stateless session beans, message beans maintain no client-specific state, allowing the container to optimally manage a pool of message-bean instances. Clients send JMS messages to message beans in exactly the same manner as they would send messages to any other JMS destination. This similarity is a fundamental design goal of the JMS capabilities of the new specification. To receive JMS messages, message driven beans implement the javax.jms.MessageListener interface, which defines a single “onMessage()” method. When a message arrives, the container ensures that a message bean corresponding to the message topic/queue exists (instantiating it if necessary), and calls its onMessage method passing the client’s message as the single argument. The message bean’s implementation of this method contains the business logic required to process the message. Note that session beans and entity beans are not allowed to function as message beans.

Yes. The JDK 1.2 support the dynamic class loading.

The idea of the “Pooled State” is to allow a container to maintain a pool of entity beans that has been created, but has not been yet “synchronized” or assigned to an EJBObject. This mean that the instances do represent entity beans, but they can be used only for serving Home methods (create or findBy), since those methods do not relay on the specific values of the bean. All these instances are, in fact, exactly the same, so, they do not have meaningful state. Jon Thorarinsson has also added: It can be looked at it this way: If no client is using an entity bean of a particular type there is no need for cachig it (the data is persisted in the database). Therefore, in such cases, the container will, after some time, move the entity bean from the “Ready State” to the “Pooled state” to save memory. Then, to save additional memory, the container may begin moving entity beans from the “Pooled State” to the “Does Not Exist State”, because even though the bean’s cache has been cleared, the bean still takes up some memory just being in the “Pooled State”.

The ejbCreate() methods is part of the bean’s lifecycle, so, the compiler will not return an error because there is no ejbCreate() method. However, the J2EE spec is explicit: the home interface of a Stateless Session Bean must have a single create() method with no arguments, while the session bean class must contain exactly one ejbCreate() method, also without arguments. Stateful Session Beans can have arguments (more than one create method) stateful beans can contain multiple ejbCreate() as long as they match with the home interface definition. You need a reference to your EJBObject to startwith. For that Sun insists on putting a method for creating that reference (create method in the home interface). The EJBObject does matter here. Not the actual bean.

The only thing that comes to (my) mind is that you could write a ‘group accessor’ - a method that returns a single object containing all of your entity bean’s attributes (or all interesting attributes). This method could then be placed in a ‘Requires New’ transaction. This way, the current transaction would be suspended for the duration of the call to the entity bean and the entity bean’s fetch/operate/commit cycle will be in a separate transaction and any locks should be released immediately. Depending on the granularity of what you need to pull out of the map, the group accessor might be overkill.

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