3.8. J2EE Application Server integration

Hibernate has the following integration points for J2EE infrastructure:

Depending on your environment, you might have to set the configuration option hibernate.connection.aggressive_release to true if your application server shows "connection containment" exceptions.

3.8.1. Transaction strategy configuration

The Hibernate Session API is independent of any transaction demarcation system in your architecture. If you let Hibernate use JDBC directly, through a connection pool, you may begin and end your transactions by calling the JDBC API. If you run in a J2EE application server, you might want to use bean-managed transactions and call the JTA API and UserTransaction when needed.

To keep your code portable between these two (and other) environments we recommend the optional Hibernate Transaction API, which wraps and hides the underlying system. You have to specify a factory class for Transaction instances by setting the Hibernate configuration property hibernate.transaction.factory_class.

There are three standard (built-in) choices:


delegates to database (JDBC) transactions (default)


delegates to container-managed transaction if an existing transaction is underway in this context (e.g. EJB session bean method), otherwise a new transaction is started and bean-managed transaction are used.


delegates to container-managed JTA transactions

You may also define your own transaction strategies (for a CORBA transaction service, for example).

Some features in Hibernate (i.e. the second level cache, Contextual Sessions with JTA, etc.) require access to the JTA TransactionManager in a managed environment. In an application server you have to specify how Hibernate should obtain a reference to the TransactionManager, since J2EE does not standardize a single mechanism:

Table 3.10. JTA TransactionManagers

Transaction Factory Application Server
org.hibernate.transaction.JBossTransactionManagerLookup JBoss
org.hibernate.transaction.WeblogicTransactionManagerLookup Weblogic
org.hibernate.transaction.WebSphereTransactionManagerLookup WebSphere
org.hibernate.transaction.WebSphereExtendedJTATransactionLookup WebSphere 6
org.hibernate.transaction.OrionTransactionManagerLookup Orion
org.hibernate.transaction.ResinTransactionManagerLookup Resin
org.hibernate.transaction.JOTMTransactionManagerLookup JOTM
org.hibernate.transaction.JOnASTransactionManagerLookup JOnAS
org.hibernate.transaction.JRun4TransactionManagerLookup JRun4
org.hibernate.transaction.BESTransactionManagerLookup Borland ES

3.8.2. JNDI-bound SessionFactory

A JNDI bound Hibernate SessionFactory can simplify the lookup of the factory and the creation of new Sessions. Note that this is not related to a JNDI bound Datasource, both simply use the same registry!

If you wish to have the SessionFactory bound to a JNDI namespace, specify a name (eg. java:hibernate/SessionFactory) using the property hibernate.session_factory_name. If this property is omitted, the SessionFactory will not be bound to JNDI. (This is especially useful in environments with a read-only JNDI default implementation, e.g. Tomcat.)

When binding the SessionFactory to JNDI, Hibernate will use the values of hibernate.jndi.url, hibernate.jndi.class to instantiate an initial context. If they are not specified, the default InitialContext will be used.

Hibernate will automatically place the SessionFactory in JNDI after you call cfg.buildSessionFactory(). This means you will at least have this call in some startup code (or utility class) in your application, unless you use JMX deployment with the HibernateService (discussed later).

If you use a JNDI SessionFactory, an EJB or any other class may obtain the SessionFactory using a JNDI lookup.

We recommend that you bind the SessionFactory to JNDI in a managed environment and use a static singleton otherwise. To shield your application code from these details, we also recommend to hide the actual lookup code for a SessionFactory in a helper class, such as HibernateUtil.getSessionFactory(). Note that such a class is also a convenient way to startup Hibernatesee chapter 1.

3.8.3. Current Session context management with JTA

The easiest way to handle Sessions and transactions is Hibernates automatic "current" Session management. See the discussion of current sessions. Using the "jta" session context, if there is no Hibernate Session associated with the current JTA transaction, one will be started and associated with that JTA transaction the first time you call sessionFactory.getCurrentSession(). The Sessions retrieved via getCurrentSession() in "jta" context will be set to automatically flush before the transaction completes, close after the transaction completes, and aggressively release JDBC connections after each statement. This allows the Sessions to be managed by the life cycle of the JTA transaction to which it is associated, keeping user code clean of such management concerns. Your code can either use JTA programmatically through UserTransaction, or (recommended for portable code) use the Hibernate Transaction API to set transaction boundaries. If you run in an EJB container, declarative transaction demarcation with CMT is preferred.

3.8.4. JMX deployment

The line cfg.buildSessionFactory() still has to be executed somewhere to get a SessionFactory into JNDI. You can do this either in a static initializer block (like the one in HibernateUtil) or you deploy Hibernate as a managed service.

Hibernate is distributed with org.hibernate.jmx.HibernateService for deployment on an application server with JMX capabilities, such as JBoss AS. The actual deployment and configuration is vendor specific. Here is an example jboss-service.xml for JBoss 4.0.x:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<mbean code="org.hibernate.jmx.HibernateService"

    <!-- Required services -->

    <!-- Bind the Hibernate service to JNDI -->
    <attribute name="JndiName">java:/hibernate/SessionFactory</attribute>

    <!-- Datasource settings -->
    <attribute name="Datasource">java:HsqlDS</attribute>
    <attribute name="Dialect">org.hibernate.dialect.HSQLDialect</attribute>

    <!-- Transaction integration -->
    <attribute name="TransactionStrategy">
    <attribute name="TransactionManagerLookupStrategy">
    <attribute name="FlushBeforeCompletionEnabled">true</attribute>
    <attribute name="AutoCloseSessionEnabled">true</attribute>

    <!-- Fetching options -->
    <attribute name="MaximumFetchDepth">5</attribute>

    <!-- Second-level caching -->
    <attribute name="SecondLevelCacheEnabled">true</attribute>
    <attribute name="CacheProviderClass">org.hibernate.cache.EhCacheProvider</attribute>
    <attribute name="QueryCacheEnabled">true</attribute>

    <!-- Logging -->
    <attribute name="ShowSqlEnabled">true</attribute>

    <!-- Mapping files -->
    <attribute name="MapResources">auction/Item.hbm.xml,auction/Category.hbm.xml</attribute>



This file is deployed in a directory called META-INF and packaged in a JAR file with the extension .sar (service archive). You also need to package Hibernate, its required third-party libraries, your compiled persistent classes, as well as your mapping files in the same archive. Your enterprise beans (usually session beans) may be kept in their own JAR file, but you may include this EJB JAR file in the main service archive to get a single (hot-)deployable unit. Consult the JBoss AS documentation for more information about JMX service and EJB deployment.