JBoss.org Community Documentation

19.1. Entity Bean in EJB 2.x

First of all, it is worth noting that clustering 2.x entity beans is a bad thing to do. Its exposes elements that generally are too fine grained for use as remote objects to clustered remote objects and introduces data synchronization problems that are non-trivial. Do NOT use EJB 2.x entity bean clustering unless you fit into the sepecial case situation of read-only, or one read-write node with read-only nodes synched with the cache invalidation services.

To cluster EJB 2.x entity beans, you need to add the <clustered> element to the application's jboss.xml descriptor file. Below is a typical jboss.xml file.


The EJB 2.x entity beans are clustered for load balanced remote invocations. All the bean instances are synchronized to have the same contents on all nodes.

However, clustered EJB 2.x Entity Beans do not have a distributed locking mechanism or a distributed cache. They can only be synchronized by using row-level locking at the database level (see <row-lock> in the CMP specification) or by setting the Transaction Isolation Level of your JDBC driver to be TRANSACTION_SERIALIZABLE. Because there is no supported distributed locking mechanism or distributed cache Entity Beans use Commit Option "B" by default (See standardjboss.xml and the container configurations Clustered CMP 2.x EntityBean, Clustered CMP EntityBean, or Clustered BMP EntityBean). It is not recommended that you use Commit Option "A" unless your Entity Bean is read-only. (There are some design patterns that allow you to use Commit Option "A" with read-mostly beans. You can also take a look at the Seppuku pattern http://dima.dhs.org/misc/readOnlyUpdates.html. JBoss may incorporate this pattern into later versions.)


If you are using Bean Managed Persistence (BMP), you are going to have to implement synchronization on your own. The MVCSoft CMP 2.0 persistence engine (see http://www.jboss.org/jbossgroup/partners.jsp) provides different kinds of optimistic locking strategies that can work in a JBoss cluster.