JBoss.org Community Documentation EJB References

It is common for EJBs and Web components to interact with other EJBs. Because the JNDI name under which an EJB home interface is bound is a deployment time decision, there needs to be a way for a component developer to declare a reference to an EJB that will be linked by the deployer. EJB references satisfy this requirement.

An EJB reference is a link in an application component naming environment that points to a deployed EJB home interface. The name used by the application component is a logical link that isolates the component from the actual name of the EJB home in the deployment environment. The J2EE specification recommends that all references to enterprise beans be organized in the java:comp/env/ejb context of the application component's environment.

An EJB reference is declared using an ejb-ref element in the deployment descriptor. Each ejb-ref element describes the interface requirements that the referencing application component has for the referenced enterprise bean. The ejb-ref element contains the following child elements:

  • An optional description element that provides the purpose of the reference.

  • An ejb-ref-name element that specifies the name of the reference relative to the java:comp/env context. To place the reference under the recommended java:comp/env/ejb context, use an ejb/link-name form for the ejb-ref-name value.

  • An ejb-ref-type element that specifies the type of the EJB. This must be either Entity or Session.

  • A home element that gives the fully qualified class name of the EJB home interface.

  • A remote element that gives the fully qualified class name of the EJB remote interface.

  • An optional ejb-link element that links the reference to another enterprise bean in the same EJB JAR or in the same J2EE application unit. The ejb-link value is the ejb-name of the referenced bean. If there are multiple enterprise beans with the same ejb-name, the value uses the path name specifying the location of the ejb-jar file that contains the referenced component. The path name is relative to the referencing ejb-jar file. The Application Assembler appends the ejb-name of the referenced bean to the path name separated by #. This allows multiple beans with the same name to be uniquely identified.

An EJB reference is scoped to the application component whose declaration contains the ejb-ref element. This means that the EJB reference is not accessible from other application components at runtime, and that other application components may define ejb-ref elements with the same ejb-ref-name without causing a name conflict. Example 4.7, “An example ejb-jar.xml ejb-ref descriptor fragment” provides an ejb-jar.xml fragment that illustrates the use of the ejb-ref element. A code sample that illustrates accessing the ShoppingCartHome reference declared in Example 4.7, “An example ejb-jar.xml ejb-ref descriptor fragment” is given in Example 4.8, “ENC ejb-ref access code fragment”.

<!-- ... -->
    <!-- ...-->

        <description>This is a reference to the store products entity </description>
        <remote> org.jboss.store.ejb.Product</remote>


        <remote> org.jboss.store.ejb.ShoppingCart</remote>

    <description>The Product entity bean </description>


Example 4.7. An example ejb-jar.xml ejb-ref descriptor fragment

InitialContext iniCtx = new InitialContext();
Context ejbCtx = (Context) iniCtx.lookup("java:comp/env/ejb");
ShoppingCartHome home = (ShoppingCartHome) ejbCtx.lookup("ShoppingCartHome"); 

Example 4.8. ENC ejb-ref access code fragment