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JSRs: Java Specification Requests
JSR 16: J2EETM Connector Architecture

Updates to the Original JSR

This JSR has been updated from the original request. 2006.02.16:

Section 1: Identification

Maintenance Lead: Binod P G

E-mail address:

Telephone: +91 80 569 27784

Original Java Specification Request (JSR)

Identification | Request | Contributions

Section 1: Identification

Submitting Participant:

Rahul Sharma,
Java Software, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Phone: +1 408 863 3427

Projected expert group will include experts from:

  • enterprise information system vendors
  • application server vendors and container providers
  • enterprise tool vendors

Most of the partners involved in the Enterprise JavaBeans? specification have expressed strong interest in participating in the expert group for Connector architecture specification.

Section 2: Request

This JSR is to develop the Connector Architecture specification for JavaTM platform, Enterprise Edition.

2.1 What is Connector architecture?

The Connector architecture defines a standard architecture for connecting the Java 2? platform Enterprise Edition to heterogeneous enterprise information systems, such as ERP, mainframe transaction processing and database systems. The architecture defines a set of scalable, secure, and transactional mechanisms that describe the integration of enterprise information systems to an application server and enterprise applications. This architecture enables an enterprise information system (EIS) vendor to provide a standard connector for its EIS - the connector is plugged in to an application server and provides connectivity between the EIS, application server and enterprise application. An application server vendor extends its system once to support this connector architecture and is then assured of a seamless connectivity to multiple EISes. Likewise, an EIS vendor provides one standard connector and it has the capability to plug in to any application server that supports the connector architecture.

2.2 Need of Java Community that this work addresses

The Connector architecture provides a Java solution to the problem of connectivity between the multitude of application servers and EISes already in existence. By using the connector architecture, it is no longer necessary for EIS vendors to customize their product for each application server. The application server vendors who conform to the connector architecture also do not need to add custom code whenever they want to add connectivity to a new EIS.

2.3 Explanation of why the need isn't met by existing specifications

Currently, no existing Java platform specification addresses the problem of providing a standard architecture for integrating heterogeneous EISes. Most EIS vendors and application server vendors use non-standard vendor-specific architectures to provide connectivity between application servers and enterprise information systems.

2.4 Target JavaTM platform

The connector architecture specification will be targeted for Java 2? platform, Enterprise Edition.

2.5 Specification to be developed and how it addresses the need

To achieve a standard "plug-and-play" between application servers and EISes, the connector architecture defines a standard set of system-level contracts between application server and the resource adapter of each EIS. The EIS vendor provides a resource adapter, which is a software library that encapsulates access to its underlying system and acts as a driver for connectivity access to its EIS. These contracts define important aspects of integration: resource management, transaction management, and security.

The resource management contract enables an application server to pool connections to the underlying EISes, and it enables application components - deployed on this application server - to connect to multiple EISes. The transaction management contract supports transactional access to underlying resource managers and it enables a transaction manager, provided by the application server, to manage distributed transactions across multiple resource managers. The security contract enables a secure access to the EISes from the application server.

The connector architecture does not focus on defining an application level contract between application components and an EIS. The specific client API that an application component uses to access the entities managed by an EIS is defined by the EIS vendor.

2.6 Detailed description of the underlying technology or technologies

The connector architecture is based on the technologies that are defined and standardized as part of the Java 2? platform, Enterprise Edition. Specifically, the connector architecture leverages concepts and mechanisms defined by Java Transaction API (JTA), Enterprise JavaBeansTM (EJBTM) and JDBCTM specifications.

2.7 Proposed package name for API Specification (i.e., javax.something, org.something, etc.).

The standard system level contracts, introduced by the connector architecture, are defined as part of the following standard extensions packages - javax.connector.resource, javax.transaction,

2.8 Security implications

The connector architecture addresses mechanisms and policies required for secure connectivity to the EISes. The security model of the connector architecture is based on the security architecture defined as part of Java 2? platform, Standard Edition and Java 2? platform, Enterprise Edition.

2.9 Internationalization implications

The connector architecture uses the I18N support in the Java 2? platform, Standard Edition.

2.10 Localization implications


2.11 Risk assessment (impact of work on target platform, impact if work not carried out, difficulties in carrying out RI and/or CTS)

  • The connector architecture is planned to be released as an important feature of the next major release (subsequent to 1.0) of the Java 2? platform, Enterprise Edition.
  • The reference implementation work requires RI team to implement an EIS black box that is used for the compliance tests .
  • Each EIS vendor is required to provide an EIS specific test to test its basic "plug-and-play" with the standards compliant application servers. A rigorous compatibility test of connector contracts is quite impractical.
2.12 Existing specifications that might be rendered obsolete or deprecated by this work


2.13 Existing specifications that might need revisions as a result of this work

The connector architecture is based on the concepts and mechanisms that have been defined and standardized as part of JTA, EJBTM and JDBCTM specifications. The future revisions of these specifications can require introduction of the connector specific details.

Section 3: Contributions

List of relevant existing documents: