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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Client's View

You've now learned how to specify, implement, and deploy BMP Entity beans, but how are they used? As you can probably imagine, the steps to obtain a reference to an Entity bean are similar to that for Session beans:

  1. Look up the home interface for the Entity bean from JNDI.

  2. To create a new entity instance, use the relevant home.create() method.

  3. To locate an existing entity instance, use home.findByPrimaryKey() if the primary key is known, or some other home.findXxx() finder method to obtain a Collection of matching entities.

  4. For the returned local proxy to the Entity bean, invoke the business methods defined in the local interface of the bean.

The javax.ejb.EJBLocalObject interface also defines a number of other methods that can be called by the client, and it is worth discussing the semantics of these briefly:

  • The getPrimaryKey() method of EJBLocalObject returns the primary key that identifies the bean.


    Note that because EJBLocalObject is also the super-interface for Session bean interfaces, this method can also be called when the client has a reference to the local proxy of a Session bean. However, because primary keys do not make sense for Session beans, an EJBException will always be thrown.

  • If an Entity bean has both a local and a remote interface, and then EJBObject.getPrimaryKey() (from the remote proxy) and EJBLocalObject.getPrimaryKey() (from the local proxy) will both return objects that are equal (according to the definition the primary key's definition of equals()).

  • The isIdentical() method can be used instead of comparing primary key classes to determine if two bean references refer to the same Entity bean. In other words, bean1.isIdentical(bean2) returns true if and only if bean1.getPrimaryKey().equals(bean2.getPrimaryKey()).

One scenario that can occur is that a client can have a reference to an Entity bean, and then the bean could be deleted by some other client. This could occur either by an EJB application client that invokes remove() on the same Entity bean, or it could be a non-EJB client that deletes the data directly from the underlying persistent data store. Either way, the original client will not be notified of this, and won't detect this situation until it next invokes a method on the Entity bean. In this case, the client will receive a javax.ejb.NoSuchObjectLocalException (a subclass of javax.ejb.EJBException, in turn a subclass of java.lang.RuntimeException) if accessing the Entity bean through its local interface.


On Day 8, you will see how transactions and other techniques prevent a bean's data from being removed "beneath your feet."

The javax.ejb.NoSuchObjectLocalException caught by local clients is analogous to the java.rmi.NoSuchObjectException that would be caught if accessing the Entity bean through its remote interface. Table 6.3 shows the table from yesterday detailing various other exceptions, supplemented with the exception classes received by local clients.

Table 6.3—System Exceptions Are Thrown in a Variety of Situations



Local Client Receives

Remote Client Receives

Any bean

Throws javax.ejb. EJBException (or any subclass)

javax.ejb. EJBException (or subclass)

java.rmi. RemoteException

BMP Entity bean

Throws NoSuchEntityException

javax.ejb. NoSuchEntity Exception

java.rmi. NoSuchObject Exception


When client invokes method on a reference to a bean that no longer exists

javax.ejb. NoSuchObject LocalException

java.rmi. NoSuchObject Exception


When client calls a method without a transaction context

javax.ejb. TransactionRequired LocalException

javax.transaction. TransactionRequired Exception


When client has insufficient security access

javax.ejb. AccessLocal Exception

java.rmi. AccessException


When transaction needs to be rolled back

javax.ejb. TransactionRolledBack LocalException

javax.transaction. TransactionRolledBack Exception

As you can see, the EJB Specification makes some attempt at a naming standard so that the models are as similar as possible for local and remote clients.

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