Home > Articles > Programming > Java

JBoss Application Configuration Breakdown

📄 Contents

  1. Understanding the Tag Levels
  2. Conclusion
Even though many Java developers favor JBoss as a great open source application server, the documentation varies from nonexistent to obscure or vague. In this first part of a series, Marcus Zarra breaks down the jboss.xml file, detailing the usage of each tag.
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

The open source project JBoss has been a great boon to enterprise development for Java. It has allowed developers to work with, experiment with, and ultimately master Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) development using a full-fledged application server. This is in addition to the obvious practical uses for a low-cost application server; without such a server, many development shops would have barred the use of Java technology.

However, even this wonderful application server is not without its faults. Many developers find the documentation difficult to consume and/or completely lacking. To help fill in some of these gaps, this first article will break down the jboss.xml file so that those who choose not to use XDoclet to develop their EJBs can easily understand jboss.xml. This breakdown covers the upcoming 4.0 release of JBoss, and most of the information contained herein should apply to the earlier 3.x versions.

Understanding the Tag Levels

While there are quite a few tags that can be used in the jboss.xml file, it should be noted that none of them are required per se. A JBoss application can function perfectly without a jboss.xml file; these tags simply allow greater flexibility and configuration of an application.


None of the tags are required, nor do they have to be in a specific order. The order used here is just the order in which the tags are spelled out in the Document Type Definition (DTD).


This tag tells the container to enforce EJB 1.1 restrictions. This element can accept a value of true or false.


This tag indicates the global security manager for the application. This element specifies the JNDI name of the object that implements the EJBSecurityManager and RealmMapping for the domain. (See the resource-manager section for an example.) This setting can be overridden at the container level, using the security-domain element.


This tag defines the name of the user returned by the EJBContext.getCallerPrincipal() method if no authenticated user is available.


Contained within this top-level tag are tags that define the three types of enterprise beans (Entity Java Beans, Session Java Beans, and Message Java Beans):

  • entity. Defines all of the Entity Java Beans that are used within the application.

  • session. Defines all of the Session Java Beans that are used within the application. The session tags are identical to those of the entity tag, with the exception of the read-only tag, which doesn't apply to Session Java Beans. The tags also serve the same purposes, and the Session Java Beans don't have any unique tags.

  • message. Defines all of the Message Java Beans that are used within the application. Some of the message tags are identical to those of the entity and session tags and serve the same purpose. Other tags are specific to the message tag.

The following table describes the tags that are specific to each type of bean.










Used to connect beans defined in the jboss.xml file with beans defined in the ejb-jar.xml file. This element must exist in both files for JBoss to match up the settings.





Name used in the Context.lookup() call to return a reference to this EJB's remote home. This element must be unique within the application.





Name used in the Context.lookup() call to return a reference to this EJB's local home. This element must be unique within the application.





Instructs JBoss to pass results back as object streams rather than references to the objects themselves. The result is that a method caller will receive an object constructed by its own class loader—not the class loader used by the called EJB. The primary use is class version conflicts. If a method caller contains a different version of the object being returned, it will load its own version of that object instead of throwing an exception.





Specifies whether this entity is read-only. This element accepts only the values true and false.





Links this entity to a container configuration defined elsewhere in the jboss.xml file. This name must match a container-name element in the container-configurations section, or one of the existing container configurations defined in the standard XML files included with JBoss. This element is optional; if it doesn't exist, JBoss will select one of the standard configurations.





Defines the class to be used as the security proxy for this bean.





Gives the JNDI name of an external EJB reference. If this element is used, you don't provide an ejb-link but instead define the jndi-name in jboss.xml.





Alternative to the ejb-link normally defined in the ejb-jar.xml file.





Provides specific deployment values to the web service reference in the ejb-jar.xml file.





Indicates whether a specific run-as identity will be used by this bean. If a run-as role is defined for the bean, a run-as-principal can also be defined here. Otherwise, the principal will be defined as anonymous.





Defines the mapping between the names of resources in the code and the names of resources in the XML configuration files. If this element is not provided, JBoss assumes that the names in the code and the XML documents are the same.





Defines a mapping between the names of environmental resources used in the code and those resources' JNDI names. If this element is not provided, JBoss assumes that the JNDI names match the names used in the code.





Indicates whether this bean will be used in a clustered environment. The only values accepted by this element are true and false. If this element is not present, JBoss assumes false.





Used for configurations specific to the cluster (outside the scope of this article).





Defines the name of the topic or queue used by this message bean.





Defines the username to be used for connecting to the topic or queue for this bean.





Defines the password to be used for connecting to the topic or queue for this bean.





Defines the client ID for durable message beans. This allows the messaging subsystem to determine who a client is when a reconnection occurs.





Defines the subscription ID for durable message beans. This allows the messaging subsystem to be able to determine who a client is when a reconnection occurs.





Name of the adapter used for messages. This is the name of the "rar" defined in the JCA. This element would be used in a situation where your application needs to be able to connect to other enterprise systems such as SAP, PeopleSoft, or Siebel.


This element defines application assembly information. The definition of security roles allows you to map assembly roles to principals, as in the following example:


This mapping specifies that both admin and root are part of the Administrator role.


This is the element that manages resources. A resource has three different names:

  • The first name is defined in the resource-ref section of the ejb-jar.xml file. The developer of the bean supplies this name.

  • The second name is defined by the application assembler and is referenced using the resource-ref section of the appropriate bean.

  • The final name of the resource is the actual JNDI name or URL for the resource. This final name is mapped in resource-managers. If a resource is not mapped here, JBoss will look for it as if it were a datasource. Here's an example of this mapping:



This element defines the different possible configurations for the container of the beans. If no configurations are defined, the standard configurations will be used automatically. The standardjboss.xml file contains 15 configurations, predefined with the following names:

  • Standard CMP 2.x EntityBean

  • Standard CMP EntityBean

  • Clustered CMP 2.x EntityBean

  • Clustered CMP EntityBean

  • IIOP CMP 2.x EntityBean

  • IIOP CMP EntityBean

  • Standard Stateless SessionBean

  • Clustered Stateless SessionBean

  • IIOP Stateless SessionBean

  • Standard Stateful SessionBean

  • Clustered Stateful SessionBean

  • IIOP Stateful SessionBean

  • Standard BMP EntityBean

  • Clustered BMP EntityBean

  • IIOP BMP EntityBean

  • Standard MessageDrivenBean


The names are correct; in a J2EE context, EntityBean and SessionBean are considered single words.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020