Home > Store

Core J2EE Patterns: Best Practices and Design Strategies

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Core J2EE Patterns: Best Practices and Design Strategies


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2001
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-064884-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-064884-6

Over the last few years, Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) technology has emerged and matured as a standard platform for building enterprise applications. While the platform has matured into a solid offering for developing and deploying enterprise applications, it does offer its challenges. As developers, often we confuse learning the technology with learning to design with the technology. In this book, senior architects from the Sun Java Center, Sun's Java consulting organization share with the reader their cumulative design experience with and expertise on J2EE technology.

The primary focus of the book is on patterns, best practices, design strategies, and proven solutions using the key J2EE technologies including JavaServer Pages (JSP), Servlets, Enterprise Java Beans (EJB), and Java Message Service (J.M.S) API. Other ancillary technologies like JDBC and JNDI are also discussed as relevant to their usage in these patterns. The J2EE Patterns catalog with 16 patterns and numerous strategies is presented to document and promote best practices for these technologies.

In addition to the patterns and strategies, the book offers the following:

  • Presents various design strategies for the presentation tier and business tier design.
  • Identifies bad practices in presentation, business, and integration tiers, and offers directions to remedy them by using certain patterns, strategies, and refactorings.
  • Refactorings for various tiers and mechanics to move away from a bad implementation to a better solution.
  • Sample code and examples for patterns, strategies, and refactorings.

Core J2EE Patterns delivers:

  • Proven solutions for enterprise applications
  • J2EE Patterns Catalog with patterns for JSP technology, EJB technology, and J.M.S.
  • Identifies bad practices and recommends solutions
  • Refactorings to improve existing designs using patterns, strategies, and best practices
  • UML Diagrams illustrate structure and behavior of each pattern



Download the code examples from the book. (Chapters 3, 5, 7, 8, & 9)


Related Article

J2EE Platform Overview

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapters

J2EE Presentation Tier Design Considerations

J2EE Presentation Tier Design Considerations and Bad Practices

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Click here for a sample chapter for this book: 0130648841.pdf

Table of Contents





1. Introduction.

What Is J2EE? What Are Patterns? Historical References. Defining a Pattern. Categorizing Patterns. J2EE Pattern Catalog. Continuous Evolution. How to Use the J2EE Pattern Catalog. Benefits of Using Patterns. Patterns, Frameworks, and Reuse. Summary.

2. J2EE Platform Overview.

A Brief Perspective. Application Servers-The New Breed. Convergence of Java Technologies. The Rise of the J2EE Platform. J2EE Value Proposition. J2EE Platform. J2EE Architecture. Java 2 Standard Edition. J2EE Application Components and Containers. Standard Services. J2EE Platform Roles. Deployment Descriptors. J2EE Patterns and J2EE Platform. Summary.


3. Presentation Tier Design Considerations and Bad Practices.

Presentation Tier Design Considerations. Session Management. Controlling Client Access. Validation. Helper Properties-Integrity and Consistency. Presentation Tier Bad Practices. Control Code in Multiple Views. Exposing Presentation-Tier Data Structures to Business Tier. Exposing Presentation-Tier Data Structures to Domain Objects. Allowing Duplicate Form Submissions. Exposing Sensitive Resources to Direct Client Access. Assuming <jsp:setProperty> Will Reset Bean Properties. Creating Fat Controllers.

4. Business Tier Design Considerations and Bad Practices.

Business Tier Design Considerations. Using Session Beans. Using Entity Beans. Caching Enterprise Bean Remote References and Handles. Business and Integration Tiers Bad Practices. Mapping Object Model Directly to Entity Bean Model. Mapping Relational Model Directly to Entity Bean Model. Mapping Each Use Case to a Session Bean. Exposing All Enterprise Bean Attributes via Getter/Setter Methods. Embedding Service Lookup in Clients. Using Entity Bean as Read-Only Object. Using Entity Beans as Fine-Grained Objects. Storing Entire Entity Bean-Dependent Object Graph. Exposing EJB-related Exceptions to Non-EJB Clients. Using Entity Bean Finder Methods to Return a Large Results Set. Client Aggregates Data from Business Components. Using Enterprise Beans for Long-Lived Transactions. Stateless Session Bean Reconstructs Conversational State for Each Invocation.

5. J2EE Refactorings.

Presentation Tier Refactorings. Introduce a Controller. Introduce Synchronizer Token. Localize Disparate Logic. Hide Presentation Tier-Specific Details From the Business Tier. Remove Conversions from View. Hide Resource From a Client. Business and Integration Tier Refactorings. Wrap Entities With Session. Introduce Business Delegate. Merge Session Beans. Eliminate Inter-Entity Bean Communication. Move Business Logic to Session. General Refactorings. Separate Data Access Code. Refactor Architecture by Tiers. Use A Connection Pool.


6. J2EE Patterns Overview.

What Is a Pattern? Identifying a Pattern. The Tiered Approach. J2EE Patterns. Presentation Tier Patterns. Business Tier Patterns. Integration Tier Patterns. Guide to the Catalog. Terminology. Use of UML. Pattern Template. J2EE Pattern Relationships. Relationship to Known Patterns. Patterns Roadmap. Summary.

7. Presentation Tier Patterns.

Intercepting Filter. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Related Patterns. Front Controller. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Related Patterns. View Helper. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Related Patterns. Composite View. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Sample Code. Related Patterns. Service to Worker. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Sample Code. Related Patterns. Dispatcher View. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Sample Code. Related Patterns.

8. Business Tier Patterns.

Business Delegate. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Sample Code. Related Patterns. Value Object. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Sample Code. Related Patterns. Session Facade. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Sample Code. Related Patterns. Composite Entity. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Sample Code. Related Patterns. Value Object Assembler. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Sample Code. Related Patterns. Value List Handler. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Sample Code. Related Patterns. Service Locator. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Sample Code. Related Patterns.

9. Integration Tier Patterns.

Data Access Object. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Sample Code. Related Patterns. Service Activator. Context. Problem. Forces. Solution. Consequences. Sample Code. Related Patterns. EPILOGUE J2EE Patterns Applied. PSA Overview. Use Case Model. Use Cases, Patterns, and Pattern Frameworks. Create Project Use Case. Pattern Identification. Pattern Realization. Reserve Resource Use Case. Pattern Identification. Pattern Realization. Find Available Resources Use Case. Pattern Identification. Pattern Realization. Bibliography. Apache Software License.




This book is about patterns for the Java 2 platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE). These J2EE patterns provide solutions for problems typically encountered by designers of software applications for the J2EE platform. All the patterns documented in the catalog have been discovered in the field, where they have been used to create successful J2EE applications for our customers.

This book describes proven solutions for the J2EE platform with a particular emphasis on such key J2EE technologies as: Java Server Pages (JSP), Servlets, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) components, Java Message Service (JMS), JDBC, and Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI). We offer solutions for recurring problems for the J2EE platform through the J2EE pattern catalog and J2EE refactorings. You can apply these ideas when developing new systems or when improving the design of existing systems. The patterns in this book will help you quickly gain the proficiency and skills to build robust, efficient enterprise applications.

Today, as in the past, many of us naively assume that learning a technology is synonymous with learning to design with the technology. Certainly learning the technology is an important part to being successful in designing with the technology. Many existing Java books are excellent at explaining technology details, such as API specifics and so forth, but at the same time they give no insight on applying the technology. Learning to design comes from experience and from sharing knowledge on best practices and bad practices.

The experiences we have conveyed in this book are derived from the work we have done in the field. We are part of Sun Microsystems, Inc.'s Sun Java Center (SJC) consulting organization. In our work, we often encounter situations where, because technology is moving so quickly, designers and developers are still struggling to understand the technology, let alone how to design with the technology.

It is not good enough to tell designers and developers to write good code, nor is it sufficient to suggest using Servlets and JSP for developing the presentation tier and EJB components for developing the business tier.

So, given this scenario, where does an aspiring J2EE architect learn not only what to do, but what not to do? What are the best practices? What are the bad practices? How do you go from problem to design to implementation?

Sun Java Center and the J2EE Pattern Catalog

Since its inception, SJC architects have been working with clients all over the world to successfully design, architect, build, and deploy various types of systems based on Java and J2EE. The SJC is a rapidly growing consulting organization constantly adding new hires to its ranks of experienced architects.

Recognizing the need to capture and share proven designs and architectures, we started to document our work on the J2EE platform in the form of patterns in 1999. Although we looked in the existing literature, we could not find a catalog of patterns that dealt specifically with the J2EE platform. We found many books dealing with one or more of the J2EE technologies, and these books do an excellent job of explaining the technology and unraveling the nuances of the specifications. Some books offered extra help by providing some design considerations.

Since we first publicly presented our ideas on J2EE patterns at the JavaOne Conference in June 2000, we have received an overwhelming response from architects and developers. While some individuals expressed great interest in learning more about the patterns, others confirmed that they had applied the patterns, but had never named or documented them. This interest in patterns for the J2EE platform further motivated us to continue our work.

Thus, we put together the J2EE Pattern Catalog., which was initially made available to the entire J2EE community in beta form via the Java Developer Connection in March, 2001. Based largely on community feedback, the beta documentation evolved into the release you see in this book.

We hope these patterns, best practices, strategies, bad practices, and refactorings for the J2EE platform, provide the same benefits to you as they do for us.

What This Book Is About

This book is about:

Using patterns for the J2EE Platform.
Based on our collective J2EE platform experience, we have assembled the pattern catalog in this book. The J2EE Pattern Catalog describes various best practices related to architecting and designing applications for the J2EE platform. This book focuses on the following four J2EE technologies: Servlets, JSP, EJB components, and JMS.
Using best practices to design applications that use JSP, Servlet, EJB components, and JMS technologies.
It is not sufficient to merely learn the technology and the APIs. It is equally important to learn to design with the technology. We have documented what we have experienced to be the best practices for these technologies.
Preventing re-inventing-the-wheel when it comes to design and architecture for the J2EE platform.
Patterns promote design reuse. Reusing known solutions reduces the cycle time for designing and developing applications, including J2EE applications.
Identifying bad practices in existing designs and refactoring these designs to move to a better solution using the J2EE patterns.
Knowing what works well is good. Knowing what does not work is equally important. We have documented some of the bad practices we have experienced when designing applications for the J2EE platform.

What This Book Is Not

This book is not about:

How to program with Java or J2EE technologies.
This book is not about programming. While this book is heavily based on the J2EE technologies, we do not describe the specific APIs. If you wish to learn about programming using Java or using any of the J2EE technologies, there are a number of excellent books and online resources from which to learn. The online tutorials on the official Java home page at http://java.sun.com are highly recommended if you wish to learn about individual technologies. The official specifications for J2EE technologies are also available from the Java home page.
What process and methodology to use.
We do not suggest any type of process or methodology to use since the material presented in this book is not related to either. Hence, this book does not teach you about a process or methodology to follow in your projects. If you would like to learn more about processes and methodologies, there are a good number of books that deal with various object-oriented methodologies and new books on lightweight processes, such as Extreme Programming.
How to use Unified Modeling Language (UML).
This book is not going to teach you about UML. We use UML extensively (specifically class and sequence diagrams) to document the patterns and describe the static and dynamic interactions. If you want to learn more about UML, please refer to the UML User Guide Booch and the UML Reference Manual Rumbaugh by Grady Booch, Ivar Jacobson, and James Rumbaugh.

Who Should Read This Book?

This book is for all J2EE enthusiasts, programmers, architects, developers, and technical managers. In short, anyone who is remotely interested in designing, architecting, and developing applications for the J2EE platform.

We have attempted to distinguish this book as a training guide for J2EE architects and designers. We all recognize the importance of good designs and well-architected projects, and that we need good architects to get there.

The use of well-documented patterns, best practices, and bad practices to share and transfer knowledge and experience can prove invaluable for teams with varied experience levels, and we hope that this book answers some of these needs.

How This Book Is Organized

This book is organized into three parts.

Part 1—"Patterns and J2EE," consists of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.

Chapter 1: "Introduction" on page 4 is a brief discussion on various topics, including patterns, J2EE platform, defining a pattern, and pattern categorization. It ends by introducing the J2EE patterns catalog.

Chapter 2: "J2EE Platform Overview" on page 16 provides a high level overview of the J2EE platform for those readers unfamiliar with J2EE, or who wish to refresh their knowledge of the J2EE platform.

Part 2—"Design Considerations, Bad Practices, and Refactorings" deals with design considerations for JSP, Servlets, and enterprise beans. This part also includes bad practices and refactorings for the J2EE platform. This part is comprised of Chapter 3, 4, and 5.

Chapter 3: "Presentation Tier Design Considerations and Bad Practices" on page 34 and Chapter 4: "Business Tier Design Considerations and Bad Practices" on page 54 discuss the design considerations and bad practices for the presentation tier and business/integration tiers respectively. The design considerations are issues that a J2EE developer/designer/architect needs to consider while working with the J2EE platform. The topics presented in these chapters point the reader to other sources (such as official specifications and well written books on these topics) for more detailed information on these issues.

Chapter 5: "J2EE Refactorings" on page 72 includes some of the refactorings we have experienced in our work in the field that has enabled us to move our design from a less optimal solution to a better solution. The refactorings provide another way to think about the material in the rest of the book, providing what we believe to be valuable companion material to the pattern catalog. This chapter shows how we have been influenced by Martin Fowler and his book "Refactoring" Fowler. For those readers who are familiar with the Refactoring book, the format of this chapter will be very familiar. However, the content of this chapter is entirely in the context of J2EE technologies, whereas Martin Fowler addresses refactoring at a different level.

Part 3—"J2EE Pattern Catalog" presents the J2EE pattern catalog. The catalog contains the fifteen patterns that form the core of this book. This part is comprised of Chapter 6, 7, 8, and 9.

Chapter 6: "J2EE Patterns Overview" on page 124 provides an overview of the J2EE pattern catalog. This chapter begins with a high level discussion of the pattern ideas and explains the way the patterns are categorized into tiers. It also explains the J2EE pattern template, which is used to present all patterns in this book. The chapter discusses all the J2EE patterns and uses a diagram to show their inter-relationships. It also provides what we have termed a roadmap to the pattern catalog. This roadmap presents common J2EE design and architecture-related questions with references to patterns or refactorings that provide solutions to these questions. Understanding the pattern relationships and the roadmap is key to using these patterns.

Chapter 7: "Presentation Tier Patterns" on page 150 presents six patterns that pertain to using Servlets, JSP, JavaBeans, and custom tags to design web-based applications for the J2EE platform. The patterns describe numerous implementation strategies, and address common problems such as request handling, application partitioning, and generating composite displays.

Chapter 8: "Business Tier Patterns" on page 246 presents seven patterns that pertain to using EJB technology to design business components for the J2EE platform. The patterns in this chapter provide the best practices for using the EJB and JMS technologies. Where relevant, these patterns include discussion on other technologies, such as JNDI and JDBC.

Chapter 9: "Integration Tier Patterns" on page 388 presents two patterns that pertain to integrating J2EE applications with the resource tier and external systems. The patterns deal with using JDBC and JMS to enable integration between business tier and resource tier components.

Epilogue: "J2EE Patterns Applied" on page 422 discusses realizing sample use cases with the patterns. This chapter discusses and demonstrates how patterns are combined and work together. This chapter reinforces the idea that patterns exist in a community, and that each pattern supports, and is supported by, other patterns.

Companion Website and Contact Information

The official companion website where we will provide updates and other material is http://www.phptr.com/corej2eepatterns

The J2EE Patterns interest group, j2eepatterns-interest@java.sun.com is available for public subscription and participation. To subscribe to the interest group and review the discussion archives, please visit:



Submit Errata

More Information

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