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Understanding JTA internals

Jean-Luc Thirion

Joined: Jan 24, 2008
Posts: 19
Hi ranchers,

I want to understand how JTA functions, especially:

1) I see a JTA implementation like a third-party service (or maybe independent server) to whom I tell to start/stop transaction (related to one or more DBs) for me. This service could even be called remotely (Like in the case of client initiated transaction in EJB). Is the analogy right ?

2) I take on another analogy: when I use an SQL client like sqlplus/Toad etc. I always have to commit on a particular connection, the connection I opened. So transaction delimitation is done by sending orders (commit/roolback) on the db connection. The same is the case when I use JDBC directly, I call connection.commit(). Must JTA - behind the scenes - also commit/rollback on one (ore more) connections ? Or is it totally different (sending start/stop on XAConnection is similar to me)

3) In a J2EE server, we retrieve a UserTransaction object an a DataSource object separately. We retrieve a Connection from the DataSource and delimit transactions by calling begin/commit/rollback on a totally different object: the UserTransaction instance. Behind the scenes, the TransactionManager will have to commit the work done on the Connection object I retrieved. How does the Transaction Manager know that I delimited the work on that Connection (i retrieved the 2 objects totally independently), i.e. how does the Transaction Manager link the Transaction with the Connection ? Is it because, behind the scenes, both the Connection object and the "Transaction" object are associated to the current Thread ? If Yes, and if I call EJB2 from EJB1 through local interfaces in a same transaction, does that mean that the call from EJB1 and then EJB2 have to run in the same thread ?

4) In the case of a client initiated transaction (in the EJB world), I can start a transaction from the client by using a Connection (issued from a DataSource I got through JNDI at location A) and a UserTransaction(I got also through JNDI but at location B). How does the JTA Transaction service know that it should send "delimitation" orders to the DB on the TCP DB Connection the server holds for my client app ? Remember that I got the UserTransaction and DataSource apparently with no relationship together ?

I have a lot of ideas how that could be done behing the scenes, but I want to know how a typical JTA service must/does this ?

Thanks in advance for your replies,


I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Understanding JTA internals
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