Java Transaction API

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The Java Transaction API (JTA) is one of the Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) APIs allowing distributed transactions to be done across multiple XA resources in a Java environment. JTA is a specification developed under the Java Community Process as JSR 907. JTA provides for:

  • demarcation of transaction boundaries
  • X/Open XA API allowing resources to participate in transactions.


X/Open XA architecture

In the X/Open XA architecture, a transaction manager or transaction processing monitor (TP monitor), coordinates the transactions across multiple resources such as databases and message queues. Each resource has its own manager. The resource manager typically has its own API for manipulating the resource, for example the JDBC API used by relational databases. In addition, the resource manager allows a TP monitor to coordinate a distributed transaction between its own and other resource managers. Finally, there is the application which communicates with the TP monitor to begin, commit or rollback the transactions. The application also communicates with the individual resources using their own API to modify the resource.

JTA implementation of the X/Open XA architecture

The JTA API consists of classes in two Java packages:

The JTA is modelled on the X/Open XA architecture, but it defines two different APIs for demarcating transaction boundaries. It distinguishes between an application server such as an EJB server and an application component. It provides an interface, javax.transaction.TransactionManager, that is used by the application server itself to begin, commit and rollback the transactions. It provides a different interface, the javax.transaction.UserTransaction, that is used by general client code such as a servlet or an EJB to manage the transactions.

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