Chapter 1. Architecture

1.1. Definitions

EJB3 is part of the Java EE 5.0 platform. Persistence in EJB3 is available in EJB3 containers, as well as for standalone J2SE applications that execute outside of a particular container. The following programming interfaces and artifacts are available in both environments.
EntityManagerFactory
An entity manager factory provides entity manager instances, all instances are configured to connect to the same database, to use the same default settings as defined by the particular implementation, etc. You can prepare several entity manager factories to access several data stores. This interface is similar to the SessionFactory in native Hibernate.
EntityManager
The EntityManager API is used to access a database in a particular unit of work. It is used to create and remove persistent entity instances, to find entities by their primary key identity, and to query over all entities. This interface is similar to the Session in Hibernate.
Persistence context
A persistence context is a set of entity instances in which for any persistent entity identity there is a unique entity instance. Within the persistence context, the entity instances and their lifecycle is managed by a particular entity manager. The scope of this context can either be the transaction, or an extended unit of work.
Persistence unit
The set of entity types that can be managed by a given entity manager is defined by a persistence unit. A persistence unit defines the set of all classes that are related or grouped by the application, and which must be collocated in their mapping to a single data store.
Container-managed entity manager
An Entity Manager whose lifecycle is managed by the container
Application-managed entity manager
An Entity Manager whose lifecycle is managed by the application.
JTA entity manager
Entity manager involved in a JTA transaction
Resource-local entity manager
Entity manager using a resource transaction (not a JTA transaction).