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6.5. The XA Enlistment Problem

The problem of XA enlistment

The standard JTA approach to enlisting XA resources is to add the XA resource explicitly to the current javax.transaction.Transaction object (representing the current transaction). In other words, you must explicitly enlist an XA resource every time a new transaction starts.

How to enlist an XA resource

Enlisting an XA resource with a transaction simply involves invoking the enlistResource() method on the Transaction interface. For example, given a TransactionManager object and an XAResource object, you could enlist the XAResource object as follows:
// Java
import javax.transaction.Transaction;
import javax.transaction.TransactionManager;
import javax.transaction.xa.XAResource;
// Given:
// 'tm' of type TransactionManager
// 'xaResource' of type XAResource

// Start the transaction

Transaction transaction = tm.getTransaction();

// Do some work...

// End the transaction


The tricky aspect of enlisting resources is that the resource must be enlisted on every new transaction and the resource must be enlisted before you start to use the resource. If you enlist resources explicitly, you could end up with error-prone code that is littered with enlistResource() calls. Moreover, sometimes it can be difficult to call enlistResource() in the right place (for example, if you are using a framework that hides some of the transaction details).
For these reasons, it is much easier (and safer) in practice to use features that support auto-enlistment of XA resources. For example, in the context of using JMS and JDBC resources, the standard technique is to use wrapper classes that support auto-enlistment.

JMS XA wrapper

The way to perform auto-enlisting of a JMS XA resource is to implement a wrapper class of type, javax.jms.ConnectionFactory. You can then implement this class, so that every time a new connection is created, the JMS XA resource is enlisted with the current transaction.
Apache ActiveMQ provides the following auto-enlisting wrapper classes:
A generic XA pooled connection factory that automatically enlists the XA resource for each transaction and pools JMS connections, sessions and message producers.
An XA pooled connection factory that works with the Geronimo transaction manager (Aries) and provides for proper recovery after a system or application failure.
To use the JcaPooledConnectionFactory wrapper class, create an instance that takes a reference to an XA connection factory instance (for example, ActiveMQXAConnectionFactory), provide a reference to the transaction manager (which is used to enlist the resource), and specify a unique name for this XA resource (needed to support XA recovery).
For example, the following example shows how you can use Blueprint XML to define an auto-enlisting JMS connection factory (with the bean ID, jmsXaPoolConnectionFactory):
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<blueprint xmlns=""
    <!-- access through JTA TransactionManager -->
    <reference id="osgiJtaTransactionManager"
    <!-- connection factory wrapper to support auto-enlisting of XA resource -->
    <bean id="jmsXaPoolConnectionFactory"
        <property name="name" value="MyXaResourceName" />
        <property name="maxConnections" value="1" />
        <property name="connectionFactory" ref="jmsXaConnectionFactory" />
        <property name="transactionManager" ref="osgiJtaTransactionManager" />
    <bean id="jmsXaConnectionFactory"
        <property name="brokerURL" value="vm:local"/>
        <property name="userName" value="UserName"/>
        <property name="password" value="Password"/>
        <property name="redeliveryPolicy">
            <bean class="org.apache.activemq.RedeliveryPolicy">
                <property name="maximumRedeliveries" value="0"/>