TOTD #144: CDI @Produces for container-managed @Resource

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Contexts & Dependency Injection (CDI) in Java EE 6 provides type-safe dependency injection. The type-safety part comes from the fact that no String-based identifiers are used for dependency injection. Instead CDI runtime uses the typing information that is already available in the Java object model.

Java EE 5 already had resource injection available in terms of PersistenceContext, PersistenceUnit, Resource, and others. But they require String-based identifiers to identify the resource to be injected. For example:

  • @PersistenceUnit(unitName="SOME_NAME")
  • @Resource(name="JNDI_NAME")
  • @WebServiceRefs(lookup="JNDI_NAME_OF_WEB_SERVICE_REF")

The main proposition of CDI is type-safety. This Tip Of The Day explains how @Produces annotation provided by CDI can be used to centralize all these String-based resource injection and add a facade of type-safety on them. Specifically, it shows how type-safety can be achieved for @PersistenceUnit. A similar approach can be taken for other String-based resource injections as well.

  1. Create a Singleton-scoped bean or Application-scoped bean as:
    import javax.inject.Singleton;
    public class ApplicationResources {

    All the Java EE component environment references can be centralized in this bean.

  2. If the PersistenceUnit is currently initialized as:
    @PersistenceUnit(unitName="StatesPU") EntityManagerFactory statesEMF;

    in other Java EE components, such as Servlet, then it can be alternatively defined in the type-safe manner using the following steps:

    1. Define a new Qualifier as:
      import static java.lang.annotation.ElementType.TYPE;
      import static java.lang.annotation.ElementType.FIELD;
      import static java.lang.annotation.ElementType.PARAMETER;
      import static java.lang.annotation.ElementType.METHOD;
      import static java.lang.annotation.RetentionPolicy.RUNTIME;
      import java.lang.annotation.Retention;
      import java.lang.annotation.Target;
      import javax.inject.Qualifier;
      public @interface StatesDatabase {

    2. Add the type-safe definition of "EntityManagerFactory" in "ApplicationResources" bean (defined above) as:
      @Produces @PersistenceUnit(unitName="StatesPU") @StatesDatabase EntityManagerFactory statesEMF;

    3. The "EntityManagerFactory" can now be injected in the Servlet in a type-safe manner as:
      @Inject @StatesDatabase EntityManagerFactory emf;

This procedure can be repeated for other String-based resources as well and thus centralize all of them at one place. And now your application becomes more type-safe! With this TOTD, you can use @Inject for injecting your container- and application-managed resources easily.

Read the latest documentation on Weld (Reference Implementation for CDI and included in GlassFish) for more details.

Technorati: totd cdi javaee6 glassfish weld produces typesafety

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Comments ( 4 )
  • DWuysan Monday, October 4, 2010

    Hi Arun,

    I tried your approach with @PersistenceContext and EntityManager and it failed.

    Is the TOTD only applicable to @PersistenceUnit? Is there any way to centralised @EntityManager injected in various EJBs?

  • Arun Gupta Tuesday, October 5, 2010


    Should work for both. What is the exact syntax you are using ?

  • DWuysan Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Hi Arun,

    I finally got it working with @PersistenceContext.

    As far as I can see, there are a number differences between your example and mine actually lies on the use of the producer method.

    Please refer to the post by John Ament <http://seamframework.org/Community/CDISpec351DeclaringAResourceDoesNotSeemToWorkInRI#comment114350>

    So, on the ApplicationResources.java will be as follows:



    public class ApplicationResources {

    @PersistenceContext(unitName = "mck-ejbPU")

    EntityManager em;



    public EntityManager produce() { return em; }


    If I use field producer (see below), it does not work:

    @Produces @PersistenceContext(unitName = "mck-ejbPU") @OnlineDatasource EntityManager em;

  • David Thursday, October 21, 2010

    DWuysan, I was able to run the sample without problems and field producer worked for me.

    Arun, I was wondering whether some NetBeans code wizards should utilize field producers but so far I do not see much benefit for user. If type safety is a concern then user could stick with EJBs and would get the same result simpler way, no? For example:


    public class ApplicationResources {

    private @PersistenceContext(unitName="StatesPU") EntityManager em;

    public EntityManager getStatesDatabase() {

    return em;



    and in order to use it you inject singleton bean:

    private @EJB ApplicationResources ar;

    and use it:


    Or is it a matter of finding more suitable case, for example a unit testing one where you want to inject different persistence context from unit tests?

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