The Life Cycle of a Stateful Session Bean

The biggest difference between the stateful session bean and the other bean types is that stateful session beans don’t use instance pooling. Stateful session beans are dedicated to one client for their entire life, so there is no swapping or pooling of instances.[34] Instead of pooling instances, stateful session beans are simply evicted from memory to conserve resources. The EJB object remains connected to the client, but the bean instance is dereferenced and garbage collected during inactive periods. This means that a stateful bean must be passivated before it is evicted to preserve the conversational state of the instance, and it must be activated to restore the state when the EJB object becomes active again.

The bean’s perception of its life cycle depends on whether or not it implements a special interface called javax.ejb.SessionSynchronization. This interface defines an additional set of callback methods that notify the bean of its participation in transactions. A bean that implements SessionSynchronization can cache database data across several method calls before making an update. We have not discussed transactions in any detail yet, so we will not consider this view of the stateful session bean’s life cycle until Chapter 8. This section describes the life cycle of stateful session beans that do not implement the SessionSynchronization interface.

The life cycle of a stateful session bean has three states: Does Not Exist, Method-Ready, ...

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