Introducing the Context

A naming service associates names with objects. An association between a name and an object is called a binding, and a set of such bindings is called a context. A name in a context can be bound to another context that uses the same naming conventions; the bound context is called a subcontext. Using a filesystem as an analogy, a directory (such as /temp) is a context that contains bindings between filenames and objects that the system can use to manipulate the files (often called file handles). If a directory contains a binding for another directory (e.g., /temp/javax), the subdirectory is a subcontext.

JNDI represents a context in a naming system using the javax.naming.Context interface. This is the key interface for interacting with naming services. A Context knows about its set of bindings in the naming system, but little else. While you might be tempted to think of a Context as an exotic object, you should resist making that analogy, as it will just confuse you. Unlike a File object, which can tell you its absolute and relative names as well as return a reference to its parent, a Context object can tell you only about its bindings. A Context can’t go up a level, tell you its absolute pathname, or even tell you its own name. When you think of a Context, think of an object that encapsulates its children as data and has methods that perform operations on that data, not on the Context itself.

Using the InitialContext Class

The javax.naming.InitialContext ...

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