Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Weblogic

Weblogic: Article

Effective EJB: Make EJBs Work For You

"Java Development is at a Crossroads."

Do Not Use Long Primary Keys
Designing entity beans with long primary keys results in performance degradation when the data in the underlying data store increases. Primary keys are used by the database for lookup. Database indexes make heavy use of primary keys to build hashes. Long primary keys will require more computations to hash and compare than shorter keys. Databases cache index fields to optimize performance on relational joins. Long primary keys tend to eat lot of space in the cache area, thereby opening the gates for a potentially thrashing situation.

However, how long is long? There is no bench mark for how long a primary key can be. This length depends on the volume of data anticipated in the target database table.

Some Guidelines for Effective EJB Performance Tuning
Your system needs some tuning irrespective of any good design, coding, and engineering practices adopted during development. This is particularly true of EJB-based systems as they are complex enough to warrant high testing. The following are some guidelines for performance tuning.

  • What is performance? Performance is the measure of an application's ability to live up to the expectations within the environmental constraints of an enterprise.
  • Performance tuning the software engineering way - know the limitations. Expecting throughput increase by a rate of 10X with only 32MB RAM and DEC PDP 11 machine is impossible.
  • Measure, don't guess! Define what is expected in absolute terms. Simply iterating that performance needs to be improved will not help. Come up with an absolute figure; for example, method mytrans() should complete in three seconds. Most times it is advisable for the end users to come up with some expected performance numbers.
  • Use the container. EJB containers are designed to provide a higher level of scalability through clustering, load balancing, and other means. It is important to learn the capabilities before you start tuning your performance.
  • Good coding is second to none. Use design patterns wherever and whenever applicable to enable a high level of maintainability. This will help by enabling easier tuning of applications.
  • Collect statistics. Before and after each step of tweaking and tuning, collect statistics. These numbers are invaluable to further planning. Compare the numbers, analyze the improvements achieved, and then plan forward if necessary.
  • Take one step at a time - Rome was not built in a day. Don't do everything at step 1. Go step by step and measure at the end of each step. This will help to isolate the performance bottleneck.
  • Know when to stop. Knowing when to stop is the key to tuning. Overtuning will have dire consequences. Well-documented performance criteria will help identify when to stop further turning.
  • Be among good workmen - choose your tool. Use tools to guide you through the tuning process. For example, JUnitPerf will help you find the response times in various scenarios. Profilers are great tools for isolating the problem areas.
  • Do not PLAN, do planning. Do not document a tuning master plan and stick to it. Performance tuning is an iterative and repeatable process. At the end of each step, measure and replan the process and define new horizons. Master plans are not practical for software turning.
Some Loose Ends
Using XML as a Silver Bullet
Filling JMS messages with XML in the name of flexibility and scalability is no panacea. Most designers/developers tend to overuse XML because it's new and hot. Overuse of XML when smart alternatives exist will severely impact application scalability.

XML is a great technology for bringing together heterogeneous environments, but it is best used judiciously. Bear in mind that XML brings in some costs too. Since XML is typeless (everything is a string), there is a type conversion and checking that need to be done. Also, parsing huge XML messages is a resource-consuming process. The overuse of XML is generally seen in JMS implementations. In this case, the MDB spends lot of time type checking and parsing the incoming XML message.

Do Not Think Too Much About Portability
One of the goals of EJB specification is to allow creation of portable components. However in reality, it is necessary to depend on extensions and enhancements that are provided by your container provider. For example, every vendor has his own proprietary deployment descriptor that allows for tuning the behavior of EJB instances. It is important to recognize that portability, though a desired feature, is not necessarily a requirement. Organizations seldom change application servers, and it is likely that you'll deploy your EJB in the same server. Thus it is advisable to take full advantage of additional features provided by your container provider.

Use Entity Beans Sparingly
As already discussed, entity beans do not naturally fit into the coarse-grained nature of distributed services. As such, they are very resource consuming and hard to change and maintain. The original goal of entity bean use is that we be able to deploy a domain model on Machine A and another domain model on Machine B, and they interoperate seamlessly through location transparency. This is seldom true because of the connecting glue called network. This resulted in developers trying to tweak the entity bean model only to make things worse.

As the lightweight container moment gains popularity, we have very good alternatives for providing transparent persistence. Hibernate, for example, comes from the open source world. It provides the transparent persistence services to POJOs. It is easily configurable and does not need a full-blown J2EE container. Sun has a new standard for transparent persistence through JDO. Although JDO is in its infancy and has not been fully embraced by J2EE vendors yet, it provides a lot of promise and is a fairly simple API.

Test, Test, and Test
Distributed components are long-term investments and they play a very vital role in a company's IT infrastructure. They are heavily used and a single failure can cause huge losses. Care must be taken to ensure that the middleware components perform very well in production. This can be ensured by rigorous testing in each phase of the development life cycle. EJB components need specialized testing as they live inside a managed environment (container). From the design to coding to integration and deployment, EJB components should be tested with all real-world use cases to ensure smoother production transition.

EJB 3.0 - The Road Ahead
The EJB architecture is probably the only J2EE component that has failed so miserably in delivering J2EE's promise of increased developer productivity thorough ease of development. EJB 3.0 makes another attempt at delivering that promise by reducing EJB's complexity for developers.

More Stories By Shankar Itchapurapu

Shankar Itchapurapu is a software engineer at Oracle in India. He holds a Master's degree in Computer Applications. You can e-mail Shankar at [email protected]

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
shankar 12/15/05 06:34:12 AM EST

test

shankar 12/15/05 06:34:01 AM EST

test

Java Developer's Journal News Desk 10/17/05 01:27:02 PM EDT

Effective EJB. Java development is at a crossroads. The open standards have done lot of good for the Java platform and language, but they have brought in some problems too. Developers are often drenched in the complexities that surround Java development. Worse yet, these complexities are so overwhelming that the actual business problems take a back seat.

@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...