Preloader image

Example alternate-descriptors can be browsed at

See the Alternate Descriptors page for the full details of how this feature works.

For our example we’ll use the standard "moviefun" code which contains a Movie entity and Movies session bean. To add a twist for testing and demonstrate alternate descriptors, we will create an interceptor that will be used only in our test cases.

To add this to our application, we simply need a test.ejb-jar.xml in the same location that the regular ejb-jar.xml would be expected.

That gives us the following files in our project:

  • src/main/resources/META-INF/ejb-jar.xml

  • src/main/resources/META-INF/persistence.xml

  • src/main/resources/META-INF/test.ejb-jar.xml

The test.ejb-jar.xml

The normal ejb-jar.xml simply contains <ejb-jar/>, however the test.ejb-jar.xml we add an extra interceptor:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<ejb-jar xmlns="">

The TestCase

To enable our test.ejb-jar.xml in the test case, we simply set the openejb.altdd.prefix property when creating the embedded EJBContainer

public class MoviesTest extends TestCase {
private Movies movies;
private UserTransaction userTransaction;
private EntityManager entityManager;
public void setUp() throws Exception {
    Properties p = new Properties();
    p.put("movieDatabase", "new://Resource?type=DataSource");
    p.put("movieDatabase.JdbcDriver", "org.hsqldb.jdbcDriver");
    p.put("movieDatabase.JdbcUrl", "jdbc:hsqldb:mem:moviedb");
p.put("openejb.altdd.prefix", "test");
    EJBContainer.createEJBContainer(p).getContext().bind("inject", this);
public void test() throws Exception {
try {
    entityManager.persist(new Movie("Quentin Tarantino", "Reservoir Dogs", 1992));
    entityManager.persist(new Movie("Joel Coen", "Fargo", 1996));
    entityManager.persist(new Movie("Joel Coen", "The Big Lebowski", 1998));
List<Movie> list = movies.getMovies();
assertEquals("List.size()", 3, list.size());
for (Movie movie : list) {
assertEquals("Movies.getMovies()", 0, movies.getMovies().size());
    } finally {
        try {
            fail("Transaction should have been rolled back");
        } catch (RollbackException e) {
            // Good, we don't want to clean up the db
public static class Interceptor {
private SessionContext sessionContext;
public Object invoke(InvocationContext context) throws Exception {
            return context.proceed();

As noted in the documentation, several prefixes can be used at once.


 T E S T S
Running org.superbiz.altdd.MoviesTest
Apache OpenEJB 4.0.0-beta-1    build: 20111002-04:06
INFO - openejb.home = /Users/dblevins/examples/alternate-descriptors
INFO - openejb.base = /Users/dblevins/examples/alternate-descriptors
INFO - Using 'javax.ejb.embeddable.EJBContainer=true'
INFO - Configuring Service(id=Default Security Service, type=SecurityService, provider-id=Default Security Service)
INFO - Configuring Service(id=Default Transaction Manager, type=TransactionManager, provider-id=Default Transaction Manager)
INFO - Configuring Service(id=movieDatabase, type=Resource, provider-id=Default JDBC Database)
INFO - Found EjbModule in classpath: /Users/dblevins/examples/alternate-descriptors/target/classes
INFO - Beginning load: /Users/dblevins/examples/alternate-descriptors/target/classes
INFO - AltDD ejb-jar.xml -> file:/Users/dblevins/examples/alternate-descriptors/target/classes/META-INF/test.ejb-jar.xml
INFO - Configuring enterprise application: /Users/dblevins/examples/alternate-descriptors
WARN - Method 'lookup' is not available for 'javax.annotation.Resource'. Probably using an older Runtime.
INFO - Configuring Service(id=Default Stateful Container, type=Container, provider-id=Default Stateful Container)
INFO - Auto-creating a container for bean Movies: Container(type=STATEFUL, id=Default Stateful Container)
INFO - Configuring Service(id=Default Managed Container, type=Container, provider-id=Default Managed Container)
INFO - Auto-creating a container for bean org.superbiz.altdd.MoviesTest: Container(type=MANAGED, id=Default Managed Container)
INFO - Configuring PersistenceUnit(name=movie-unit)
INFO - Auto-creating a Resource with id 'movieDatabaseNonJta' of type 'DataSource for 'movie-unit'.
INFO - Configuring Service(id=movieDatabaseNonJta, type=Resource, provider-id=movieDatabase)
INFO - Adjusting PersistenceUnit movie-unit <non-jta-data-source> to Resource ID 'movieDatabaseNonJta' from 'movieDatabaseUnmanaged'
INFO - Enterprise application "/Users/dblevins/examples/alternate-descriptors" loaded.
INFO - Assembling app: /Users/dblevins/examples/alternate-descriptors
INFO - PersistenceUnit(name=movie-unit, provider=org.apache.openjpa.persistence.PersistenceProviderImpl) - provider time 411ms
INFO - Jndi(name="java:global/alternate-descriptors/Movies!org.superbiz.altdd.Movies")
INFO - Jndi(name="java:global/alternate-descriptors/Movies")
INFO - Jndi(name="java:global/EjbModule1893321675/org.superbiz.altdd.MoviesTest!org.superbiz.altdd.MoviesTest")
INFO - Jndi(name="java:global/EjbModule1893321675/org.superbiz.altdd.MoviesTest")
INFO - Created Ejb(deployment-id=Movies, ejb-name=Movies, container=Default Stateful Container)
INFO - Created Ejb(deployment-id=org.superbiz.altdd.MoviesTest, ejb-name=org.superbiz.altdd.MoviesTest, container=Default Managed Container)
INFO - Started Ejb(deployment-id=Movies, ejb-name=Movies, container=Default Stateful Container)
INFO - Started Ejb(deployment-id=org.superbiz.altdd.MoviesTest, ejb-name=org.superbiz.altdd.MoviesTest, container=Default Managed Container)
INFO - Deployed Application(path=/Users/dblevins/examples/alternate-descriptors)
Tests run: 1, Failures: 0, Errors: 0, Skipped: 0, Time elapsed: 2.569 sec

Results :

Tests run: 1, Failures: 0, Errors: 0, Skipped: 0

Warning on Tooling

If you split your descriptors into separate directories, this support will not work. Specifically, this will not work:

  • src/main/resources/META-INF/ejb-jar.xml

  • src/main/resources/META-INF/persistence.xml

  • src/test/resources/META-INF/test.ejb-jar.xml

This support is not aware of any Maven, Gradle, Ant, IntelliJ, NetBeans, Eclipse or other settings.