I am designing a J2EE application that is made up of a number of separate components that each have a well-defined responsibility. Each component is made up of one or more J2EE components (web clients and EJBs). I want to design the application such that it is easy in the future to deploy each component (or a group of components) on different servers. In order to do this I need to make sure that the interfaces between each component are exposed as remote interfaces (but I will use local interfaces inside each component). However, there are a number of entity beans that need to be accessed by more than one component. I am wondering how best to expose these entity beans. I believe there are a number of options:
1. Expose remote interfaces on each of the shared entity beans. The disadvantage of this approach is that it is inefficient and that I will not be able to take advantage of container managed relationships. (I am intending to use container managed persistence.)
2. Create a facade object (stateful session bean) for each of the entity beans which exposes a remote interface and in turn accesses the shared entity beans locally. The disadvantage of this approach is that I have to create some extra EJBs and that I cannot directly make use of container managed relationships etc from the client component.
3. I don't know if this is an option but I am wondering whether I can deploy a copy of each shared entity bean with each application component. The advantage of this approach is that the component would access the entity locally and could make use of container managed relationships. However, I don't know what the issues are with having more than one instance (per primary-key) of an entity in the same application. I don't know whether this would cause errors of whether they would get out of sync (because different instances with the same primary key would be updated by different clients). Initially each component would be deployed in the same server but later they would be deployed in different servers. In both cases with this option each component (JAR) would have copies of the shared entity bean classes.
Any suggestions as to the best approach and whether the last option is feasible would be much appreciated.