Typically, although not necessarily, JCA Connectors are plugged into a J2EE Container and invoked within the container environment, for example by EJBs or MDBs. Since JCA 1.5, the Connector is not only a passive, callable interface - it can also initiate communications with interested parties: Message Listeners. JCA 1.5 provides an enhanced communication model, where the EIS can initiate and control inbound communications, including security context and transaction propagation.He also points out where Spring can help create JCA resources:
Alternatively and increasingly important, JCA connectors are plugged into Enterprise Service Bus architectures, adding new Service End Points to the ESB infrastructure. Most ESB implementations have native support (Service Containers) for integrating (with) JCA Resource Adapters. Examples include ServiceMix, Mule, Tibco and others.
The Spring Framework, since release 1.2, provides support for out-of-container access to JCA connectors, or more specifically: CCI (common client interface) for a JAC Connector: "The aim of the Spring CCI support is to provide classes to access a CCI connector in typical Spring style, leveraging’s Spring general resource and transaction management facilities." ... The documentation includes an example of how to call upon the Sun BlackBox Resource Adapter to perform database operations.