BTM configuration settings are stored in a Configuration object. It can be obtained by calling TransactionManagerServices.getConfiguration(). All settings are documented in the javadoc and you should refer to it to know what can be configured.


How to configure BTM

The Configuration object is implemented with sensible default settings. For a first time user, all default settings are good enough. After the initial testing phase, you might want to change some settings. This can be done in two ways: via a properties configuration file or by setting values directly on the Configuration object.

The properties configuration file

You can create a properties file in which you'll set some configuration settings. All the ones you omit will keep their default value.

The file can be stored anywhere on the file system in which case you need to set the system property to tell BTM where the file lies. This is generally done by adding a -D argument to the virtual machine's command line:

java MyClass

Another way is to call the properties file and store it at the root of your classpath.

The properties file is in the default format key=value. Ant-like references (${}) to other properties or to system properties (defined with -D on the command line) are supported.

Setting values directly on the Configuration object

You can call any setter you want on the object you get from the call to TransactionManagerServices.getConfiguration(). This is convenient if you do not want to use the properties file to configure BTM but want to leverage - for instance - Spring instead.

Configuration conf = TransactionManagerServices.getConfiguration();

Once BTM has started, any attempt to call a set method on the Configuration object will throw a IllegalStateException.

Since the Configuration object is a singleton, there is no need to pass it to any other object, BTM will pick it up at startup.

The Configuration object is dropped during BTM shutdown. You need to call all setters methods again before you restart the transaction manager. Keep this in mind if you plan to hot-redeploy your application in your application server.

Configurable settings

There are many different settings that are configurable in the transaction manager. Fortunately, all defaults settings are usually good enough to get started. You only need to tune them when required.

Transaction engine settings

These configurable properties are related to the transaction manager's core.

File property name

Configuration property name

Default value



The machine's IP address but that's unsafe for production usage

an ASCII ID that must uniquely identify this TM instance. It must not exceed 51 characters or it will be truncated.



Should two phase commit be executed asynchronously ? Asynchronous two phase commit will improve 2PC execution time when there are many resources enlisted in transactions but can be very CPU intensive when used on JDK 1.4 without the java.util.concurrent backport implementation available on the classpath. It also makes debugging more complex.



Should transactions executed without a single enlisted resource result in a warning or not ? Most of the time transactions executed with no enlisted resource reflect a bug or a mis-configuration somewhere.

Disk journal settings

These configurable properties are related to the disk journal used to record recovery information.

File property name

Configuration property name

Default value




Journal fragment file 1.



Journal fragment file 2.



Are logs forced to disk ? Do not set to false in production since without disk force, integrity is not guaranteed.



Are disk forces batched ? Disabling batching can seriously lower the transaction manager's throughput.



Maximum size in megabytes of the journal fragments. Larger logs allow transactions to stay longer in-doubt but the TM pauses longer when a fragment is full.



Should only mandatory logs be written ? Enabling this parameter lowers space usage of the fragments but makes debugging more complex.



Should corrupted transactions log entries be skipped ? Use only at last resort when all you have to recover is a pair of corrupted files.

Timers settings

The transaction manager heavily relies on timeouts. All of them can be configured.

File property name

Configuration property name

Default value




Default transaction timeout in seconds.



Default pause interval in seconds after a resource communication error has been detected in a transaction before retry.



Maximum amount of seconds the TM will wait for transactions to get done before aborting them at shutdown time.



Interval in minutes at which to run the recovery process in the background. Disabled when set to 0.

Resource Loader settings

The resource loader loads and configures XA resources using configuration stored in a properties file. See the ResourceLoader12 page for more details.

File property name

Configuration property name

Default value



none (optional)

ResourceLoader configuration file name.

Connection pools settings

JDBC and JMS connection pools configuration are discussed in details in the JDBC pools configuration and the JMS pools configuration pages. Alternatively you can use the ResourceLoader12 instead.