A couple of quick questions: 1) Given that directly accessing the underlying file system is not recommended by the EJB spec, one option would be to use JCA. I'm looking for other options that that I could implement that doesnt violate the EJB spec? 2) Finally, is it considered good or bad practice to use the java.io classes from a helper class of an EJB?
I suppose you have read this? Whether it's "good practice" to use java.io (directly or indirectly) from an EJB is up to you, and you alone. If you can live knowing that your application might not port too easily to another application server (some appservers' EJB compiler enforce this kind of restrictions, I've heard).