This is part of an entity bean's deployment descriptor, the abstract schema defines the bean's persistent fields and relationships. The term abstract distinguishes this schema from the physical schema of the underlying data store. In a relational database, for example, the physical schema is made up of structures such as tables and columns.
You specify the name of an abstract schema in the deployment descriptor. This name is referenced by queries written in the Enterprise JavaBeans Query Language (EJB QL). For an entity bean with container-managed persistence, you must define an EJB QL query for every finder method (except findByPrimaryKey). The EJB QL query determines the query that is executed by the EJB container when the finder method is invoked.