J2EE provides a specification to standardize access to enterprise information systems (EIS): the JCA (Java Connector Architecture). This specification is divided into several different parts:
SPI (Service provider interfaces) that the connector provider must implement. These interfaces constitute a resource adapter which can be deployed on a J2EE application server. In such a scenario, the server manages connection pooling, transaction and security (managed mode). The application server is also responsible for managing the configuration, which is held outside the client application. A connector can be used without an application server as well; in this case, the application must configure it directly (non-managed mode).
CCI (Common Client Interface) that an application can use to interact with the connector and thus communicate with an EIS. An API for local transaction demarcation is provided as well.
The aim of the Spring CCI support is to provide classes to access a CCI connector in typical Spring style, leveraging the Spring Framework's general resource and transaction management facilities.
The client side of connectors doesn't alway use CCI. Some connectors expose their own APIs, only providing JCA resource adapter to use the system contracts of a J2EE container (connection pooling, global transactions, security). Spring does not offer special support for such connector-specific APIs.