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From "David R. Kraus (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] Created: (AXIS2-3034) Axis2 Serialization problem with emptyset bitflag enums.
Date Mon, 30 Jul 2007 17:55:52 GMT
Axis2 Serialization problem with emptyset bitflag enums.

                 Key: AXIS2-3034
             Project: Axis 2.0 (Axis2)
          Issue Type: Bug
    Affects Versions: 1.2
            Reporter: David R. Kraus

I created a bitflag enum, where one value is associated with each bit of the enum, and multiple
values/bits can be set for the value of the enum (see dotnet generated WSDL below).  The DotNet
generated WSDL was taken and used to create Java serialization classes (wsdl2java).The problem
is that Axis2 can't handle the zero length string that is passed representing the empty set.
A bitflag enum can have more than one value, because each possible enum value is represented
by a bit. The problem occurs when none of the values is set, and a bitflag value of zero(0)
is serialized as "" (zero length string).

Enums are a tricky type since their representation as a numeric entity (bits) making them
a non-nullable type, although their value is transfered as a string with multiple concatenated
enum values.

There are two classes generated by wsdl2java to handle the bitflag enum at the server (eg.
EnumMWSSearchFlags, EnumMWSSearchFlags_type0). EnumMWSSearchFlags contains an array of EnumMWSearchFlags_type0,
each element of which can refer to a bit value.
Both dotnet and java clients serialize the empty set as a zero length string. This zero length
string is parsed, at the server, looking for individual enum values. Of course, none are found,
and when the zero length string is used in a table lookup for valid members of the enum (in
EnumMWSSearchFlags_type0) an IllegalArgumentException is generated. I have been able to get
this to work by commenting out the check for valid enum members being passed in (server side
only), but obviously this isn't the best way to do this (see specific commented out code below).

I have been able to workaround this on the server side by commenting out an exception (described
in email thread below), BUT the real problem now is that this only handles the case where
the enum is being passed into the service from the client. Patching the client side is not
an option (when empty enum is passed to the client from the service). We do not have a workaround
for this problem (client side can't be patched) and are near the end of our development cycle,
so we are very concerned!

If Axis2 serialization code interprets the empty bitflag as a zero length string when it serializes
it, then the receiving code should then be able to handle this zero length string. Right now
that is not happening correctly. I think this is a bug.

Thanks, Dave Kraus

Altered server side code - see comment:

                public static EnumMWSSearchFlags_type0 fromValue(java.lang.String value)
                      throws java.lang.IllegalArgumentException {
                    EnumMWSSearchFlags_type0 enumeration = (EnumMWSSearchFlags_type0)
                    //drk: Comment out so that bitflag enum can accept an emptyset enum
                   /*if (enumeration==null) throw new java.lang.IllegalArgumentException();*/

                    return enumeration;

WSDL representation of a bitflag enum:

      <s:simpleType name="EnumMWSSearchFlags">
            <s:restriction base="s:string">
              <s:enumeration value="MWSAbbreviationWildCard"/>
              <s:enumeration value="MWSDescriptionWildCard"/>
              <s:enumeration value="MWSFolderBrowseStyle"/>
              <s:enumeration value="MWSModificationTime"/>
              <s:enumeration value="MWSNameWildCard"/>
              <s:enumeration value="MWSRootRecursive"/>
              <s:enumeration value="MWSUsedByOneOf"/>
              <s:enumeration value="MWSUsedByRecursive"/>
              <s:enumeration value="MWSUsesOneOf"/>
              <s:enumeration value="MWSUsesRecursive"/>
              <s:enumeration value="MWSVisibleOnly"/>
              <s:enumeration value="MWSBrowseAsync"/>
              <s:enumeration value="MWSOwnedByCurrentUser"/>

WSDL representation of usage of the bitflag enum as a parameter showing minoccurs=1 because
it's a non-nullable type. So it really doesn't make sense to pass in a null instead of the

<s:element maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1" name="eFlags" type="tns:EnumMWSSearchFlags"/>

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