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From "Anne Thomas Manes" <>
Subject Re: WSDL2Java... Is all that REALLY necessary?
Date Sun, 03 Aug 2003 13:11:48 GMT
WSDL2Java... Is all that REALLY necessary?Wendy,

Yes, you can have Web services without RMI. If your applications wants to work with raw XML,
and not have Axis translate it for you, then you should use the MsgProvider (style="message").

Although you wouldn't be using the Axis serialization engine in this case, I still think that
Axis is a great solution, and I don't think it's overkill. The Axis engine implements the
SOAP processing model for you -- which means that you can ask Axis to manage security, logging,
auditing, compression, transformation, and all kinds of other functions for your application.
It also manages the lifecycle of your application agents (equivalent to what a servlet engine
does for your servlets). 

WSDL2Java and Java2WSDL are tools that work with the serialization engine. They autogenerate
the mappings between XML and Java. If you aren't using the serialization engine, you may not
need to use them, although most people prefer to use WSDL2Java to generate client interfaces.
The resulting client code autogens the SOAP envelope for you so you don't have to set all
the WSDL parameters manually (as you do with the call interface).

Some of the reasons why you had as much trouble as you did are:
1. Axis still has some bugs to work out regarding its support for doc/literal. If Java2WSDL
worked better, I think you would have found the entire process to be much easier.
2. The names for the four types of Axis services are very misleading and confusing (RPC, WRAPPED,

Let me now summarize these options for you
- produces a parameterized RMI interface 
- performs automatic serialization 
- uses RPC/encoded
- produces a parameterized RMI interface 
- performs automatic serialization 
- uses doc/literal
- produces a non-parameterized RMI interface (client must wrap parameters in a JavaBean)
- performs automatic serialization
- uses doc/literal
- uses a call interface passing XML
- applications must process XML
- uses doc/literal

As Dennis said, some of the commercial implementations (WASP and GLUE) provide more comprehensive
support for doc/literal. You might find one of these tools a little simpler to use when first
learning the technology.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Wendy Smoak 
  To: '' 
  Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 8:05 PM
  Subject: WSDL2Java... Is all that REALLY necessary?

  I'm looking at the stuff generated by WSDL2Java and wondering... Can't you have web services
without RMI?  I just want to receive a SOAP Message, and have the body of it passed to a method.
 The part where the XML gets turned into a Java object (wrapped) is nice, but not necessary.

  Perhaps Axis isn't overkill for me.  Just as I did not go with EJB's, but instead stuck
with Servlets & JSP and a simpler persistance layer, is there a simpler way to receive
and process SOAP messages?  Axis (Apache SOAP) is certainly what popped up on search after
search, so here I am, but maybe I should go elsewhere.

  Wendy Smoak 
  Applications Systems Analyst, Sr. 
  Arizona State University, PA, IRM 

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