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From Jim Murphy <>
Subject Re: n00b seeking advice
Date Wed, 22 Sep 2004 15:23:41 GMT

What fantastic questions - let me say that I believe you are starting 
from the right point of view here!  Many folks start with a particular 
toolkit, Axis say, and immediately start hacking together a service.  In 
parallel they build a client either for real or for test.  This gets 
them moving with web services and can even get them to deployment 
without considering any of the questions you asked!

The trouble is they have never considered whether the type contract that 
was implicit and generated from their java based objects is appropriate 
for other consumers.

Why I like your questions and the way you posed it:

1.  It assumes you care about the WSDL.  This is the essential type 
contract of your service and your primary mechanism for destroying any 
chance of interop.

2.  You are exposing an enormous tooling hole in the industry - WSDL 
editors.  There are some out there but IMO they aren't great.  Many 
folks who do "WSDL First" style dev use Java/C# initially to write a 
class to run through a Java2WSDL generator sort of thing.  Then they 
take that output into their editor from there on.  If you know 
Axis/.NET well enough you can tweak the WSDL generator's config to make 
it sing and dance but those techniques are magic today and NOT well 
documented or at least they're not widely known/practiced.

3.  You are actually interested in interop from the start.  If you will 
only ever do Java-Java use RMI already!  What are you doing with a SOAP 

4.  You are exposing a long unanswered question:  "How should I approach 
all these issues this with Axis?"  The axis user and dev lists as well 
as the wiki are filling with best practices but they are somewhat 
scattered.  I'd love to see (and even help) with a cookbook that will 
get people started with a recommended approach to building well 
designed, (versionable?) and interoperable web services.

Your message is the straw that broke my camel's back.  Web services are 
suffering from a lack of cons ice answers to these questions and that 
threatens their adoption rate.  I'm committed to helping answer these 
problems with you if you're willing to continue a public discussion.

Kind regards

Jim Murphy
Mindreef, Inc.

Larry Meadors wrote:

> OK, I am trying to decide how to implement a webservice, and have a few
> questions.
> I have implemented one from a wsdl that was given to me, so I am OK with
> doing that...but now, I need to do another from scratch.
> I know I can use java2wsdl to create the wsdl once I create the
> interface that I want to publish. I am assuming that doing that is a
> reasonable way to I right? (That is the first question.)
> Next, I am trying to decide if I should use List or array types for
> methods that return multiple objects. If it were just Java, that would
> be a no-brainer, I'd use a List, but this is new for me, so what is the
> more common approach? (Second question!)
> Finally, what is the best way to go if I want to make it as compatible
> with everything as possible?
> That's it...unless anyone wants to provide any other advice.
> Thanks!
> Larry

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