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From "Kraus, David" <>
Subject RE: Problem handing bitflag enums in Axis2 serialization.
Date Fri, 27 Jul 2007 18:02:16 GMT
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).


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).


So, 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.


Any comments, or should I write an issue?


Thanks, Dave



From: Kraus, David 
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 11:13 AM
Subject: Problem handing bitflag enums in Axis2 serialization.


System.flags is used in dotnet to identify 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 problem is, how do you specify the null set, and can Axis2 handle
such a case in serialization? 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- see
attached). 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, but obviously this isn't the best
way to do this (see specific commented out code below).


Shouldn't Axis2 generated serialization handle the special case where a
zero length string is passed in as the value of a bitflag enum??


Thanks, Dave Kraus


Altered code - see comment:


                public static EnumMWSSearchFlags_type0
fromValue(java.lang.String value)

                      throws java.lang.IllegalArgumentException {

                    EnumMWSSearchFlags_type0 enumeration =





                    //drk: Comment out so that bitflag enum can accept
an emptyset enum

                    /*if (enumeration==null) throw new

                    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.


<s:element maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1" name="eFlags"



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