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From Paul McMahan <>
Subject need help on Tomcat and EJB web services
Date Tue, 17 Apr 2007 15:02:22 GMT
Jarek and I have been struggling with an issue we encountered in  
Geronimo's TomcatEJBWebService that has to do with how EJB web  
services become URL addressable after they are deployed.   You can  
see the full discussion here:

In a nutshell, the basic problem is that when an HTTP client requests  
http://hostname/context Tomcat will automatically redirect the  
request to http://hostname/context/  (note the trailing slash).  This  
behavior is mandated by section 9.10 of the servlet 2.4 specification  
which says:
     "A request URI of /foo will be redirected to a URI of /foo/"

The reason this behavior causes a problem for our web services  
implementation is because when Geronimo's EJBWebServiceGBean deploys  
a web service it uses a context without the trailing slash, e.g. "/ 
JAXWSBeanService/JAXWSBean".  Then a web service client sends a POST  
request to that location, http://hostname/JAXWSBeanService/JAXWSBean,  
Since that URL corresponds to a context Tomcat responds with a  
redirect URL that appends the trailing slash.  Jarek has found that  
this redirect causes a problem for web service clients because they  
will respond to it with a GET instead of a POST, thus losing the  
original method and structure of the request by the time it reaches  
the web services container.

In case you're wondering, Jetty also exhibits this redirect behavior  
by default and Geronimo's JettyEJBWebService avoids it by overriding  
ContextHandler.handle().  But Tomcat implements this redirect  
behavior at the connector level and and I have not found any  
reasonable way to override it (maybe I am overlooking something).  It  
used to be configurable but that support was explicitly removed:

At this point we have identified the following options.  Any feedback  
you can provide would be very helpful.

1.)  Figure out some clever way to "outsmart" Tomcat and avoid the  
redirect behavior.  I haven't found any way to do this but maybe  
someone else has an idea.  Maybe this is not desirable since it  
arguably violates the servlet spec.
2.)  Ask Tomcat to reimplement the configuration option they removed  
in rev 298787 that would allow us to avoid the redirect behavior.   
Again, maybe not desirable since it arguably violates the servlet spec.
3.)  Redesign TomcatEJBWebService to deploy web services as servlets  
instead of contexts.  This would be a significant design change and  
would also be inconsistent with our current implementation in Jetty.
4.)  Expect web service clients to follow redirects more  
intelligently, i.e. respond to a redirect from a POST request with  
another POST instead of a GET.  IIUC this may cause problems with  
TCK? (Jarek can elaborate).
5.)  other ideas?

Best wishes,

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