Web Services - Apache Axis

Axis stands for Apache's EXtensible Interaction System. Axis is one of the most popular SOAP engine that is used to construct SOAP processor like gateways, clients, servers etc. The current version of Axis is written in java while the next client side version of Axis is being developed in C++. Axis supports to both Document-style
services and RPC, therefore it seems the right right way to develop a Document-style service. Axis includes a handy tool called WSDL2Java that handles the incoming XML data that comes along with the Document-style service.

Axis is not a stand alone SOAP engine but it also contains:

  • a simple stand-alone server.
  • a server that plugs into servlet engines as Tomcat.
  • support to the Web Service Description

Language (WSDL) extensively.

  • emitter tool to generate Java classes with the help of WSDL.
  • some programs just to have an idea
  • a tool that monitors TCP/IP packets.

While taking about the Apache's SOAP generation it is the third generation of Apache SOAP (started at IBM as "SOAP4J"). After that Apache developed an engine that was much more flexible, configurable and able to handle
both SOAP as well as the upcoming XML protocol specification from the W3C. After a little time, it rearchitectured and Axis now have the following key features:

  • Transport framework: It provides a simple abstraction to design transport (i.e. senders and listeners for SOAP over various protocols like message-oriented middleware, FTP, SMTP, etc), and core of the engine is entirely transportindependent.
  • Speed: Axis has greater speed as compared to the earlier versions of Apache SOAP. Axis achieves this speed by using SAX (event-based) parsing.
  • Stability: Axis introduces a set of published interfaces that enable the axis more stable than the rest of Axis as changes occurs relatively slowly.
  • Flexibility: The Axis architecture leaves the developer completely free to insert extensions into the engine to process the system management, custom headers, or anything else you can imagine.
  • WSDL support: Axis supports the Web Service Description Language, version 1.1. WSDL enables to the user to easily build stubs to access remote services. It also allows to the user to export machinereadable descriptions automatically of your deployed services from Axis.
  • Component-oriented deployment: It enables the user to define reusable networks of Handlers that process the common patterns for your applications, or to distribute to partners.
Now we think that you have better understanding about Axis. It is a better way of configuring a SOAP engine.

Feb 2008 | Java Jazz Up |36
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