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2 Questions for Ray Lai

 
Max Tomlinson
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Hi Ray-
1. As a relative newcomer to Web Services, I'm a little confused about which flavor of web services is the best to use: Sun's WSDP? WSIF?
Which version is the most open? And does it matter which platform one is developing on e.g. WebSphere? (OK, that's several questions)
2. Complex data types (marshalling Objects): what's the best way to deal with these? I know in the past this was an issue.
thank you,
Max Tomlinson
 
Ray Lai
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Originally posted by Max Tomlinson:
1. As a relative newcomer to Web Services, I'm a little confused about which flavor of web services is the best to use: Sun's WSDP? WSIF?
Which version is the most open? And does it matter which platform one is developing on e.g. WebSphere? (OK, that's several questions)

I think you're referring to which developer toolkit to build web services. Sunm's JWSDP is a toolkit to generate stubs, to provide additional JAX pack (e.g. JAXR for service registry, XWS security for message encryption) for productivity. Now that JAXP, SAAJ and JAX-RPC are part of J2EE 1.4, the value of JWSDP will be highly focused on the integration of XWS, JAXB, JSF and registry server with your J2EE apps server. It is also logical to infer that JWSDP features will be good candidates for the next version of J2EE.
WSIF from IBM (now donated to Apache) is another realm of tool on top of the developer productivity toolkit. It is WSDL-centric, and does not provide similar set of productivity functionality. I wouldn't categorize them into the same functional class.
The term "open" is always relative. Not every Apache projects are widely acceptable or successful. No matter it's JWSDP (e.g. XWS security) or WSIF, it's always a good practice to avoid vendor-specific extension, and use the common denominator, say, J2EE 1.4. There's always a risk of migration to J2EE standard. And it's not easy to bet on.

2. Complex data types (marshalling Objects): what's the best way to deal with these? I know in the past this was an issue.

There are at least 2 different schools of thoughts:
1. Always use simple data types. Do your conversion before exposing as a WSDL. This addresses the issue of .net vs J2EE web services.
However, with many web services management tools, you can actually use a .net adapter (web services proxy) to translate the data types from .net client to J2EE.
2. Write your own marshal/unmarshall serializer.
I haven't heard of any major issues between J2EE clients using complex data types. Experience suggests it's better to have your own serializer for performance consideration. It's a matter of overhead and one-off development effort.
Note: WSI basic profile intends to address the interoperability of web services invocation and message content compatibility. Which means the data type compatibility issue should be addressed. However, I still prefer your own marhsal/unmarshal serializer.
 
Max Tomlinson
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Ray-
Thanks very much for this detailed reply.
max
 
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