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How on Earth do I get started???!

Jack Conway
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 10, 2003
Posts: 30
Hello all.
A cry of desparation this. I'm an experienced Java developer, but I have never touched webservices.
To cut a long story short, I have to get a grip on webservices by the end of the week. No need to become an expert, but have a basic understanding, be able to demonstrate how to code a simple service and client, and to be able to explain the concepts to others.
I understand all of the fundamental concepts (to a reasonable degree), and I ought to be able to knock together a quick example myself by now.
The trouble is, I have now spent two completely unproductive days staring at endless meaningless config files. I've tweaked, fiddled and prodded and around 85% of the commands I type seem to give errors like:
BUILD FAILED : property BLLEK not set in $drib.properties
(this by the way is a silly example to explain my frustrations).
Can anyone advise me on the simplest place to start with a real, practical method of deploying my own code from scratch?
I also ought to say that despite claiming to be experienced with Java, I seem to have managed to avoid getting my hands dirty with ant until now, and I'm finding ant to be quite confusing. I assumed there would be some sort of generic build.xml file that I could use to build/deploy a webservice, but all of the examples I have seen have had a very different and very complex file for each and every example.
(ps - I thought the Sun tutorial was next to useless - it just leads you through the process of running their own ant tasks without giving any insight into writing your own).
I've also read the Richard Monson-Haefel book; it is very good but it admits it doesn't go into detail on the specifics of deployment.
ps - I'm also trying to remain vendor neutral; I should be using either the webservices pack or the J2EE RI. I tried Axis but after a day of incomprehensible error messages on installation I had to give up through lack of time (I have a feeling I should persist with Axis though??)
Sorry for the long ramble. It was more a case of getting it all of my chest, but if anyone could point me in the right direction I'd be very grateful.


Co-author, <a href="http://www.ariadnetraining.co.uk/books.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Java Programming and Enterprise Java</a> (free download)
Doshi Milan
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 29, 2001
Posts: 112
Hi,
I am not sure what is your platform but for basic understanding:
A very helpful link to start with Axis- Tomcat.
http://javaboutique.internet.com/tutorials/Axis2/
It also has its own code which you can download and deploy for quicker understanding.
I can give more suggestion but I am confused as to which is the platform that you want to work on.
Hope this helps,
Milan Doshi
[ April 06, 2004: Message edited by: Doshi Milan ]
Jack Conway
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 10, 2003
Posts: 30
Hi Doshi,
Thanks for the reply - I'm just reading the link now.
I'm running on Windows XP...
Thanks.
Jack Conway
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 10, 2003
Posts: 30
I have Axis running now, thanks. The problem was packages beginning in java.* and javax.* not being loaded from non-endorsed directories.
The fix was easy, but when I ran up against this problem earlier today, it was the final problem in a list of several hundred and I lost my temper and gave up on Axis completely!
I really should learn to calm down. I'm now going to give Axis a go and I'll probably base my demonstration around that. The books have given me enough information about what Axis is generating for us, so I think I have enough for the complete picture now.
Is Axis definitely the right way to go?
Doshi Milan
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 29, 2001
Posts: 112
Hi,
The other contendor for SOAP Stacks would be Systinet WASP.
Also Webmethods have come out with webmethods Glue. But Systinet is used by many developers.Systiner , however , is not free (apart from the trial version).
Thanks,
MIlan Doshi
Balaji Loganathan
author and deputy
Bartender

Joined: Jul 13, 2001
Posts: 3150
Originally posted by Jack Conway:
Is Axis definitely the right way to go?

Yes Axis is the best free tool to get started and can be used in production environment as well. The next comes IBM Websphere WSDK and Systinet WASP.
Systinet seems to support document/literal encoding better than Axis.Axis developer group is working hard to fully support "document/literal" encoding.
In future, if you face any problem on running the Axis, please post your problem here, we will try to help you if we can.
Regards
Balaji


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Jack Conway
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 10, 2003
Posts: 30
Hi all,
Thanks for your replies - I have been away for a couple of days so didn't get a chance to thank you before.
I've got a couple of extra days to prepare so I'm going to be working on it over the next couple of days.
The last thing on Wednesday night, I had still failed to get Axis running , even though the "happiness" page was just fine.
I'll have another go and tell you all what happened. I also may produce a "starter's guide to webservices" at the end of all this, so I'll be glad to publish this and get your comments.
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Originally posted by Jack Conway:
I also may produce a "starter's guide to webservices" at the end of all this, so I'll be glad to publish this and get your comments.

That would be nice


Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
Stas Sokolov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 13, 2004
Posts: 117

AXIS is pritty simple to run. You just need to go very carifully through
the installation instruction. I have tried several tools for WebServices
and found AXIS as better one. Why ?
- WASP has very specific deployment archive. At least I didn't understand
how to deploy WASP websevice insife WAR/EAR archive
- IBM WebSphere- specific deployment descriptor. WS will work only on the
WebSphere. At least I didn't understand how to run it on tomcat. Probably
there is no way. But on websphere all stuff work pritty well. And WS could be easyly accessed from .NET
- JWSDP - Not portable. It is own deployment descrtiptor. You could not
deploy this webservice on websphere. But what is good - mapping between complex java types performed automaticaly. I didn't managed to access this
WS from the .NET client.


Good luck for yourself.
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Originally posted by Stas Sakalou:
...I didn't managed to access this
WS from the .NET client.

Just wondering what was the cause for this/these interoperability problems? Did you write the WSDL by hand or let the tools generate it from existing Java code? What kind of datatypes/encoding you used?
Stas Sokolov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 13, 2004
Posts: 117

WSDL file was generated. JAX-RPC model was used
<soap:binding transport="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/http" style="rpc"/></binding>
Stas Sokolov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 13, 2004
Posts: 117

Only one complex type was used
<types>
<schema targetNamespace="" xmlns:tns="" xmlns:soap11-enc="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/encoding/" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:wsdl="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">
<import namespace="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/encoding/"/>
<complexType name="Packet">
<sequence>
<element name="client_id" type="string"/>
<element name="client_packet_id" type="string"/>
<element name="communication_cycle_number" type="int"/>
<element name="entity" type="string"/>
<element name="process_status" type="string"/>
<element name="request" type="string"/>
<element name="response" type="string"/>
<element name="service_id" type="string"/>
<element name="service_packet_id" type="string"/>
<element name="switch_id" type="string"/>
<element name="switch_operation_code" type="string"/>
<element name="switch_packet_id" type="string"/>
<element name="task" type="string"/>
</sequence></complexType></schema>
</types>
 
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