I'm using Axis on Tomcat. .Net front and Java back end. I expose several methods for .Net to invoke. I want to know the actual thing that is happening when the front gives a request to the server. Is it like when the client sends a request, the server queries the data and present the data in XML format and sends it back to client, and the client then extract the XML file and populate the value object. If it is like that, what if the response data is very large? Will the client crash if it receives such a large XML file and needs to process it all in memory?
You probably don't need to worry about the XML/SOAP overhead in terms of message size. A neat tool to see what is actually going over the wire is the TCPMon tool that comes with Axis. Basically, it's a desktop app that acts as an intermediary between the client and the server and lets you view the requests and responses as they happen. It's documentation is here. (It's written in Java, but it doesn't matter what language the client or the server are in.)