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Apache Axis vs. WebLogic

 
Greg Charles
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We have an application developed on BEA WebLogic 8. One of my coworkers recently got frustrated with the BEA implementaton of WebServices, so he started working with Apache Axis. I don't like the idea of using two competing technologies in one application, and I'm also not happy that he didn't discuss this with us before going off on his own. Still, I'd like to know people's opinion. Is it worth replacing the BEA implementation with Axis? If so, why?
 
Travis Hein
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I have never used weblogic, or its web services API, and don't want to start a this vs that battle.

I am an avid user of Axis, so can offer some of my experiences with it.

I guess a good thing about using Axis is it enables up your application for the possibility that you would ever want to run it on a non-weblogic platform. Being a community developed product,

Axis also has a good support base from its user community.
Axis 1.x is now pretty stable. Though their new axis2 is still fresh off the press and will likely go through a lot of growing.

Another thing I like about axis is its tool support. I have evolved a process where I write my Java interfaces that define signatures for methods in my services, and bean patterns for the message payload. Then I run the axis java2wsdl tool to make WSDL, then the wsdl2java to make all my implementing stubs and deployment code. When integrated with ant, it is a pretty fast turn around time to expose new functions in web services. It is as almost as easy as deploying EJB's from websphere studio IDE.
 
Peer Reynders
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Originally posted by Greg Charles:
We have an application developed on BEA WebLogic 8
Is it worth replacing the BEA implementation with Axis? If so, why?


I suspect that the real answer is to update to a newer WebLogic version. WebLogic 8 only implements the J2EE 1.3 spec. J2EE Web Services only really started gelling with J2EE 1.4.
Axis on the other hand isn't bound to any particular (J2EE) spec, they implement whatever they feel is the most useful to their particular userbase, which can make them look more up-to-date (it doesn't give you EJB endpoints should you want them).
 
Chris Stewart
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Very interesting. The group I'm in is currently looking into Java platforms and WebLogic seems to be the front runner, simply because our client is standard on it. Where are the real differences between BEA's implementation and the standard Java specification?
 
Peer Reynders
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Currently You need at least WebLogic 9.0 to get J2EE 1.4 compliance.
http://www.bea.com/framework.jsp?CNT=index.htm&FP=/content/products/weblogic/

I haven't looked into it in detail but at times they seem to take the liberty of renaming things.
Example:
J2EE 1.4 requires availability of a <service-ref> descriptor in the ejb-jar.xml and in the Servlet web.xml deployment descriptor files.
They named theirs <service-reference-description> in the weblogic.xml (their version of web.xml) and weblogic-ejb-jar.xml (their version of ejb-jar.xml).
http://e-docs.bea.com/wls/docs90/webapp/weblogic_xml.html#1071864
http://e-docs.bea.com/wls/docs90/ejb/DDreference-ejb-jar.html#1386194

See also WebLogic vs. Monson-Haefel
[ June 07, 2006: Message edited by: Peer Reynders ]
 
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