The client does not need to have a web container, though you will need to have the Axis jars in your classpath. What exactly do you mean by "sign the message"? Axis does not support WS-Security, although it does support SSL connections. If that's what you're trying to do, this article should get you started: http://www.informit.com/articles/article.asp?p=24604&rl=1
I was thinking that a server container was needed because of the clientsecuritydeploy.wsdd file provide by axis security sample.
I have to authenticate the sender of a message and the integrity of the message so I try to use apache axis with XML-security. On the server side, there is a handler wich intercept the message and verify the signature before executing the service.
I follow your link right now...
I got this tall by not having enough crisco in my diet as a kid. This ad looks like it had plenty of shortening: