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JAX-RPC overview

JAX-RPC is for Web services interoperability across heterogeneous platforms and languages. This makes JAX-RPC a key technology for Web services integration.

You can use the standard JAX-RPC programming model to develop Web service clients and endpoints based on SOAP. A Web service endpoint is described using a Web Services Description Language (WSDL) document. JAX-RPC enables JAX-RPC clients to invoke Web services developed across heterogeneous platforms. In a similar manner, JAX-RPC Web service endpoints can be invoked by heterogeneous clients. JAX-RPC requires SOAP and WSDL standards for this cross-platform interoperability.

JAX-RPC provides an easy way to develop programming model for development of SOAP based Web services. You can use the RPC programming model to develop Web service clients and endpoints. For typical scenarios, you are not exposed to the complexity of the underlying runtime mechanisms (for example, SOAP protocol level mechanisms, marshalling and unmarshalling). A JAX-RPC runtime system (a library) abstracts these runtime mechanisms for the Web services programming model. This simplifies Web service development.

JAX-RPC provides support for WSDL-to-Java and Java-to-WSDL mapping as part of the development of Web service clients and endpoints. In a typical development environment, tools provide these mapping functionality. This further simplifies the application development.

JAX-RPC enables a Web service endpoint to be developed using either a Java Servlet or Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) component model. A Web service endpoint is deployed on either the Web container or EJB container based on the corresponding component model. These endpoints are described using a WSDL document. This WSDL document can be published in public or private registry, though this is not required. A client uses this WSDL document and invokes the Web service endpoint. A JAX-RPC client can use stubs-based, dynamic proxy or dynamic invocation interface (DII) programming models to invoke a heterogeneous Web service endpoint.

JAX-RPC requires SOAP over HTTP for interoperability. JAX-RPC provides support for SOAP message processing model through the SOAP message handler functionality. This enables developers to build SOAP specific extensions to support security, logging and any other facility based on the SOAP messaging. JAX-RPC uses SAAJ API for SOAP message handlers. SAAJ provides a standard Java API for constructing and manipulating SOAP messages with attachments.

JAX-RPC provides support for document-based messaging. Using JAX-RPC, any MIME-encoded content can be carried as part of a SOAP message with attachments. This enables exchange of XML documents, images and other MIME types across Web services.

JAX-RPC supports HTTP level session management and SSL based security mechanisms. This enables you to develop secure Web services. More advanced SOAP message-level security will be addressed in the evolution of JAX-RPC technology.

For typical Web service scenarios, using JAX-RPC reduces complexity for developers by:

  • Standardizing the creation of SOAP requests and responses
  • Standardizing marshalling and unmarshalling of parameters and other runtime and deployment-specific details
  • Removing these SOAP creation and marshalling/unmarshalling tasks from a developer's responsibilities by providing these functions in a library or a tool
  • Providing standardized support for different mapping scenarios, including XML to Java, Java to XML, WSDL-to-Java, and Java-to-WSDL mappings

JAX-RPC also defines standard mappings between WSDL/XML and Java, which enables it to support a rich type set. However, developers may use types that do not have standard type mappings. JAX-RPC defines a set of APIs for an extensible type mapping framework that developers can use for types with no standard type mappings. With these APIs, it is possible to develop and implement pluggable serializers and de-serializers for an extensible mapping.

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