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Earlier this week, Sun Microsystems officially released the newest version of its Java Web Services Developer Pack (JWSDP), a bundled download of the APIs necessary for building, testing, and deploying Java Web services. New to the release are the Java API for XML Registries (JAXR) and the Java API for XML Remote Procedure Call (JAX-RPC), both fresh from the Java Community Process (JCP).
All the APIs necessary for building and deploying Web services in Java will emerge from the JCP. Launched in December 1998 and revamped in 2000, the JCP is the process by which Java evolves and it will play a significant role in Java's future. However, many question the JCP's efficiency and capability in addressing Web services. Is the JCP adequately preparing Java for Web services? Perhaps a look at its recently released and forthcoming Web services APIs will give us the answer.
In April, the JCP released the final JAXR version, which gives developers an API for building Web services that interact with standard XML registry specifications, including the two dominant registries: Universal, Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) and ebXML. Regardless of whether a service has been published in a UDDI registry or an ebXML registry, with JAXR, a Web service can discover that service and publish its own services to either registry.
"JAXR is targeted to make life easier for the developer, which is true for all our APIs for XML," says Farrukh Najmi, JAXR specification lead and a Sun staff engineer. "And it starts by the mere fact that the programmer doesn't need to be an XML expert." The API hides certain details from the programmer, such as validating data, which JAXR automatically handles.
JAXR represents the most crucial API to Web services' adoption says Frank Sommers, JavaWorld's Web Services columnist, and founder and CEO of Autospaces. "It's like search engines," he says. "If people can't find your Webpage, it doesn't matter what it does, how you created it, or how one can interact with it—people just can't find it. Having searchable directories allows that discovery to happen, and JAXR lets a Java programmer programmatically interact with Web service registries."
Peter Kacandes, senior product manager for Java XML APIs in the Java software products division at Sun praises JAXR for helping developers work more efficiently. "You learn JAXR and now you have full access to the full range of both the ebXML standard and UDDI spec," he says. "With IBM's UDDI4J, for example, programmers have to learn the UDDI4J API, and when they want to use ebXML, they'd have to use some other specific API."
This ability to leverage multiple underlying standards with one API makes developers more efficient says Sun. JAX-RPC, just finalized in June, features similar capabilities. JAX-RPC allows developers to build Web applications that incorporate XML-based RPC (remote procedure call). The RPC mechanism lets a client communicate a remote procedure call to a server. JAX-RPC uses the Web services standards SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), WSDL (Web Services Description Language), and XML Schema, and defines how to develop and deploy portable and interoperable Web services with Java.