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How can I facilitate data exchange with JBoss?

I am using JBoss 3.0.1 at my job for a J2EE EJB application. I need to allow other non-Java departmental apps to access my EJBs and I would like to provide access to session facade EJBs via Web services and allow other departments to exchange data with my EJB via XML documents "over the wire". Is there any example of this kind of integration using JBoss??? The following are a list of unknowns:

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1) How do we create the Web service touch-points (client, and server)?
2) How would the Web service be packaged and deployed on JBoss?
3) What config changes are required for JBoss 3.0.1?

Any help is always appreciated...

Current Web services technologies and tools are typically structured around the SOAP-over-HTTP protocol pairing. This makes a convenient form of data communication, since HTTP is so prevalent. Apache SOAP, Axis and Sun's Web Services Developer Pack are some of the more popular packages for implementing and consuming Web services using Java.

Integrating a Web services solution with any Java-based application server is mainly an exercise involved with accepting HTTP requests that contain SOAP messages, parsing the SOAP envelopes, dispatching the requests and formulating the responses as a SOAP envelopes to be returned to the callers. Java servlets are the most convenient Java-based components for handling HTTP requests and responses, so most Java-based SOAP toolkits revolve around servlets.

Axis is one of the easier environments to install and use. It is almost as simple as downloading the software, creating a J2EE Web application in the standard manner (.ear file, .war file, WEB-INF directory, etc.) and dropping a Java class into a pre-determined directory. Detailed installation instructions can be found at:
http://cvs.apache.org/viewcvs.cgi/~checkout~/xml-axis/java/docs/install.html

Once you have structured your Web application, you can begin dropping classes into the pre-determined directory to receive requests, then you can pass the requests to any Java component you wish, including EJBs.

On the client side, you need to provide an application, applet, Web form, etc. that can produce SOAP requests most of the packages mentioned above provide tools for building client-side components. A number of companies including Systinet, Cape Clear, Zareus, etc. offer value-add services on top of just receiving requests and formulating SOAP responses. Depending on your needs, it should pay to check these out as well.


This was first published in September 2002

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