Definition

JAX-WS (Java API for XML Web Services)

Java API for XML Web Services (JAX-WS) is one of a set of Java technologies used to develop Web services. JAX-WS belongs to what Sun Microsystems calls the "core Web services" group. Like most of the core group, JAX-WS is typically used in conjunction with other technologies. Those other technologies may also come from the core Web services group (JAXB, for example), as well as from enhanced Web services (WSIT), secure Web services (WSIT, WS-Security), legacy Web services (JAX-RPC), and systems management services (WS-Management) groups.

JAX-WS is a fundamental technology for developing SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and RESTful (Web services that use representational state transfer, or REST, tools) Java Web services, where JAX-WS is designed to take the place of the JAVA-RPC (Remote Procedure Call) interface in Web services and Web-based applications. JAX-WS is also used to build Web services and corresponding clients that communicate using XML to send messages or use remote procedure calls to exchange data between client and service provider.

JAX-WS represents remote procedure calls or messages using XML-based protocols such as SOAP, but hides SOAP's innate complexity behind a Java-based API. Developers use this API to define methods, then code one or more classes to implement those methods and leave the communication details to the underlying JAX-WS API. Clients create a local proxy to represent a service, then invoke methods on the proxy. The JAX-WS runtime system converts API calls and matching replies to and from SOAP messages.

This was last updated in March 2008
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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