Lately I’ve been playing with JAX-WS reference implementation (version EA3). JAX-WS is the next version of JAX-RPC (i.e., JAX-WS is renamed JAX-RPC 2.0) and it comes with many interesting features, including annotations, HTTP binding, MTOM, asynchronous client operation, direct access to XML stream (finally!) and others.

In this entry I will focus on annotations. Annotations allow developers to configure binding, handler chains, set names of portType, service and other WSDL parameters. This makes it possible to use “Java to WSDL” approach as the primary way for developing Web services (for the server side). Previously with JAX-RPC I was leery of this approach since it was not possible to “fine tune” generated WSDL file.

Annotations greatly simplify Web services development process. For the server side, JAX-WS only generates a wrapper class for the parameters of the service operation. If “bare” (“unwrapped”) mode is used, then no code is generated and so this step can be skipped completely (in other words, all annotations will be handled at run time). This makes it easy to do all development from IDE, for example in my case I deploy to Tomcat and I use Eclipse with Sysdeo plugin, and so I was able to change the code in my Web service class without having to restart the server.

Changing annotations themselves does require bouncing the server, but still there is no code generation involved and so there is no build file to run.

Note that code generation is still required for the client side unless dynamic API is used.

Finally, here is an example of a simple Web service that takes Person object and returns concatenated full name.

import javax.jws.WebService;
import javax.jws.soap.SOAPBinding;

    // Name maps to PortType in WSDL. Default is the name 
    // of the class which is not very intuitive
    name = "PersonService",
    // by default, the namespace is derived from the Java package 
    // name which is not always desirable
    targetNamespace = "",
    /* I use the "Endpoint" suffix as it is better convey the 
     * meaning of this parameter in WSDL and also since this 
     * will be the name of the "factory" class generated for the 
     * client side. The default is the name of the class + "Service"

 * Note that document/literal/wrapped is the default, but using  
 * "bare" as opposed to "wrapped" allows to avoid code generation.          
public class PersonServiceImpl {
    public java.lang.String produceFullName( Person person) {

        return person.getFirstName()+" "+person.getLastName();

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