Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A book on JAX-WS in WildFly and more...

It was last winter when I was offered to author a book on the Web Services stack provided by JBossWS / Apache CXF in WildFly. I eventually took up the challenge and invested part my spare time on writing the book.
To be honest, what really inspired me was the chance of finally being able to write down from scratch how I believe a user should approach the Web Services world and move on from the theory to real world usage scenarios.
As a matter of fact, throughout the years I spent contributing and leading the JBossWS project, I've often had to deal with users picking up concepts and code snippets from books here and there and then asking why they were not achieving what they expected in JBoss AS / WildFly. This opportunity looked like a way to eventually say "look, if you really don't want to read and understand the project documentation, here is a book that likely has all you need and nothing more" ;-)
The goal was probably a bit too ambitious, nevertheless I believe the result of my effort is definitely good.
So, if you want to get your hands on my JAX-WS book, it's currently available in electronic edition at itBuzzpress.com and on Amazon. Printed edition coming soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How to kick start a WS project in few seconds

One of the goals I committed to when I joined the JBoss Web Services project back in 2007 was to improve the JBossWS tooling offer and possibly make the users' life easier when they have to deal with WS technologies.
Some of the solutions we developed in this area during the past years are now surpassed, others are still here and being used (as an example, think about the Wise project, which gets very limited attention from us due to lack of time, but currently powers the Web Service Tester within JBoss Tools, just to say).
In the last years Maven has been adopted as the de-facto standard solution for building projects; as a consequence, the JBossWS team made available a couple of Maven plugins for running its JAX-WS tools (wsconsume and wsprovide). As part of a customer project build it is hence possible to automatically generate a JAX-WS client or Service Endpoint Interface from a given WSDL contract and viceversa.
In February last year, with the aim of further clarifying how the plugins could be leveraged in final user projects, I wrote a post on the forum describing an example of the above mentioned Maven plugins.
The next step was to simplify the sample project creation and that's what has been eventually addressed. The JBossWS project now features a custom Maven Archetype, basically a WS-enabled project template toolkit.
Whenever a user needs to start a new project aiming at providing and/or consuming a JAX-WS endpoint, the new jaxws-codefirst archetype allows creating a starting project (including working build and sample helloworld client and endpoint) in few seconds. It's simply a matter of issuing a command and replying to simple questions on the desired artifact and group ids for the project being generated:

mvn archetype:generate -Dfilter=org.jboss.ws.plugins.archetypes:

The generated project includes:
  • a sample HelloWorld code-first POJO endpoint
  • an integration test that gets the WSDL contract for the above service, builds up a client and invokes the endpoint
  • a pom.xml for creating a war archive; the project has proper WS component dependencies and uses both wsprovide and wsconsume maven plugins for generating the contract for the code-first endpoint and then generating the client stubs for such contract
  • a plugin for deploying the archive on WildFly.
The project is built and tested by simply running:

mvn wildfly:deploy
mvn integration-test

The build processes the various plugins and calls into the JBossWS tools to generate all the required classes for building the deployment archive and client. The user can test the sample, have a look at the project structure and then either trash the sample endpoint and testcase and replace them with his own components, or modify them step-by-step to achieve what he needs. No need to start from scratch anymore :-)
A 1.0.0.Beta1 version of the archetype is currently available; it relies on JBossWS 4.2.3.Final and is out there for early testers. I've been fixing few bugs on it recently and the plan is to release a new version, based on JBossWS 5, together with the next release of the webservices stack. So give it a try and send us your feedback; we'll try to fix any issue before the release.

Friday, September 5, 2014

JBossWS 4.3.1.Final is available

While working on the JBossWS 5 major changes, the WS team has been fixing a bunch of bugs that were reported on the 4.3.0.Final release.
As it's now more then 5 months since last Final release, we've pushed a couple of Apache CXF upgrades (2.7.11 and 2.7.12) into the 4.3.x maintenance branch and released a new micro version, JBossWS 4.3.1.Final.

The binary and source distributions are available for download and the latest Maven artifacts have been added to the repository.
The supported target containers for this release are JBoss AS 7.2.0.Final, WildFly 8.0.0.Final and WildFly 8.1.0.Final.

Any feedback, just let us know :-)

WildFly 9 and JBossWS 5, the future is coming...

After few months of silence, here we are again with some webservices updates. We've been working on next major release of JBossWS the whole spring and summer and few days ago the first Beta of JBossWS 5 has been released to the Maven repository.
So, what's new and great with JBossWS 5 ? The release notes for the first beta can be found on Jira as usual, however let's go through the main changes and improvements.

Apache CXF 3

The most important component upgrade with JBossWS 5 is the move from Apache CXF 2.7.x series to the 3.0.x series, which also pulls updates to Apache WSS4J 2.0.x and Apache Santuario 2.0.x. Apache CXF 3 brings a bunch of new features. The most notable one is probably the addition of WS-Security streaming support: a new StAX based implementation of WS-Security is available as an alternative to the existing DOM based one; the streaming implementation ensures better performances when dealing with large SOAP messages, as less memory is consumed to parse the message headers and the stack can completely avoid the message conversion to DOM if there's no other reason for doing that.
Among the other improvements in Apache CXF 3, a more complete support of WS-RM 1.1 is provided and a new asynchronous http transport is available.

WSDL soap:address rewrite improvements

JBossWS features a mechanism for rewriting the soap:address element in the WSDL that's published for both code-first and contract-first endpoint deployments. This is commonly used to control the endpoint address that's advertised when the actual application server instances are running behind load balancer or proxy hosts. Multiple options are available to define how the address computed by the container has to be tweaked to be a valid address for the user actually invoking the endpoint from outside of the server network. With JBossWS 5, few additional options have been added, like endpoint path rewrite rules (supporting SED scripts) and an attribute to force the address scheme (http or https) regardless of the transport security setup of the server.
Speaking of published WSDL manipulation, system property expansion is now also supported.

Default CXF bus selection strategy change

The concept of Apache CXF bus selection strategy has been introduced in one of the previous posts. With JBossWS 5, the default strategy for JAX-WS clients running in-container (that is in WildFly, perhaps invoked by a EE component like a servlet, EJB3 bean or CDI bean) is now TCCL_BUS. The change is going to ensure better performances, reducing the number of Bus creations and the amount of memory used for them. The reason for such a change stands in the container basically defining a different classloader for each deployment, which is usually the proper level of isolation for JAX-WS client busses. The user can still configure the server to use the previous default behavior.

The new JBossWS 5.0.0.Beta1 components, including the new Apache component dependencies, have been pushed to the current WildFly master. That basically mean that the great upcoming WildFly 9 Beta release is going to ship with the latest webservices stack too. So either wait few days for the new container to be released or deploy the new stack from the tagged jbossws-cxf sources and get back to us with any feedback :-) Some notes on migration from previous versions of JBossWS are also being added here.
We do plan to reach 5.0.0.Final by the time WildFly 9 will reach Final too.