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Interview: Arjen Poutsma on Spring Web Services

by Stefan Tilkov on Jan 31, 2007 |
The Spring framework is very popular among Java developers as a more lightweight alternative to "enterprise" frameworks. One of the newest additions is the Spring Web Services subproject, which according to the Web site "is focused on creating document-driven Web services [and] aims to facilitate contract-first SOAP service development, allowing for the creation of flexible web services using one of the many ways to manipulate XML payloads."

InfoQ's Stefan Tilkov had a chance to talk to Spring web services creator Arjen Poutsma about Web services in general and the Spring support in particular. Other topics covered include the reason for yet another WS framework, advantages of contract-first, document-driven Web services, JAX-WS, and REST.

Read the full interview.

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One more question by Ronald Miura

One more question for Arjen: When will Spring-WS have some decent documentation?

Re: One more question by Arjen Poutsma

One more question for Arjen: When will Spring-WS have some decent documentation?


I am biased, but I would say that the 37 pages of existing documentation are quite decent: it has a tutorial on how to create a good XSD schema and WSDL, it describes the Object/XML Mapping abstraction, and how to implement WS-Security in your web service.

I'll admit that there are two very important parts missing in the docs: the new client-side support, and the server-side implementation of the service. You can expect those chapters in the 1.0 release, due Q2 this year.

In the mean time, there are two sample applications which help you on your way. One is a simple echo sample, the other a complete airline application with a business layer, and DAOs using Hibernate.

Re: One more question by Martin Gilday

The docs are good until you get the the server implementation side (as you say). Pages such as this static.springframework.org/spring-ws/docs/1.0-m... being incomplete could put people off who are browsing the documentation and making a quick decision on whether to investigate it futher. It might be helpful to update these pages pointing out the existence of the samples.

Re: One more question by Arjen Poutsma

You're right, I have removed these "partially done" pages, because they're not much help. I will return them when finished, before 1.0.

Re: One more question by Ronald Miura

Soory if my comment have sound that bad, that was not the intention. You 'spring folks' are amazing, and I'm anxiously waiting for Spring WS to clear all this web services madness.

BUT, the documentation of the project isn't that good at all. I mean, it has some good material about contract-first ws, and some partial material about sort of 'advanced' features like mashalling and security, but has close to nothing about writing basic services using Spring WS. Not even a 'echo service' tutorial. I mean, saying 'it is similar to Spring MVC' doesn't count as documentation :)

You're right, I have removed these "partially done" pages, because they're not much help. I will return them when finished, before 1.0.


Now that is good news! Keep the good work, and good luck.

Spring-WS and JMS by Ganesh Prasad

Arjen,

You mentioned JMS support in Spring-WS, but I understand that the SOAP/JMS binding is not an industry standard yet. I need to run SOAP messages over a queue rather than HTTP. Is there a way to use Spring-WS with JMS in a way that is future-proof or "standards-ready"?

Regards

Re: Spring-WS and JMS by Arjen Poutsma

Well, there is this, but like you said it is still in progress. So that means it's pretty much impossible to do it "standards-ready".

The good news, however, is that the Spring-WS JMS support currently available in the sandbox uses a BytesMessage, just as the proposed standard does, so at least we're partially there :). The bad news is that most other stacks I've looked at use a TextMessage, so both the standard and Spring-WS are incompatible with it. The code will be moved out of the sandbox when we are compliant with the standard, or earlier when the spec takes too long to finalize.

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