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The Apache Incubator CXF team announced the availability of the 2.0.4 release

by Jean-Jacques Dubray on Jan 30, 2008 |

The Apache Incubator CXF team announced the availability of the 2.0.4 release. This is a patch release for the 2.0.3 version (over 50 JIRA items resolved). Dan Kulp from IONA has headed most of this release.

CXF is a fully featured Open Source Web Services Framework which supports:

  • Different bindings, including SOAP, REST, and CORBA.
  • WS-*, including WS-Addressing, WS-Security, WS-ReliableMessaging, and WS-Policy
  • RESTful Web Services
  • Multiple transports (HTTP, JMS, JBI)
  • Pluggable Data-bindings
  • Contract first development with WSDL and code first development starting from Java.

The key design considerations include:

  • Clean separation of front ends, like JAX-WS, from the core code.
  • Simplicity, with, for instance, the creation of clients and endpoints without annotations.
  • High Performance
  • Embeddable

Dan Diephouse explains:

CXF is the newer shinier version of XFire; it is version 2.0. CXF is the combination of the Celtix and XFire communities coming together at Apache.

When Tim O' Brien asked why someone would use XFire over Axis2, Dan replied:

My personal view is that in CXF there is a big focus on, as Paul [Brown] calls it, developer ergonomics. The API is pretty friendly. You can reconfigure CXF easily without mucking with XML. [CXF has much deeper Spring integration including support for Spring 2.0 XML syntax.] The APIs and Spring configuration mirror each other quite nicely, making it easier for individuals to understand. We’re also Java 5 based, which can make for a much friendlier experience.

For instance, CXF provides several ways to invoke services dynamically at runtime without generating a client from the WSDL. When you have a WSDL which defines a single operation "echo" which takes an input of a string and outputs a String. You could use the DynamicClientFactory for it like this:

DynamicClientFactory dcf = DynamicClientFactory.newInstance();
Client client = dcf.createClient(
"echo.wsdl");
Object
[] res = client.invoke("echo", "test echo");
System
.out.println("Echo response: " + res[0]);

Atif Khan who built a POX (Plain Old XML) service sample using JAX-WS Provider model and configuring it using Spring agrees:

[CXF] is very intuitive, simple to use and functional.

Glen Mazza published another sample using CXF that is getting PDFs from the National Weather Service using FOP.

InfoQ also asked Paul Brown'opinion who is using CXF with some customers:

CXF is an industrial strength Web Services framework. IONA has invested extensively in this project by providing a team of developers based in China. Overall CXF, as well as other frameworks such as Axis, have done a good job at driving down the transaction time to the bare minimum of overhead over the level of marshaling. 

People who tend to like CXF are building their own systems. CXF does a good job at packaging an embeddable web service component that can be added to Spring for instance. Axis provides more an end-to-end architecture.

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