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InfoQ Homepage News Java SOAP Framework XFire 1.2 Released

Java SOAP Framework XFire 1.2 Released

XFire, the high performance Java SOAP framework from Codehaus has released version 1.2, the last version before the 2.0 release which will be merged with ObjectWeb's Celtix project as a new Apache project called CeltiXfire.    XFire includes such features as Spring integration, JBI support, and pluggable bindings for POJOs, JAXB, and XMLBeans. Improvements since version 1.1:

  • JiBX databinding support
  • HTTP GZIP Support
  • WSDL2Java now auto generates services.xml
  • Aegis binding inheritance support
  • Option to disable server stub generation

InfoQ sat down with project committer Dan Diephouse to talk about the 1.2 release. In regards to the advantages of using XFire over other options like Axis, Diephouse responded:

The comment that I most often here is that XFire makes building web services easy. Things like our Spring integration makes XFire very straightforward to integrate into a lot of applications. XFire also has a very extensible and usable API, making it easy to embed, hack and reuse. Another big difference between XFire and others is the performance. If you're still using something like Axis 1.x, XFire can give you a 5x boost in performance.

Expanding on why XFire is faster:

XFire is based on StAX, which is the Java streaming XML API. Using this API we are able to parse the XML one chunk at a time. This is much faster and more memory efficient as we don't need to create a DOM for the XML.

As far as common use cases include:

XFire is most commonly used to build and consume web services. You may be trying to build a more service oriented architecture. XFire can help you build the services part by exposing services through WSDL & SOAP. Or you may be building services to do some cross language integration. Nearly very language speaks SOAP & WSDL. We have people doing integration with .NET, Python, Ruby, Perl, PHP, and more!

On XFire vs. Glassfish's JAX-WS implementation. Diephouse explained that XFire has a broader set of goals than Glassfish such as pluggable databindings and Spring integration out of the box.   

Going forward, XFire will merge with ObjectWeb's Celtix team as the projects goals were found to be very similar.  The new project will be hosted at Apache and is called CeltiXfire (CXF). "For the XFire community it can be thought of as XFire 2.0." CXF will include REST, WS-ReliableMessaging, and WS-Policy support.   Development on the project has already begun.

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