Advice for jumping into Java Web Services?

So I’ve landed on a new project. We’ve been asked to port a well-studied
scientific algorithm into a Web Service, hoping to link the calculated
results into a networked client for visualization (likely Google Earth).

Now, porting the algorithm (from MATLAB) should be relatively
straightforward. What I’m unsure about is where to start building the Web
Service! I’ve previously just used ColdFusion for anything that needed to serve a
data feed (like sending RSS or feeding a Flash or Flex app), but the requirements from the
contracting agency really point to something more portable like Java, Python or Ruby. Since I’m most familiar with Java, and there have been a few articles here and there on Java Web Services, that seemed to be a likely path.

I’ve read about SOAP, REST, and XML-RPC, and the Apache Axis library. Then I found Axis2, and heard about CXF from a colleague. Can anyone
offer any advice as to where to start? Does anyone even build Web Services by hand anymore?

Oh, and Barry… I know I still owe you those 8 things you asked about.

3 thoughts on “Advice for jumping into Java Web Services?

  1. I asked one of my coleagues who had to do a similar thing as one of his first tasks when he joined the company.

    He used:

    - JWSDP (java web services developer pack) for all the heavy lifting. I think this /jar is already included in some app servers such as Sun App server (Glassfish) etc.
    - JAXB – to do all the marshalling / unmarshalling of the XML stuctures
    - a java servlet to invoke the serverside methods

    Were you wanting more than just an overview?


  2. Thanks Aran… that is the sort of sketch I’m looking for. I want to build a few "Hello World!" Web Services to get a handle on the various frameworks. I was really suprised that there were so many frameworks available. I’ll add this to the list!

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