Section 10.17. Implementing a Web Service Client

10.17. Implementing a Web Service Client

To implement a Web Service Client, we need to do the following:

  • Download the WSDL from http://localhost:8080/jbossatwork-ws/InventoryService?wsdl.

  • Generate Web Service proxy and custom data type objects by using the Axis WSDL2Java Ant task.

  • Write a Web Service client that uses the Axis-generated proxy and custom data type objects to call the Web Service.

After downloading the WSDL and saving it to client/InventoryService.wsdl under the ch10 project root directory, we use the Axis 1.1 WSDL2Java Ant task in the client build.xml file to generate our Web Service proxy objects and custom data types (Example 10-14).

Example 10-14. client/build.xml
     ...     <property name="axis.lib.dir" value="/Library/axis-1_1/lib"/>     ...     <path >         <fileset dir="${axis.lib.dir}">             <include name="**/*.jar"/>         </fileset>     </path>     ...     <target name="run-wsdl2java" description="Generates WS proxy code from WSDL">         <path >             <path ref/>         </path>         <taskdef name="wsdl2java"                  classname="">             <classpath ref/>         </taskdef>         <mkdir dir="${gen.source.dir}" />         <wsdl2java output="${gen.source.dir}"                    url="InventoryService.wsdl"                    verbose="true">             <mapping namespace="http://localhost:8080/jbossatwork-ws"                      package="com.jbossatwork.client"/>             <mapping namespace="http://localhost:8080/jbossatwork-ws/types"                      package="com.jbossatwork.client"/>         </wsdl2java>     </target> 

The <run-wsdl2java> target uses the Axis <wsdl2java> task to generate the Web Service proxy objects (InventoryServiceLocator, InventoryService, and InventoryEndpoint) and custom data types (CarDTOArray and CarDTO) for the client. The <mapping>elements map the namespace from the WSDL to our Java package namecom.jbossatwork.client. The namespace for each <mapping> element comes from the WSDL:

  • http://localhost:8080/jbossatwork-ws is the WSDL namespace for the proxy objects.

  • http://localhost:8080/jbossatwork-ws/types is the WSDL namespace for the custom data type objects.

The <mapping>elements coerce <wsdl2java> to generate the proxy and custom data type objects with a reasonable Java package name.

Download Axis 1.1 from, and add the Axis JAR files to your CLASSPATH by doing one of the following:

  • In the Ant build script above, set the axis.lib.dir property to your Axis 1.1 installation.

  • Copy the libsub-directory from your Axis 1.1 installation to /Library/axis-1_1/ (the axis.lib.dir property in the Ant build script currently points to /Library/axis-1_1/lib).

After generating the Web Service proxy and custom data type objects, we then compile and use them in our client, as Example 10-15 demonstrates.

Example 10-15.
 package com.jbossatwork.client; public class MyAxisClient {     public static void main(String [  ] args) {         try {             System.out.println("Finding InventoryService ...\n");             InventoryService service = new InventoryServiceLocator(  );             System.out.println("Getting InventoryEndpoint ...\n");             InventoryEndpoint endpoint = service.getInventoryEndpointPort(  );             System.out.println("Getting Cars ...");             CarDTOArray carDTOArray = endpoint.findAvailableCars(  );             CarDTO[  ] cars = carDTOArray.getCars(  );             for (int i = 0; i < cars.length; ++i) {                 System.out.println("Year = [" + cars[i].getModelYear(  ) +                            "], Make = [" + cars[i].getMake(  ) +                          "], Model = [" + cars[i].getModel(  ) + "], status = [" +                            cars[i].getStatus(  ) + "]");             }         } catch(Exception e) {             e.printStackTrace(  );         }     } } 

Axis does all the heavy lifting for us by encapsulating the low-level Web Service calls and custom data type serialization/deserialization. The proxy and custom data type objects generated by Axis are easy to use, so Web Service invocation looks just like calling a POJO. The Axis-generated code is elegant and looks natural to anyone accustomed to OO programming languages. The InventoryServiceLocator( ) constructor returns an InventoryService object that enables us to obtain an InventoryEndpoint, a remote handle for accessing the service. We then use the InventoryEndpoint object to access JAW Motors' car inventory by invoking our findAvailableCars( ) Web Service operation that returns a CarDTOArray. The CarDTOArray contains an array of CarDTO objects, so we call the CarDTOArray.getCars( ) method to extract the array of CarDTO objects. We finish by printing the contents of each CarDTO element in the array.

Hey! My Web Service Client Doesn't Work with Java 5!

Time and technology didn't stand still for us while we were writing this book. We tested our examples with J2SE 1.4, but some things have changed with Java 5 (also known as J2SE 5.0) and Axis. First, Java 5 is incompatible with Axis 1.1 (it doesn't understand enums), so you'll need to upgrade to Axis 1.2 or higher. Second, the <wsdl2java> task under Axis 1.2 works a bit differentlyit now optimizes away the CarDTOArray. The generated InventoryEndpoint'sfindAvailableCars( ) method now returns an array of CarDTO objectsCarDTO[ ]. Here are the relevant changes to MyAxisClient:

 public class MyAxisClient {     public static void main(String [  ] args) {         try {             ...             CarDTO[  ] cars = endpoint.findAvailableCars(  );             ...         } catch (...) {         }     } } 

We've left comments in the client/build.xml and files to help you upgrade to Java 5. Please note that the server side remains the samethe InventoryFacadeBean's findAvailableCars( ) method still returns a CarDTOArray for serializing the CarDTO array.

We've tested these changes, and they work properly with Java 5 and Axis 1.2.1 (available at

JBoss at Work. A Practical Guide
JBoss at Work: A Practical Guide
ISBN: 0596007345
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 197

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