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An Introduction to Web Services


Web services are becoming more and more popular. If you would like to learn what they are and how you can develop and deploy them, keep reading.

Author Info:
By: Mamun Zaman
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 19
May 30, 2007
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · An Introduction to Web Services
  2. · A closer look at SOAP, WSDL and UDDI
  3. · Web Services Development and Deployment
  4. · Getting to Work

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An Introduction to Web Services - Web Services Development and Deployment
(Page 3 of 4 )

In this section and the next we will discuss the development of web services using Apache AXIS and Java. First we need to prepare the deployment environment for our web services. We will use Tomcat as our application server.

Tomcat Installation: You can get the latest version of Tomcat from Apache web sites. I use Tomcat 6.x. The easiest way to install Tomcat in Windows is to download the .exe binary installer and run it. For installing Tomcat in Linux or Solaris I usually use the zipped binary version. I unzip this distribution in the /usr/local folder, and create a link file named tomcat for the unzipped folder.

To start and stop Tomcat we need to specify two shell variables, $JAVA_HOME and $TOMCAT_HOME. $JAVA_HOME is the location of JDK. And $TOMCAT_HOME is usually /usr/local/tomcat (If you create the link as specified before).

To start up Tomcat server use:

export JAVA_HOME=path_to_jdk
export TOMCAT_HOME=/usr/local/tomcat
$TOMCAT_HOME/bin/startup.sh

To stop Tomcat server use -

export JAVA_HOME=path_to_jdk
export TOMCAT_HOME=/usr/local/tomcat
$TOMCAT_HOME/bin/shutdown.sh

NOTE: You can save the JAVA_HOME and TOMCAT_HOME declarations in the .profile or .bash_profile file, whichever one is applicable.

AXIS Installation: Let me explain first what AXIS is for those who do not know. Apache AXIS is a SOAP engine. It is also a simple stand-alone server, can plug into servlet engines (like Tomcat), and supports WSDL. AXIS is a third generation of Apache SOAP. To install Apache AXIS with Tomcat, you just need to download the axis binary distribution from Apache web sites (http://www.apache.org/dyn/closer.cgi/ws/axis/1_4 ). Unzip it. Copy into Tomcat's webapps directory, and that's all you need to do!

Here in the above picture, you can see I just placed the axis folder (downloaded and unzipped) into the webapps directory of Tomcat. Tomcat will treat this as a web application. To access the AXIS home go to http://localhost:xxxx/axis, where xxxx is the port you used for Tomcat. To view all the deployed services click the List link as shown below.

List of deployed services -

AdminService is used for deploying and undeploying other services.

NOTE: Apache SOAP does not support WSDL. Apache AXIS does. We didn't know this when we developed our first web service.


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