A primary function of web services applications is to share data among applications over the Internet. The data shared can vary in format and include large binary payloads, such as documents, images, music files, and so on. When large binary objects are encoded into XML format for inclusion in SOAP messages, even larger files are produced. When a web service processes and transmits these large files over the network, the performance of the web service application and the network are negatively affected. In the worst case scenario the effects are as follows:
The performance of the web service application degrades to a point that it is no longer useful.
The network gets bogged down with more traffic than the allotted bandwidth can handle.
One way to deal with this problem is to encode the binary objects so as to optimize both the SOAP application processing time and the bandwidth required to transmit the SOAP message over the network. In short, XML needs to be optimized for web services. This is the exactly what the Message Optimization technology does. It ensures that web services messages are transmitted over the Internet in the most efficient manner.
Sun recommends that you use message optimization if your web service client or web service endpoint will be required to process binary encoded XML documents larger than 1KB.
For instructions on how to use the Message Optimization technology, see Chapter 5, Message Optimization.