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Creating a Simple Web Service and Client with JAX-RPC

This section shows how to build and deploy a simple Web service and client. A later section, Web Service Clients, provides examples of additional JAX-RPC clients that access the service. The source code for the service is in <INSTALL>/j2eetutorial14/examples/jaxrpc/helloservice/ and the client is in <INSTALL>/j2eetutorial14/examples/jaxrpc/staticstub/.

Figure 8-1 illustrates how JAX-RPC technology manages communication between a Web service and client.

Communication between a JAX-RPC Web service and a client

Figure 8-1 Communication Between a JAX-RPC Web Service and a Client

The starting point for developing a JAX-RPC Web service is the service endpoint interface. A service endpoint interface (SEI) is a Java interface that declares the methods that a client can invoke on the service.

You use the SEI, the wscompile tool, and two configuration files to generate the WSDL specification of the Web service and the stubs that connect a Web service client to the JAX-RPC runtime. For reference documentation on wscompile, see the Application Server man pages at

Together, the wscompile tool, the deploytool utility, and the Application Server provide the Application Server's implementation of JAX-RPC.

These are the basic steps for creating the Web service and client:

  1. Code the SEI and implementation class and interface configuration file.
  2. Compile the SEI and implementation class.
  3. Use wscompile to generate the files required to deploy the service.
  4. Use deploytool to package the files into a WAR file.
  5. Deploy the WAR file. The tie classes (which are used to communicate with clients) are generated by the Application Server during deployment.
  6. Code the client class and WSDL configuration file.
  7. Use wscompile to generate and compile the stub files.
  8. Compile the client class.
  9. Run the client.

The sections that follow cover these steps in greater detail.

Coding the Service Endpoint Interface and Implementation Class

In this example, the service endpoint interface declares a single method named sayHello. This method returns a string that is the concatenation of the string Hello with the method parameter.

A service endpoint interface must conform to a few rules:

In this example, the service endpoint interface is named HelloIF:

package helloservice;

import java.rmi.Remote;
import java.rmi.RemoteException;

public interface HelloIF extends Remote {
    public String sayHello(String s) throws RemoteException;

In addition to the interface, you'll need the class that implements the interface. In this example, the implementation class is called HelloImpl:

package helloservice;

public class HelloImpl implements HelloIF {

    public String message ="Hello";

    public String sayHello(String s) {
        return message + s;

Building the Service

To build MyHelloService, in a terminal window go to the <INSTALL>/j2eetutorial14/examples/jaxrpc/helloservice/ directory and type the following:

asant build 

The build task command executes these asant subtasks:

The compile-service Task

This asant task compiles and, writing the class files to the build subdirectory.

The generate-wsdl Task

The generate-wsdl task runs wscompile, which creates the WSDL and mapping files. The WSDL file describes the Web service and is used to generate the client stubs in Static Stub Client. The mapping file contains information that correlates the mapping between the Java interfaces and the WSDL definition. It is meant to be portable so that any J2EE-compliant deployment tool can use this information, along with the WSDL file and the Java interfaces, to generate stubs and ties for the deployed Web services.

The files created in this example are MyHelloService.wsdl and mapping.xml. The generate-wsdl task runs wscompile with the following arguments:

wscompile -define -mapping build/mapping.xml -d build -nd build 
-classpath build config-interface.xml 

The -classpath flag instructs wscompile to read the SEI in the build directory, and the -define flag instructs wscompile to create WSDL and mapping files. The -mapping flag specifies the mapping file name. The -d and -nd flags tell the tool to write class and WSDL files to the build subdirectory.

The wscompile tool reads an interface configuration file that specifies information about the SEI. In this example, the configuration file is named config-interface.xml and contains the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <interface name="helloservice.HelloIF"/>

This configuration file tells wscompile to create a WSDL file named MyHello
with the following information:

The packageName attribute instructs wscompile to put the service classes into the helloservice package.

Packaging and Deploying the Service

You can package and deploy the service using either deploytool or asant.

Packaging and Deploying the Service with deploytool

Behind the scenes, a JAX-RPC Web service is implemented as a servlet. Because a servlet is a Web component, you run the New Web Component wizard of the deploytool utility to package the service. During this process the wizard performs the following tasks:

To start the New Web Component wizard, select FileRight ArrowNewRight ArrowWeb Component. The wizard displays the following dialog boxes.

  1. Introduction dialog box
    1. Read the explanatory text for an overview of the wizard's features.
    2. Click Next.
  2. WAR File dialog box
    1. Select the button labeled Create New Stand-Alone WAR Module.
    2. In the WAR Location field, click Browse and navigate to <INSTALL>/j2eetutorial14/examples/jaxrpc/helloservice/.
    3. In the File Name field, enter MyHelloService.
    4. Click Create Module File.
    5. Click Edit Contents.
    6. In the tree under Available Files, locate the <INSTALL>/j2eetutorial14/examples/jaxrpc/helloservice/ directory.
    7. Select the build subdirectory.
    8. Click Add.
    9. Click OK.
    10. Click Next.
  3. Choose Component Type dialog box
    1. Select the Web Services Endpoint button.
    2. Click Next.
  4. Choose Service dialog box
    1. In the WSDL File combo box, select WEB-INF/wsdl/MyHelloService.wsdl.
    2. In the Mapping File combo box, select build/mapping.xml.
    3. Click Next.
  5. Component General Properties dialog box
    1. In the Service Endpoint Implementation combo box, select helloservice.HelloImpl.
    2. Click Next.
  6. Web Service Endpoint dialog box
    1. In the Service Endpoint Interface combo box, select helloservice.HelloIF.
    2. In the Namespace combo box, select urn:Foo.
    3. In the Local Part combo box, select HelloIFPort.
    4. The deploytool utility will enter a default Endpoint Address URI HelloImpl in this dialog. This endpoint address must be updated in the next section.
    5. Click Next.
    6. Click Finish.
Specifying the Endpoint Address

To access MyHelloService, the tutorial clients will specify this service endpoint address URI:


The /hello-jaxrpc string is the context root of the servlet that implements MyHelloService. The /hello string is the servlet alias. To specify the endpoint address, you set the context root and alias as follows:

  1. In deploytool, select MyHelloService in the tree.
  2. Select the General tab.
  3. In the Context Root field, enter /hello-jaxrpc.
  4. In the tree, select HelloImpl.
  5. Select the Aliases tab.
  6. In the Component Aliases table, add /hello.
  7. In the Endpoint tab, select hello for the Endpoint Address in the Sun-specific Settings frame.
  8. Select FileRight ArrowSave.
Deploying the Service

In deploytool, perform these steps:

  1. In the tree, select MyHelloService.
  2. Select ToolsRight ArrowDeploy.

You can view the WSDL file of the deployed service by requesting the URL http://localhost:8080/hello-jaxrpc/hello?WSDL in a Web browser. Now you are ready to create a client that accesses this service.

Packaging and Deploying the Service with asant

To package and deploy the helloservice example, follow these steps:

  1. In a terminal window, go to <INSTALL>/j2eetutorial14/examples/jaxrpc/helloservice/.
  2. Run asant create-war.
  3. Make sure the Application Server is started.
  4. Set your admin username and password in <INSTALL>/j2eetutorial14/examples/common/
  5. Run asant deploy-war.

You can view the WSDL file of the deployed service by requesting the URL http://localhost:8080/hello-jaxrpc/hello?WSDL in a Web browser. Now you are ready to create a client that accesses this service.

Undeploying the Service

At this point in the tutorial, do not undeploy the service. When you are finished with this example, you can undeploy the service by typing this command:

asant undeploy 

Static Stub Client

HelloClient is a stand-alone program that calls the sayHello method of the MyHelloService. It makes this call through a stub, a local object that acts as a proxy for the remote service. Because the stub is created by wscompile at development time (as opposed to runtime), it is usually called a static stub.

Coding the Static Stub Client

Before it can invoke the remote methods on the stub, the client performs these steps:

  1. Creates a Stub object:
  2. (Stub)(new MyHelloService_Impl().getHelloIFPort())

    The code in this method is implementation-specific because it relies on a MyHelloService_Impl object, which is not defined in the specifications. The MyHelloService_Impl class will be generated by wscompile in the following section.

  3. Sets the endpoint address that the stub uses to access the service:
  4. stub._setProperty
    (javax.xml.rpc.Stub.ENDPOINT_ADDRESS_PROPERTY, args[0]);

    At runtime, the endpoint address is passed to HelloClient in args[0] as a command-line parameter, which asant gets from the endpoint.address property in the file. This address must match the one you set for the service in Specifying the Endpoint Address.

  5. Casts stub to the service endpoint interface, HelloIF:
  6. HelloIF hello = (HelloIF)stub;

Here is the full source code listing for the file, which is located in the directory <INSTALL>/j2eetutorial14/examples/jaxrpc/staticstub/src/:

package staticstub;

import javax.xml.rpc.Stub;

public class HelloClient {

    private String endpointAddress;

    public static void main(String[] args) {

        System.out.println("Endpoint address = " + args[0]);
        try {
            Stub stub = createProxy();
            HelloIF hello = (HelloIF)stub;
        } catch (Exception ex) {

    private static Stub createProxy() {
        // Note: MyHelloService_Impl is implementation-specific.
        (Stub) (new MyHelloService_Impl().getHelloIFPort());

Building and Running the Static Stub Client

To build and package the client, go to the <INSTALL>/j2eetutorial14/examples/jaxrpc/staticstub/ directory and type the following:

asant build 

The build task invokes three asant subtasks:

The generate-stubs task runs the wscompile tool with the following arguments:

wscompile -gen:client -d build -classpath build config-wsdl.xml 

This wscompile command reads the MyHelloService.wsdl file that was generated in Building the Service. The command generates files based on the information in the WSDL file and the command-line flags.

The -gen:client flag instructs wscompile to generate the stubs, other runtime files such as serializers, and value types. The -d flag tells the tool to write the generated output to the build/staticstub subdirectory.

The wscompile tool reads a WSDL configuration file that specifies the location of the WSDL file. In this example, the configuration file is named config-wsdl.xml, and it contains the following:

  <wsdl location="http://localhost:8080/hello-
jaxrpc/hello?WSDL" packageName="staticstub"/>

The packageName attribute specifies the Java package for the generated stubs. Notice that the location of the WSDL file is specified as a URL. This causes the wscompile command to request the WSDL file from the Web service, and this means that the Web service must be correctly deployed and running in order for the command to succeed. If the Web service is not running or if the port at which the service is deployed is different from the port in the configuration file, the command will fail.

The compile-client task compiles src/ and writes the class file to the build subdirectory.

The package-client task packages the files created by the generate-stubs and compile-client tasks into the dist/client.jar file. Except for the HelloClient.class, all the files in client.jar were created by wscompile. Note that wscompile generated the HelloIF.class based on the information it read from the MyHelloService.wsdl file.

To run the client, type the following:

asant run 

This task invokes the Web service client, passing the string Duke for the Web service method parameter. When you run this task, you should get the following output:

Hello Duke! 
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