SOAP and REST - both equally important to Sun

"Sun moving away from SOAP to embrace REST" is the misleading title of an article recently published in SD Times. The article provides a good introduction to JAX-RS and Jersey. But I really wonder what motivated the author of this article to use this title. This blog, hopefully, provides a better context.

Jersey is the Reference Implementation of Java API for RESTful Web Services (JAX-RS, JSR 311) and was released earlier this week. The headline indicates that Sun is leaving SOAP and will support REST. The debate between REST and SOAP is not new and there are religious camps on both sides (even within Sun). And that's completely understandable because each technology has its own merits and demerits. But just because a new JSR aimed to make RESTful Web services easy in the Java platform is released, it does not mean Sun Microsystems is leaving existing technology in trenches.

The addition of Jersey to Sun's software portfolio makes the Web services stack from GlassFish community a more compelling and comprehensive offering. This is in contrast  to "moving away" from SOAP as indicated by the title. As a matter of fact, Jersey will be included as part of Metro soon, the Web Services stack of GlassFish. And then you can use JAX-WS (or Metro) if you like to use SOAP or JAX-RS (or Jersey) if you prefer RESTful Web services. It's all about a offering choice to the community instead of showing a direction.

Here are some data points for JAX-WS:
  • The JAX-WS 2.0 specification was released on May 11, 2006. There have been couple of maintenance releases since then and another one brewing.
  • Parts of Metro, the implementation of JAX-WS, are currently baked into GlassFish, embeddable in JBoss WS Stack, and also part of Oracle Weblogic and IBM Websphere.
  • The implementation stack is mature and used in several key customer deployments. 
  • JAX-WS is already included in Java SE 6 and hence available to a much wider audience.
  • As opposed to "moving away", JAX-WS 2.2 (currently being worked upon) will be included in Java EE 6 platform, as will Jersey be.
So I believe both SOAP and REST are here to stay, at least in the near future. And Sun Microsystems is committed to support them!

You still think Sun is moving away from SOAP ?

It seems a personal preference is interpreted as Sun's disinvestment in SOAP. It's good to have increased readership but not at the cost of misleading headlines :)

Technorati: jax-ws rest webservices metro sdtimes glassfish

"...I really wonder what motivated the author of this article to use this title."

On most magazines and newspapers, including SDTimes, (I am a columnist for them), the author of the article does not write the headline. It's written by magazine staff.

A small point, but a common misperception.

Posted by Andrew Binstock on October 17, 2008 at 09:53 AM PDT #

Controversy sells :-( - eduard/o

Posted by Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart on October 17, 2008 at 09:57 AM PDT #

Andrew - thanks for the reminder! - eduard/o

Posted by Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart on October 17, 2008 at 09:59 AM PDT #

Really nice summary Arun - and good to hear Jersey will make it into Metro for .NET interoperability.

Posted by Daniel Coward on October 17, 2008 at 10:20 AM PDT #

Arun ,

Does Jax-ws 2.0 support wsdl 2.0 and soap 1.2 spec ?

Posted by Ashok on October 19, 2008 at 09:52 PM PDT #


SOAP 1.2 yes, WSDL 2.0 No. AIU no customers have been asking for WSDL 2.0 yet. Are you aware of any strong usecases ?

Posted by Arun Gupta on October 19, 2008 at 10:43 PM PDT #

Arun , we had use case wher our customer asked a support for wsdl 2.0 . On evaluating java frame works found the Apache Axis2 folks are supporting it.

Just wanna know whether Jax-ws supports it or not.

If i'm correct wsdl 2.0 supports rest style invocation too rite?

Posted by Ashok on October 20, 2008 at 04:27 PM PDT #

Ashok, JAX-WS does not support WSDL 2.0 and yes WSDL 2.0 do support REST style description as well.

Posted by Arun Gupta on October 24, 2008 at 08:35 AM PDT #

bilgilendirme için çok teşekkürler başarılar diliyorum

Posted by çiçekçi on January 15, 2009 at 09:05 PM PST #

Does Jax-ws support wsdl2.0?

Posted by Aslam on May 10, 2012 at 11:42 PM PDT #

Nope, JAX-WS does not support WSDL 2.0.

Posted by Arun Gupta on May 15, 2012 at 10:17 AM PDT #

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.

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