Open source SOAP stacks getting revamped

XFire, an open source SOAP stack used in SOA, is being fitted with enhancements for security, binary attachments, and XML object binding, the developer of the stack said at TheServerSide Java Symposium conference on Friday.

The technology is viewed as an alternative to Apache Axis, a new release that came out this week.

Specifically, Version 1.1 of XFire, due in approximately three to four weeks, will support the WS-Security specification; MTOM (Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism) for handling large, binary objects; and JiBX, for XML object binding, said Dan Diephouse, developer and president of Envoisolutions,.

XFire, written two years ago, provides for Java-based Web services development. It has featured high performance, ease of use and integration with the Spring framework, Diephouse said. Pluggable bindings also have been a key attraction, he added.

"You can use anything to convert XML to objects, whether it be Castor, XMLBeans or JAXB (Java Architecture for XML Binding)," Diephouse said.

A conference attendee and XFire user touted the binding feature.

"I like the fact that XFire supports making pluggable bindings," said Duc Trinh, systems architect at Wells Fargo. Users can replace bindings online, he said.

Although XFire will add WS-Security, Diephouse has issues with the specification. "It just doesn't scale," Trinh said.

XFire handles large object tree collections well, according to Diephouse. It doesn't support RPC encoding but uses document literal Web services, he said.

Apache, meanwhile, announced Axis2 0.95. New in this version are transport framework improvements.

Other features in Axis2 include Axiom, which is an XML object model, according to Apache. XML Infoset support is featured also.

REST (Representational State Transfer) is supported in Axis2 0.95, as well.

A WSDL code generation tool for stubs and skeletons is included, as is support for WS-Addressing and a WSS4J module for security. WSS4J is an Apache implementation of WS-Security.

Axis2 is an effort to re-implement Axis/Java and Axis/C++ on a new architecture, according to Apache.

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