Smart Web services of the future will combine information on maps and users, and put the idea of geography and location back into the Net.
Speaking at iDevelop 2001 in Singapore, Tom Daly, staff engineer at Sun Microsystems Inc., said these Web services will be context aware, that is, they will be device and location-aware.
They will be part of the Web services wave, which will see applications talking to applications, instead of just people talking to businesses.
Daly defined a Web service as an application that exposes functionality over the Web, probably via XML (extensible markup language) and probably asynchronously. It can be combined as a component of another application or service.
Robert Cheng, senior product marketing analyst, Internet Platform at Oracle, said he sees businesses exposing parts of their applications -- for example, their enterprise resource planning, customer relationship planning or supply chain management applications -- as a value-added service to their customers.
He cited the example of Federal Express exposing functionality that enables their customers to query the delivery status of packages.
And one way to do this, without having to buy new servers or to install new systems, is through an integrated JDeveloper environment, which makes it easy to take existing Java code and make it deployable as a Web service, said Cheng.
Oracle JDeveloper is a J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) and XML development environment with support for developing, debugging, and deploying e-business applications and Web services.
Java application programming interfaces (API) which support the transition from Java-based applications to Web services include:
-- JAXB (Java architecture for XML Binding). Now available as an Early Access release, the architecture provides an API and tools that automate the mapping between XML documents and Java objects, creating XML messages out of existing Java classes for sharing, -- JAXP (Java API for XML Processing) enables applications to parse and transform XML documents independent of a particular XML processing implementation.
-- JAXR (Java API for XML Registries). This provides a uniform Java API for interacting with registries, for example, for conducting searches or for publishing information into the registries.
-- JAX-RPC (Java API for XML-based Remote Procedure Calls). This enables developers to incorporate synchronous messaging into their Web applications and services, in line with the SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) 1.1 specification. SOAP is an XML-based protocol for the exchange of information in a decentralized, distributed environment.
-- JAXM (Java API for XML Messaging). This supports asynchronous messaging, enabling applications to send and receive document-oriented XML messages. It implements SOAP with Attachments messaging so that developers can focus on building, sending, receiving, and decomposing messages for their applications instead of programming low level XML communications routines.