a flavour of web services

Fri, Jul 1, 2005

During the Guanxi SP development I did a bit of reading up on web services, as it’s a distributed application, with the Engine residing anywhere you want on the ‘net with Guards deployed and sanctioned by the Engine to protect resources in different domains. The security of such a setup is another matter but Guards are sanctioned via a handshake with the Engine when a Shibboleth session is initiated. If the Engine doesn’t match the Guard to correct metadata it will refuse to communicate further with the Guard and will disable it until it’s problem is sorted.

Anyway, to do all this takes web services and I got a taste of the web services on offer. Bit like cakes really.

We can combine the whole lot into one Servlet:

The Servlet’s init() method sets up the environment in which the service will work, the doPost method handles raw SOAP calls from, say, a SAAJ engine, the doGet method handles REST calls and finally, you can have a load of non servlet methods that you expose via JAX-RPC and Axis.

A simple example could be a Virtual File System’s facade. The Servlet could manage access to the filesystem. A desktop client could be developed to upload files using SAAJ/SOAP and attachments (handled by doPost). A user could just browse the filesystem through their browser (handled by doGet) and low level software agents could negotiate access and up/download files direct to the filesystem via the JAX-RPC methods. All three types of service interface have access to the same filesystem environment.

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