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Sun Leads Even in the Web Services Tool Category

  • February 25, 2005
  • By Sujata De
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Web services represent a new architectural paradigm for software applications. To utilize the Web services technology to the hilt, Web services should be developed from all various kinds of software components on various technologies, languages, and platforms. This is the reason why different kinds of software featured among the finalists when Developer.com held its annual contest for Web Service (or Related Tool) of the Year 2005.

This article will discuss each of the finalist products in Developer.com—Web Service of the Year 2005's contest. I will also try to find whether this selection shows any emerging trend about the software industry.

Developer.com—Web Service of the Year 2005: The Finalists

The various finalists of the Web Service of the Year 2005 contest are (in alphabetical order):

  1. Apache Axis
  2. Java Web Service Developer Pack
  3. Microsoft® MapPoint® Web Service
  4. NuSOAP
  5. ParaSoft SOAPtestTM

1. Apache Axis

Apache Axis is a widely popular implementation of the SOAP submission to W3C. Axis is essentially a SOAP engine—a framework for constructing SOAP processors such as clients, servers, gateways, and so forth. The current version of Axis is written in Java, but a C++ implementation of the client side of Axis is being developed.


Axis is an open source project. It is available at Apache Axis.

Features of Axis 1.2

  • A simple stand-alone server
  • SOAP engine
  • A server that plugs into servlet engines such as Tomcat
  • Extensive support for the Web Service Description Language (WSDL)
  • Emitter tooling that generates Java classes from WSDL
  • A tool for monitoring TCP/IP packets
  • Documentation and sample programs

Reasons for selection

  • Speed
  • Flexibility
  • Stability
  • Component-oriented deployment
  • Transport framework


Both source code and binaries can be downloaded from Axis Releases.

2. Java Web Service Developer Pack

Java WSDP is a free, integrated toolkit developers can use to build, test, and deploy XML applications; and Web services and Web applications with the latest technologies and standards implementations. Java WSDP gives developers the ability to begin designing to the latest specifications and profiles from standards bodies and industry consortia, such as W3C, OASIS and WS-I, even prior to the support becoming available in commercial Sun products.

With the newest release (1.5) now available, developers will be able to create XML and Web services-enabled applications that are secure, interoperable, and portable across different platforms and devices. This release contains some exciting Web services security features; with support for securing JAX-RPC applications, security operations now can be configured either at the level of a WSDL service, port, or operation. Java WSDP has been tested on the Sun Java System Application Server, Sun Java System Web Server and Tomcat, and on Windows, Linux, and Solaris platforms.


Sun Microsystems

Features of Java WSDP 1.5

  • XML and Web Services Security v1.0
  • XML Digital Signatures v1.0 EA2
  • Sun Java Streaming XML Parser v1.0 EA
  • Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB) v1.0.4
  • Java API for XML Processing (JAXP) v1.2.6_01
  • Java API for XML Registries (JAXR) v1.0.7
  • Java API for XML-based RPC (JAX-RPC) v1.1.2_01
  • SOAP with Attachments API for Java (SAAJ) v1.2.1_01
  • JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library (JSTL) v1.1.1_01
  • Java WSDP Registry Server v1.0_08
  • Ant Build Tool 1.6.2
  • WS-I Attachments Sample Application 1.0 EA3

Reasons for selection

  • Complete collection of tools for Java developers
  • Easy to use
  • Variety of implementations
  • Stress on security
  • Documentation and sample programs


Java Technology and Web Services Download

3. Microsoft® MapPoint® Web Service

The MapPoint Web Service is a programmable Web service hosted by Microsoft and used by enterprises and independent software developers to integrate location-based services, such as maps, driving directions and proximity searches, into software applications, and business processes. The MapPoint Web Service also provides an extensive set of mapping-related content such as business listings and points of interest (POI) that can be used within applications. MapPoint Web Service does not require large financial investments or a high-level of expertise in geographic information system (GIS) technologies, which have been traditional barriers associated with developing LBS applications.



Features of MapPoint® 3.5

  • Finding addresses
  • Finding non-addressable places
  • Reverse geocoding
  • Customizing locations
  • Routing
  • Map rendering

Reasons for selection

  • Provides powerful mapping capabilities for integrating locations into business solutions.
  • Delivers a cost-effective investment by removing the IT management burden.
  • Enables developers with common developer tools and builds upon a standards-based programming model.
  • Delivers a service-level commitment with at least 99.9% uptime and guaranteed response time of less than one second per map (as measured inside Microsoft's data center).


MapPoint Web Service Download


NuSOAP is a group of PHP classes that allows developers to create and consume SOAP web services. It does not require any special PHP extensions, which makes it usable by all PHP developers, regardless of ISP, server, or platform.


NuSOAP is an open source project provided by NuSphere and Dietrich Ayala.


  • Support for WSDL 1.1
  • SSL support
  • HTTP proxy support
  • SOAP 1.1 support
  • Support for document/literal and rpc/encoded services

Reasons for selection

  • Stability
  • Ease of use
  • Flexibility


Both source code and binaries can be downloaded from SourceForge.

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