Update: This post has gotten a lot more attention than I expected and I just want to say to those reading: Thanks for stopping by!
On a recent project, my team evaluated several web frameworks for an upcoming web application. We chose The Play Framework. I was very attracted to its simplicity and the rapidity with which we could get things working. The Scala templates are also very powerful and much simpler (for me at least) than JSP templates. All in all it seemed like a match made in heaven. We were all really enjoying working with it. Unfortunately the honeymoon ended shortly thereafter.
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I’m not sure why I haven’t ventured into the realm of web services before this week. It probably has a lot to do with time (or lack thereof) and the type of projects I’ve worked on. But, I finally got my feet wet this week. My employer asked me to create a web service that publishes a service that we currently offer via a JSP web application. As I found out, the back-end logic is unnecessarily complex. To complicate matters the app is written using old-style JSP that is inundated with scriptlets and scattered across many smaller pages which are included based on if-then logic within the scriptlets. Yeah, it’s a mess. So, I read up on XML Schema and WSDL formats and created a WSDL. I know a lot of frameworks create the WSDL for you based on your objects, but I’ve heard that the WSDL-first approach is better for interoperability across platforms. I used Apache Axis as the WS framework because that’s what our project already used to consume web services, I just found out we’re switching from Tomcat to WebLogic and using the WebLogic web service framework. Nice. Good thing I used the WSDL-first approach. Should be a snap to convert. We’ll see.