I would like to know how Apache Axis fits into the points below. Any comparison with respect to Weblogic and WebSphere AE4.0 would also be useful.
1. Basic support in terms of SOAP/UDDI:
* Does the application server support any 3rd party SOAP server or does it have in-built support of SOAP?
* Does the application server have any private UDDI registry or, does the application server support building-up a private UDDI registry?
* Does the application server help the user to work with a UDDI registry for publishing, finding and binding a web service through some client-side UDDI API?
2. Web services runtime architecture within the Application server
* Give a comprehensive description about the Web Services runtime environment from a service requester to a service provider, i.e. how a request is actually being served by a particular service provider within the application server.
If you have info on any of the above, that would be fantastic! :-)
Apache Axis isn't an application server. It's what you would call a "3rd party SOAP server". You can use Axis to add SOAP support to most Java application servers. Axis is implemented as a servlet, and you deploy Axis within a servlet engine, such as Apache Tomcat, Jetty, IBM WebSphere, or BEA WebLogic. Axis does not include a private UDDI registry, nor does it provide an API or tools to help the user to work with UDDI. There is an "associated" open source UDDI client API called UDDI4J, which gives you a programmatic API for Java to access a UDDI registry. This API isn't comparable to the UDDI wizards and utilities that come with more comprehensive Web services platforms, such as those from BEA, IBM, Microsoft, Systinet, The Mind Electric, etc. This API also does not provide you with an administrative API, which is necessary to create taxonomies, manage security, etc.
Both BEA and IBM provide built-in support for SOAP within their application servers. IBM uses Axis as the built-in SOAP server for WebSphere. BEA has its own implementation. Both BEA and IBM provide a private UDDI registry implementation. BEA's implementation uses LDAP for its data store. IBM's implementation uses DB2. IBM provides a set of wizards and utilities that can automatically register services and service types for developers. I'm not familiar with BEA's UDDI tools, but I would assume that they provide comparable tools.
See the Apache Axis Architecture Guide for a comprehensive description of Axis architecture.
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