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Saturday, 14 December 2013

Axis2 – Lifecycle of Web Service message

To understand Axis2 and what it does, you must have good idea of life cycle of Web services message.See the figure given below.


This image collected from official web site of Apache Axis2

The sending application create the original SOAP message, an XML message that consist of headers and a body.(Read SOAP tutorials).If the system requires the use of WS* recommendations such as WS-Addressing or WS-Security, the message may undergo additional processing before it leaves the sender. Once the message is ready, it is sent via a particular transport such as HTTP, JMS, and so on.

The message works its way over to the receiver, which takes in the message via the transport listener. (In other words, if the application doesn't have an HTTP listener running, it's not going to receive any HTTP messages.) Again, if the message is part of a system that requires the use of WS-Security or other recommendations, it may need additional processing for the purpose of checking credentials or decrypting sensitive information. Finally, a dispatcher determines the specific application (or other component, such as a Java method) for which the message was intended, and sends it to that component. That component is part of an overall application designed to work with the data being sent back and forth.

How Axis2 handles SOAP Messages

Axis2 can handle processing for both the sender and the receiver in a transaction. From the Axis2 perspective, the structure looks like the figure given below:

axis2 - soap

This image collected from official web site of Apache Axis2

On each end, you have an application designed to deal with the (sent or received) messages. In the middle, you have Axis2, or rather, you can have Axis2. The value of Web services is that the sender and receiver (each of which can be either the server or the client) don't even have to be on the same platform, much less running the same application. Assuming that Axis2 is running on both sides, the process looks like this:

  1. The sender creates the SOAP message.
  2. Axis handlers perform an necessary actions on that message such as encryption of WS-Security related messages.
  3. The transport sender sends the message.
  4. On the receiving end the transport listener detects the message.
  5. The transport listener passes the message on to an handlers on receiving side.
  6. Once the message has been processed in the pre-dispatch  phase, it is handled off to the dispatchers which pass it on to the appropriate application.

In Axis2, these actions are broken down into phases, with several pre-defined phases, such as the pre-dispatch, dispatch, and message processing being built into Axis2. Each phase is a collection of handlers. Axis2 enables you to control what handlers go into which phases, and the order in which the handlers are executed within the phases. You can also add your own phases and handlers.

Handlers come from modules that can be plugged into a running Axis2 system. These modules, such as Rampart, which provides an implementation of WS-Security, and Sandesha, which provides an implementation of WS-Reliable Messaging, are the main extensibility mechanisms in Axis2.

Annamalai Thangaraj

Annamalai is working as Technical Lead in Leading Telecom company with 5+ years experience in Identity and Access Management , Telecom and Networks, BigData, Java, Spring, Struts, Hibernate, AngularJS, and Enterprise Web Application Development.

Website: Java Tutorials Corner

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Item Reviewed: Axis2 – Lifecycle of Web Service message Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Annamalai Thangaraj