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Sybase EAServer 4.1 - Web Services Enabled, J2EE 1.3 Certified

Sybase EAServer 4.1 - Web Services Enabled, J2EE 1.3 Certified

When Sybase released EAServer 4.0, it provided most of the J2EE functionality for the 1.3 specification, as well as performance and usability enhancements. EAServer 4.1 is not only J2EE 1.3-certified, but it also includes the required technology for the next wave of e-business - Web services.

J2EE 1.3 Compatibility
There's a lot of talk about J2EE compatibility, but most folks have no idea what that means or what it takes. The Java arm of Sun created a series of tests called the Technology Core Platform Compatibility Kit (TCK). The TCK consists of a large number of tests (15,000+). These tests are developed to ensure that each area of the specification is implemented in a compliant way.

Why should you as a developer care? The biggest reason is that you can be sure that if you write a J2EE application, you can easily move it from one vendor's server to another, provided the vendor has passed the TCK. Remember the database wars? It was very difficult to move from one vendor to another because each one created their own set of functions and processes, even though they said they supported the current SQL standard. Since there was no test, Oracle and Sybase may each support the standard, yet still have proprietary functions. Since the TCK has been in existence, Sybase has been among the first vendors to pass and ship a compliant version of its application server.

Web Services Enabled
Web services has been described as the glue that binds many different platforms together with a common interface. That is, a .NET object can talk to an EJB object without any problems. This is because Web services provides a common interface and can be implemented using any language. The data is sent between the requestor and the receiver using XML.

Not to get into too much detail about Web services, but here are some basics. Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is used for exchanging data between the client and the service. Web Services Description Language (WSDL) describes what services are available and the method definitions within those services. WSDL supports ebXML registry features, which are similar to UDDIs. Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration has been organized as a type of directory lookup or yellow pages for Web services and is accessed via WSDL.

Now you're wondering, where does EAServer 4.1 fit into this architecture? With 4.1 we support Web services natively within the application server. The Web Services Toolkit generates a WSDL document and a client proxy. The WSDL document describes the EAServer component you want to make available as a Web service, as well as its location. Using the GUI, you can also publish the location of a WSDL document to a UDDI registry on the Web.

The Web Services Toolkit allows you to select a UDDI registry site and log in. After you log in, you can add business and service data to it. Once you've published information to the registry, each time you log in the information is retrieved and available for you to review, modify, or delete.

A business partner can use the client proxy generated by the Web Services Toolkit's SOAP Management feature to invoke a Web service without knowing how to write SOAP messages. The client proxy uses the WSDL document that describes your Web service/EAServer component. The client application can then use the Web service.

Sybase makes it easy for their customers to create and distribute Web services from within EAServer.

You're Ready for the Future
With the J2EE compatibility and the Web services integration within EAServer 4.1, you're positioned for the future. EAServer 4.1 can provide the integration between PowerBuilder, J2EE, and .NET. No other vendor can make that statement.

In the coming months look for more articles on secure enterprise Web services and other Web services-enabled products from Sybase.

More Stories By Scott McReynolds

Scott McReynolds is an OEM engineering manager at Sybase.

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