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Tools for Creating Web Services in WebLogic

WebLogic Server 8.1 provides two separate tools for creating Web Services—each tool is aimed at a different type of developer.

Applications developers are defined as programmers who do most of their coding at the business-logic level and are not as interested in packaging and deployment issues. They would like to solve business problems effectively and quickly. Applications developers are expected to have thorough domain knowledge of the industry they work in. Their equivalents in the Microsoft world are Visual Basic programmers. They would use a tool such as WebLogic Workshop to create and deploy Web Services.

Enterprise developers are concerned with business problems, but are more interested in the architecture of applications, how components collaborate, and how to get the most out of the underlying plumbing. Enterprise developers are expected to have a thorough understanding of J2EE concepts and its various APIs. Their equivalents in the Microsoft world are Visual C++ programmers. These developers like to get their hands dirty with code. They would write some of the Web Services code by hand or use a source code–level tool. WebLogic provides several Ant tasks to generate some or most of the code and to help with the deployment of Web Services.

The WebLogic Workshop Tool

Application developers will appreciate the benefits that WebLogic Server offers. WebLogic Workshop is an IDE for creating, debugging, and deploying J2EE applications, including Web Services. WebLogic Workshop enables application developers to write business logic and not worry about the plumbing that makes Web Services work. These Web Services can utilize existing J2EE components, such as JDBC data sources and Enterprise JavaBeans, and can invoke other Web Services as well. The ability to concentrate on business logic enables application developers to build and debug complex Web Services efficiently and quickly.

Java Code and Ant Tasks

Enterprise developers will appreciate the flexibility in coding Web Services by hand and then using BEA-supplied Ant tasks to automate many tasks, such as creating Web Service deployment descriptors, creating Web Service client code, and creating serialization classes.

Ant is a build tool written in Java that can automate many tasks performed by Java developers, such as compiling, packaging, and deploying components and applications. Ant is very flexible and can be extended in many ways through custom Ant tasks. WebLogic Server 8.1 includes Ant right out of the box and provides BEA-specific Ant tasks to benefit WebLogic Server developers. For more information about Ant, please visit http://ant.apache.org/.

By catering to these two types of developers, WebLogic Server enables developers to collaborate more effectively in the design, implementation, and deployment of Web Services. Enterprise developers can potentially create J2EE components, such as Enterprise JavaBeans, that application developers can create Web Services from using WebLogic Workshop. In this way, both types of developers can work in an environment where they are most likely to succeed.

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