Munish Gogna has been a software developer since 2006. His languages and technologies include: Java, J2EE, SQL, Spring, Hibernate as well as basic shell scripting (Unix flavors). He is currently working at a swiss private bank in Singapore. Munish has posted 6 posts at DZone. View Full User Profile

Creating and Deploying JAX-WS web service on Tomcat 6

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Some years back I had to provide a wrapper around an EJB 3.0 remote service to come up with a simple web service project that would be deployed over Tomcat and accessed in a simple http way due to some accessibility issues. Now as I cannot reveal the actual requirement I implemented that time so here I am presenting a simple demo kind of service with following signature.

public AccountDetails getAccountDetails(String accountNo, SecurityToken token);

The service will return the account details of a particular account number, provided the token is valid (generated using some Security module of the application). In nutshell, the client will ask for a token from Security module and then invoke this method. The service will validate the token to see if the caller can invoke the method or not? In general you should use handlers (message interceptors that can be easily plugged in to the JAX-WS runtime to do additional processing of the inbound and outbound messages) to validate the stuff, freeing implementation class from that overhead, it is just an example exercise so our implementation class will check the security token also. Sounds good.. lets move ahead.

Libraries we are going to use include JAXB and JAX-WS, as both of them have sensible defaults, the number of annotations can be kept to the minimum. Also in my opinion, it is always best to develop WSDL and schemas by hand to ensure that the service contract is appropriately defined and also that the schema can be re-used (by other services) and extended if necessary. I do not prefer using annotations for automatically producing WSDL and schema at runtime so let's start with the definition, i am using inline schema as we have a very simple requirement here, though we should have schema definitions in separate xsd files.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<definitions name="AccountDetails"

<xsd:schema xmlns=""
elementFormDefault="qualified" targetNamespace="">

<element name="geAccountDetails_INTO" type="tns:GeAccountDetails_INTO" />
<element name="accountDetails_TO" type="tns:AccountDetails_TO" />
<element name="accountDetailsFault" type="tns:AccountDetailsFault" />
<element name="securityToken" type="tns:SecurityToken" />

<complexType name="GeAccountDetails_INTO">
<element name="accountNo" type="xsd:string" />

<complexType name="AccountDetails_TO">
<element name="accNo" type="xsd:string" />
<element name="accType" type="xsd:string" />
<element name="balance" type="xsd:decimal" />

<complexType name="SecurityToken">
<element name="token" type="xsd:string" />
<element name="validTill" type="xsd:date" />

<complexType name="AccountDetailsFault">
<element name="faultInfo" type="xsd:string" />
<element name="message" type="xsd:string" />


<!-- messages format -->
<message name="accountDetailsRequest">
<part name="parameters" element="tns:geAccountDetails_INTO" />
<part name="request_header" element="tns:securityToken"/>
<message name="accountDetailsResponse">
<part name="parameters" element="tns:accountDetails_TO" />
<message name="accountDetailsFault">
<part name="faultInfo" element="tns:accountDetailsFault" />

<!-- define getAccountDetails operation here -->
<portType name="AccountDetailsPortType">
<operation name="getAccountDetails">
<input message="tns:accountDetailsRequest" />
<output message="tns:accountDetailsResponse" />
<fault message="tns:accountDetailsFault" name="accountDetailsFault"/>

<!-- bind the operations -->
<binding name="AccountDetailsBinding" type="tns:AccountDetailsPortType">
<soap:binding transport="" style="document" />
<operation name="getAccountDetails">
<soap:operation soapAction="getAccountDetails" />
<soap:body use="literal" parts="parameters"/>
<soap:header use="literal" part="request_header" message="tns:accountDetailsRequest"></soap:header>
<soap:body use="literal" />
<fault name="accountDetailsFault">
<soap:fault name="accountDetailsFault" use="literal" />

<!-- name and location of the service -->
<service name="AccountDetailsService">
<port name="AccountDetailsPort" binding="tns:AccountDetailsBinding">
<soap:address location="http://localhost:8080/account/details" />

I am not going to explain the In and outs of this wsdl , in a nutshell it defines one operation 'getAccountDetails' which takes accountNo and returns back the account details like account type, balance etc. Please note that I have also added a security header token that will validate the caller (left to the implementation of the service).
Now as we are done with our wsdl and schema, let's generate the portable artifacts from our service definition. JAX-WS includes a tool that can do this for us, we will use this tool to generate portable artifacts like Service Endpoint Interface (SEI), Service and Exception classes.These artifacts can be packaged in a WAR file with the WSDL and schema documents along with the endpoint implementation to be deployed.

To generate the artifacts , we run following command:
wsimport C:\devel\workspace\webservice\WebContent\WEB-INF\wsdl\accounts.wsdl -p -keep -Xnocompile

This will create the following artifacts in package.

Now as we have got all the artifacts we are ready to implement our service, the interface we need to implement is AccountDetailsPortType , so let's do it.

Here is our dummy implementation class:
import java.math.BigDecimal;
import javax.jws.WebService;

@WebService(name = "AccountDetailsService",
portName = "AccountDetailsPort",
endpointInterface = "",
wsdlLocation = "WEB-INF/wsdl/accounts.wsdl",

public class AccountDetailsServiceImpl implements AccountDetailsPortType {
public AccountDetailsTO getAccountDetails(GeAccountDetailsINTO parameters,
SecurityToken requestHeader) throws AccountDetailsFault_Exception {
AccountDetailsTO detailsTO = new AccountDetailsTO();
// validate token
// populate response
detailsTO = getDetailsFromSomewhere (parameters.getAccountNo());
return detailsTO;

private AccountDetailsTO getDetailsFromSomewhere(String accountNo) throws AccountDetailsFault_Exception {
if(accountNo == null || accountNo.trim().length()==0){
AccountDetailsFault faultInfo = new AccountDetailsFault();
faultInfo.setFaultInfo("missing account number");
faultInfo.setMessage("account number is required field");
throw new AccountDetailsFault_Exception("account no missing", faultInfo);
AccountDetailsTO detailsTO = new AccountDetailsTO();
detailsTO.setBalance(new BigDecimal(10000));
return detailsTO;

private void validateToken(SecurityToken requestHeader) throws AccountDetailsFault_Exception {

if ("83711070".equals(requestHeader.getToken()) && requestHeader.getValidTill() != null){
System.out.println("token processed successfully...");
} else {
AccountDetailsFault faultInfo = new AccountDetailsFault();
faultInfo.setFaultInfo("Header token Invalid");
faultInfo.setMessage("can't help");
throw new AccountDetailsFault_Exception("invalid token", faultInfo);

This is just a dummy implementation for illustration purpose only. Now as our service implementation is done, we proceed to package this in a war and deploy it on tomcat.

Now we create a standard web.xml, which defines WSServletContextListener, WSServlet and structure of a web project.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
"-//Sun Microsystems, Inc.//DTD Web Application 2.3//EN"

Next we create a sun-jaxws.xml, defines the web service implementation class.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<endpoint name="AccountDetailsServiceEndPoint"
service ="{}AccountDetailsService"

This file is required regardless of whether we publish our web service on tomcat, glassfish or any other server. OK so far so good , let's build our application and deploy it on tomcat, here is the ant script.
<project name="webservice" basedir="../" default="deploy">

<!-- Project settings -->
<property name="project.distname" value="account" />
<!-- Local system paths -->
<property file="${basedir}/ant/" />
<property name="webroot.dir" value="${basedir}/WebContent" />
<property name="webinf.dir" value="${webroot.dir}/WEB-INF" />
<property name="build.dir" value="build" />

<path id="compile.classpath">
<!-- classpath for Jax WS related stuff -->
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/activation.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/jaxb-api.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/jaxb-impl.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/jaxp-api.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/jaxws-api.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/jaxws-rt.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/jsr173_api.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/jsr181_api.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/resolver.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/saaj-api.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/saaj-impl.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/sjsxp.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/stax-ex.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/lib/streambuffer.jar" />
<pathelement path="${webinf.dir}/classes" />
<pathelement path="${classpath.external}" />
<pathelement path="${classpath}" />

<!-- define your folder for deployment -->
<property name="deploy.dir" value="deploy" />
<!-- Local system paths -->
<property file="${basedir}/ant/" />
<property name="webroot.dir" value="${basedir}/WebContent" />
<property name="webinf.dir" value="${webroot.dir}/WEB-INF" />
<property name="build.dir" value="build" />
<!-- Check timestamp on files -->
<target name="prepare">
<tstamp />
<!-- Copy any resource or configuration files -->
<target name="resources">
<copy todir="${webinf.dir}/classes" includeEmptyDirs="no">
<fileset dir="JavaSource">
<include name="**/*.conf" />
<include name="**/*.properties" />
<include name="**/*.xml" />
<!-- Normal build of application -->
<target name="compile" depends="prepare,resources">
<javac srcdir="JavaSource" destdir="${webinf.dir}/classes">
<classpath refid="compile.classpath" />
<!-- Remove classes directory for clean build -->
<target name="clean" description="Prepare for clean build">
<delete dir="${webinf.dir}/classes" />
<mkdir dir="${webinf.dir}/classes" />
<!-- Build entire project -->
<target name="build" depends="prepare,compile" />
<target name="rebuild" depends="clean,prepare,compile" />
<!-- Create binary distribution -->
<target name="war" depends="build">
<mkdir dir="${build.dir}" />
<war basedir="${webroot.dir}" warfile="${build.dir}/${project.distname}.war" webxml="${webinf.dir}/web.xml">
<exclude name="WEB-INF/${build.dir}/**" />
<exclude name="WEB-INF/src/**" />
<exclude name="WEB-INF/web.xml" />
<!-- Create Client -->
<target name="jar">
<jar destfile="${build.dir}/${project.distname}_client.jar"
<!-- deploy on tomcat -->
<target name="deploy" depends="war,jar">
<delete file="${deploy.dir}/${project.distname}.war" />
<delete dir="${deploy.dir}/${project.distname}" />
<copy file="${build.dir}/${project.distname}.war" todir="${TOMCAT_HOME}\webapps" />

NOTE: jars in lib should be carefully chosen, otherwise it will make your life hell.

Now let's test the application, point your browser to http://localhost:8080/account/details , if you see something like this, it means you have successfully deployed the service.

Now let's test the service, we can use the client generated by the wsimport tool as :
public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
AccountDetails accountDetails = new AccountDetails();
AccountDetailsPortType port = accountDetails.getAccountDetailsPort();
AccountDetailsTO details = port.getAccountDetails(new GeAccountDetailsINTO(), new SecurityToken());

For those who want to invoke the service using soap stuff, they can use tool like soapUI (can be downloaded from, lets make some soap calls now:

case: invalid security header

case: valid security header

By default, Tomcat does not comes with any JAX-WS dependencies, So, you have to include it manually.
  • Go here
  • Download JAX-WS RI distribution, you will find the wsimport tool in lib directory.

Please note for running this project you can just skip this step as I have already done this step for you and included the required libraries in the lib folder of the project.

I have included eclipse project for this demo, please get it from resource section. To deploy just change to point to TOMCAT_HOME and run ant build.

Thats all for now ... Please provide your valuable comments or any suggestion and DON'T forget to vote :)

It's Munish Gogna signing off now :)
Article Resources: 
Published at DZone with permission of its author, Munish Gogna.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Josh Marotti replied on Wed, 2010/12/01 - 5:13pm

I see some overkill on this example... maybe it is the example itself?

First of all, JAX-WS isn't my choice for webservices if you want to do contract-first wsdls.  The power of JAX-WS is the autogeneration of the WSDL (btw - you can predict what the WSDL will look like through the code, so you can at least 'fake' contract-first wsdl creation).  By using JAX-WS to autogen your wsdl, you'd need an interface, an impl class, and during the build, everything with the WSDL would be generated with ws-gen.  That saves a ton of work right there.

Second, use a SOAPHandler to deal with security in the header.  That way you can separate the security from the business logic.

Third, use maven2 and spring3 (with jaxws-spring) to make life easier in general (especially the build script).


Munish Gogna replied on Wed, 2010/12/01 - 7:07pm in response to: Josh Marotti

Yes you are right, it is just an example and I am just a starter in this area. I followed this approach just to make things easy to understand for people like me :(, my future articles will be based on maven 2 only. Thanks for pointing out.

Munish Gogna replied on Wed, 2010/12/01 - 7:15pm

folks my next article will be based on Sphinx (free text search using Sphinx and Java), please let me know what ingredients you would like to have in that article? I plan to cover: 1. What is sphinx? 2. vs Lucene 3. Installing Sphinx 4. Using Sphinx in Java to handle free text search. 5. Working Code well that's all....

Munish Gogna replied on Thu, 2010/12/09 - 7:20pm in response to: Munish Gogna

My latest artilcle on usage of Sphinxsearch using java api -

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