By George Lawton, TSS Interop Blog Correspondent
SAN FRANCISCO - At the JavaOne Conference, Harold Carr, Lead Architect and Arun Gupta, Evangelist at Sun, gave a presentation showing how easy it was to integrate .NET 3.0 and Sun Glassfish applications using Web Services Interoperability Technology, code named Tango. They said that that these services are now baked into the new open source Glassfish application server, which can be downloaded off the Sun Website. The Tango features not only allow integration, but they enable transactions processing, which is secure, reliable, and trust based.
In the presentation, Carr and Gupta gave a demonstration of how it was possible to use a Microsoft Excel application as a client to post data to a back end server with which a legacy client running on Unix could interact.
Carr said that before the implementation of WSIT, these kinds of features were somewhat limited. The basic Java APIs for XML Web Services (JAX-WS) is specific to HTTP. Glassfish introduces Meta-Data Exchange (MEX), which enables Java and Windows server applications to communicate via multiple channels, such as InfiniBand within the data center.
The WSIT capabilities introduce support for a variety of Web service protocols for improving the integration of applications across the Windows and Java server platforms. WSIT actually consists of a number of Web specifications including WS-Reliable Messaging, WS-Secure, and WS-Trust.
Carr said that before WS-RM, the way to ensure reliability was using the capabilities of the underlying TCP/IP infrastructure. This limited the kinds of applications and architectures that could be used to connect servers together to point-to-point applications and to recover from lost and or mis-ordered messages. WS-RM adds reliability all of the way to the end user.
WSIT also supports WS-AtomicTransactions/Coordination, which provides features similar to two-phase commit. All transactions either succeed or are rolled back from both parties.
WS-Secure makes it possible to establish a secure connection between two machines in such a way that they only need to get one token from an authentication server, which reduces the network and processing overhead. WSIT also makes it possible to secure only key pieces of a message, like a social security number or confidential medical data, instead of the whole message, which can also reduce the overhead.
WS-Trust establishes and brokers trust relationships. It provides the infrastructure to issue, renew, and validate security tokens issued by WS-Security.
WS-Secure Conversation uses the initial key to create keys for subsequent messages, enabling the creation of a secure session between two servers. This eliminates the need to obtain a new key for each message.
To this point, WSIT interoperability has only been tested with Microsoft’s .NET 3.0 platform. But Carr said that, in theory, other servers could see the same kind of interoperability with any server that supports these protocols.
The Glassfish Server with WSIT can be downloaded from: http://glassfish.dev.java.net