Using the Java Web Services Pack offer a set of development tools and instructions for building applications based on standards such as XML.
The new tools are intended to allow developers to begin building Web services that will run on server software that conforms to Sun's Java2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) standard. In addition to Sun's iPlanet servers, there are J2EE server products from companies such as BEA Systems and IBM.
The Web Services Pack brings together previously released tools that allow Java developers to write applications using XML. The tools include application programming interfaces (APIs) for writing applications that could be accessed over the Internet as services, and run across all types of computers, ranging from large servers to handheld devices.
The pack includes APIs for sending XML messages, processing XML data and registering XML Web services with various directories, according to Peter Kacandes, senior product manger for Java and XML technologies at Sun.
Two of the messaging APIs allow XML data to be sent over the Internet as an attached file or as an remote procedural call (RPC), a common protocol that allows an application to request a service from a program located elsewhere in a network, regardless of what operating system that program is running on.
The Web Services Pack also includes APIs needed to register Web services built in Java with online registries. It supports both the Universal Description and Discovery (UDDI) registry, commonly compared to online Yellow Pages, as well as the electronic business XML (ebXML) registry.
The final version of the Web Services Pack is expected to be released in June.
Other makers of server software based on J2EE have also announced plans to release toolkits that include support for XML and Web services directories such as UDDI.
Sun's Web Services Pack was designed to be included in tool kits from these various J2EE vendors, Kacandes said.
Sun released the test version just weeks before Microsoft plans to release the final version of its developer tools for building Web services for Windows, called Visual Studio .Net. The development suite will be made widely available on 13 February.