What is Axis?
Axis is Apache SOAP in its third generation. SOAP or Simple Object Access Protocol is a messaging protocol based in XML used particularly for a variety of Web services. It can be implemented through RPC or Remote Procedure Call and HTTP or Hypertext Transfer Protocol for message transmission and negotiation.
SOAP actually began as SOAP4J with IBM as the main developer. Later it became Apache SOAP version 2 which was released in the year 2000. Then, through XML specifications, the third generation of SOAP was born – with the name Axis.
Axis is said to be speedier in terms of data parsing when compared with older versions of Apache SOAP. It also allows for the insertion of extensions into the SOAP engine for purposes like system management and processing of customer headers. Another advantage of Axis is that the deployment is component-oriented. Meaning, reusable network of Handlers can easily be defined for implementation of common patterns or for distribution to partners. Axis also allows access to remote services through Web Service Description Language.
But for many exports, Axis is actually more than just a SOAP engine or a newer version of Apache SOAP. It is also a stand-alone server which allows for plugging into smaller or servelet engines. Axis also offers huge support for WSDL or Web Service Description Language and has a tool that is able to generate Java classes from WSDL. Axis is also said to be helpful in TCP/IP packet monitoring.
The latest Axis versions are labeled as Axis 1.1 or 1.2. The release of these versions are said to be SOAP compliant. They also involve easier configuration and deployment and allow for auto serialization of Java Beans and auto conversions between Java Collections and SOAP Arrays. The latest version also features a standalone version of the server with the help of HTTP and has Java and WSDL tools for building proxies and skeletons using WSDL documents.