Java API for XML Web Services

What Does Java API for XML Web Services Mean?

Java API for XML Web Services (JAX-WS) is the Java standard application program interface (API) for XML Web services. It is used to develop Web services and is a part of the Sun Java development kit (JDK). JAX-WS technology is used with other technologies, either from the core group or more enhanced Web services.


JAX-WS was designed to replace the existing JAX-RPC (remote procedure call). The name was changed to JAX-WS from JAX-RPC to reflect the shift from RPC-style to document-style Web services.

This term is also known as core Web services (a name given by Sun Microsystems) and JAX-WS RI.

Techopedia Explains Java API for XML Web Services

JAX-WS consists of a standardized set of extensions for Java, which enable the development of Java-based Web services through WSDL. Just like JAX-RPC, JAX-WS also uses SOAP to represent a RPC. SOAP includes specifications, encoding rules, important structures, corresponding responses and necessary conventions to do RPCs over the network.

JAX-WS makes use of annotations to keep the development and deployment of Web service clients and endpoints simple. It is also known as JAX-WS RI, which means JAX-WS for reference implementation, and is now a part of metro distribution. The reference implementation of JAX-WS is designed as an open-source project, which is a part of GlassFish — an open-source Java application server.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.