WASP Server, Developer

By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2003-03-31 Print this article Print

WASP Server, Developer

The first thing eWeek labs noticed about the WASP Server for Java and WASP Developer products was their interoperability—both in terms of the tools and servers they work with and their ability to exchange Web services information with other servers.

This is the package to get for mixed Microsoft Corp. .Net and Java shops or as an embedded component of a cross-platform software application. The Systinet WASP platform offers excellent .Net interoperability, allowing us in tests to transfer complex types such as collection classes HashSet and ArrayList.

New in this release of the WASP platform is integration with Active Directory (and thus access control list integration) and support for the Direct Internet Message Encapsulation protocol used by .Net applications to attach binary objects to SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) messages.

WASP can also authenticate using an LDAP directory or its own internal directory. Users can be authenticated by password or X.509 certificate and by Simple Public Key Mechanism, HTTP basic authentication, HTTP digest authentication, Secure Sockets Layer authentication, Kerberos and SOAP digital signatures (used by Web Services-Security).

The WASP platform supports HTTP and HTTP Secure transport protocols, but it also can use e-mail, file transfer and message queuing as ways to transmit and receive SOAP messages.

WASP also offers advanced Java features, including a new option for instantiating and transparently accessing remote objects using SOAP (rather than doing explicit remote procedure calls to a Web service). "Remoting" automatically adds session headers to SOAP exchanges to ensure that a stateful connection between the client and server object is transparently maintained. Until now, eWeek Labs has seen this kind of automatic state handling only with BEA WebLogic Workshop.

The WASP platform is priced very attractively—but then, it needs to be, because most application servers now provide built-in Web services features. WASP Server for Java is free for single- CPU boxes and costs $2,000 per CPU after that. WASP Developer is free, period. Given the monitoring; performance measuring; and declarative, highly granular security features the server provides (features that are substantially better than what Java vendors or Microsoft provide in their servers), we think the purchase price is fully justified.

The server product runs on every major Java application server and some minor ones as well and can also run in stand-alone mode.

Our biggest wish is that the server wasnt Java-only, as wed love to deploy .Net-based Web services to it. (Systinet also sells WASP Server for C++.)

WASP Developer plugs into the top three Java development tools: Borland Software Corp.s JBuilder, IBMs WebSphere Studio Application Builder and Eclipse, and Sun Microsystems Inc.s Sun ONE Studio and NetBeans.

We used Sun ONE Studio 4 Enterprise Edition for our tests. WASP Developer adds right-click menus and its own objects directly into Sun ONE Studios object tree (see screen). Generating a Web services wrapper for our own classes was a matter of just a few clicks and selection of the methods we wanted to publish.

Developers can also generate client-side stubs from a WSDL (Web Services Description Language) file with a choice of how returned data should be accessed—with getters and setters or as Java structures. There is full UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) support as well.

Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel