Developing web applications in a J2EE enviroment and in particular web services is supported by very efficient tools, which do not even cost royalties.

With Eclipse as IDE, Tomcat or JBOSS as J2EE-Application-Server, Axis as WebServices Framework and XDoclet one has a powerful toolbox, which make an efficient develop process of web services possible.

This article will show, how a complete environment is setup and what plugins for Eclipse are needed, to work fast and smoothly and concentrate on the actual business logic. All plugins will be introduced and a sample project will be developed, which implements a web services with Axis and Tomcat. A XDoclet template will be introduced for genereting a deployment descriptor and an ant script for deployment. Finally you will see how to debug a web service in Eclipse.

Used tools: Eclipse 2.1.1, Tomcat 4.1.29, Sysdeo Tomcat Plugin 2.1.0, Lomboz-Plugin 2.1.2, Axis 1.1 and XDoclet 1.2 b3.

For WebService Security: VeriSign Trust Gateway 1.1 from 09/26/2003, ws-security 1.7. From IBM (for the additional security provider: IBM Emerging Technologies Toolkit Web Services 1.2. You do not have to download the tools from VeriSign and IBM because the used libraries are already part of the sample project.

An advanced introduction to Java, J2EE, Tomcat or JBOSS is not the subject of this article. See further reading and other sources in the appendix.

The versions of tools and software packages conforms december 2003. If an important new release of any package is released, I will try to update this article as soon as possible. Please feel free to report me any errors and I be glad to receive further suggestions.

Download WebServices with Java, Axis, XDoclet and Eclipse


  • Birte Schulz for revising and translating the english version.
  • Daniel Knapp for inspiring me to write this article.
  • My wife Andreea for so much patience.