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[wtp-dev] Features and Web services - questions and request for feedback

I've been mulling over some of the re-design of the Web services frameworks in light of features and have a few of questions and ideas I'd appreciate feedback on....
  1. Can a feature require an "OR"ing of other features? For example could we set up a feature like j2ee.webservices 1.1 to require j2ee.webapp 1.4 or j2ee.ejb 1.4? I can envision the creation of Web service features tied to Web service specifications. For example,  jaxrpc 1.0, jaxrpc 1.1, j2ee.webservices 1.0, j2ee.webservices 1.1, each for which required other features (like j2ee.webapp 1.3, j2ee.ejb 1.3, etc). Any suggestions on how Web services related features should be structured?
  2. We will need to converge the feature framework with the existing Web service runtime framework, One way to do this is by modifying the Web service runtime extension XML to specify the set of features it requires on a component. The fun begins when we try to design the logic and UI needed to guide the user through the selection of their project, component, features, server runtime, server type, and Web service runtime. The look and feel of such a dialog should be similar to the UI used in the creation of a new component and the UI used for the modification of features on an existing component, with the added twist that we'll have to include Web service runtimes and server types in the picture. The flow of the UI could be
  • The user first selects a Web service runtime (e.g. Axis 1.2). The dialog is updated to show the features that will get added, a list of valid server runtimes and server types to choose from
  • The user first selects features (e.g. j2ee.webapp, j2ee.webservice 1.1). The dialog is updated to show valid Web service runtimes, server runtimes, and server types to choose from
  • The user first selects a server type (e.g. tomcat 5.0). The dialog is updated to show valid Web service runtimes, server runtimes, and features that will get added

    I'll be the first to admit that this seems quite complicated (even if it's hidden behind an Edit or Advanced button). Feedback on how we can make the user experience simple yet powerful is very welcome. Referring to an earlier comment from Chuck, will the base features on existing components be bound to runtimes? This would enable us to remove the server runtimes from view, at least for existing components.
  • An inventory is underway of Web services code's use of J2EE tools and Server tools API that is likely to be affected by the feature related changes. We're also trying to identify what new utilities we'll need. We'll be providing feedback through the week.

Rupam Kuehner
IBM Rational Software
phone: 905.413.3859

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