Java Studio Creator: First Thoughts



I had to restart the installation process after it hung at 24%.  Aparenlty the installer needs me to turn off the firewall at this point, but had timed out by the time I got around to taking care of it.  I restarted the installation with my firewall off and it installed perfectly.  I’m not sure if the installer said anything before I started the install process (I rarely pay attention to such things), but that’s something that should be made clear before the process begins.

One of the promises of Java Studio Creator is tight (loosely coupled) web services integration.  Sun does a great job of including a bunch of useful services under Samples.  You can tinker with google, ebay, get the time, get a quote, get the weather, etc.  This is great.  I’m glad to see web services shoved in front of developers faces like that.  Let’s not argue about the religious implications of implementing web services, let’s just use them.

I was so excited about having web services at my fingertips that I decided to add a new one.  I googled and found the wonderful (unofficial) Homeland Security Threat Level service.  I right clicked on Web Services in the Server Navigator and selected Add WebService.  I pointed the Visual Studio .NET style interface at the service’s WSDL.  Java Studio Creator promptly threw an error message:

04/09/2004 05:09:36: Error Parsing WSDL. Please see the log file for details. Exception = modeler error: unsupported schema type: "{}Map"

Bummer.  It’s an early access release, but I was kind of hoping that stuff like this would “Just Work” for me.  VS.NET 2003 allows me to Add Web Reference.  The online version of Mindreef’s awesome SOAPscope handles the WSDL fine and allows me to call the web service with a successful result (currently Elevated).  Hopefully Sun will fix problems such as these before a final release.  In the web services world, interop is key.

Working with WSDL that parses properly is painless and simple though.  I ran through the web services tuturoial [pdf] and was impressed.  It’s the first time that Visual Studio .NET has a real Java competitor to stupid simple web services access in the IDE.  VS.NET has been doing that for a few years at this point.

Overall, I’m quite impressed.  I haven’t had the chance to do much more than tinker with it, but it has lots of potential.  Beyond the rough edges (which I can shrug off, it’s early access) there’s a lot there.  With the installation comes a J2EE app server, simple but powerful database access, web services integration, and drag and drop ease that seems to generate some pretty clean code.

I’m hooked.

Update: Jon Mountjoy sent an email letting me know that you’ve been able to use web services in the stupid simple manner described above in Weblogic Workshop for quite some time.  I’ve never worked with the Weblogic stuff, so it wasn’t on my radar.  I’ll check it out as soon as I can.