Now that you have some basic concepts down, it’s time to get going on the fun part, the code. You need a project or product for use, which turns out to be simpler to find than you might think. If you want a Java-based project providing SOAP capability, you don’t have to look that far. There are two groups of products out there: commercial and free. As in most of the rest of the book, I’m steering away from covering commercial products. This isn’t because they are bad (on the contrary, some are wonderful); it’s because I want every reader of this book to be able to use every example. That calls for accessibility, something commercial products don’t provide; you have to pay to use them, or download them and at some point the trial period runs out.
That brings us to open source projects. In that realm, I see only one available: Apache SOAP. Located online at http://xml.apache.org/soap, this project seeks to provide a SOAP toolkit in Java. Currently in a Version 2.2 release, you can download it from the Apache web site. That’s the version and project I use for the examples throughout this chapter.
Before moving on to the installation and setup of Apache SOAP, I will answer a few questions that might be rattling around in your head. It’s probably clear why I’m not using a commercial product. However, you may be thinking of a couple of other open source or related options that you might want to use, and wondering why I am not covering those.