|By Tilak Mitra||
|April 5, 2004 12:00 AM EDT||
It has been well proven over the past few years that the best form of information exchange (in a typical B2B and B2C environment) is through XML. There are various XML-based standards (schema) for both the horizontal and vertical market sectors and there are ongoing efforts to move toward a standardized format in the various industry sectors.
With the proliferation of an XML-based information exchange, the industry is bound to write lots of Java code to consume XML Schema-based documents. Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB) provides a convenient way to bind an XML Schema to a representation in Java code, making it easy for developers to incorporate XML data and processing functions in applications based on Java technology without having to know much about the details of XML parsing.
How It Works
The use of JAXB starts from an XML Schema. Typically in an enterprise application, an XML Schema is defined that constitutes the business domain objects and their interrelationships.
The JAXB (binding) compiler creates a set of classes and interfaces from the XML Schema (see Figure 1). These sets of classes and interfaces are referenced and used in the application. The application developer has a rich set of JAXB APIs that he or she uses to convert a Java object tree/ structure (made up of the instances of classes generated by the binding compiler) to an XML document (that conforms to the XML Schema). The process of converting an XML document into a Java object tree is as seamless and easy as the former and the beauty of it all is that the developer does not have to write a single line of XML parsing routines in either of the conversion processes.
The process of converting a Java Object Tree to an XML document is known as marshalling, whereas the reverse process of converting an XML document to a Java Object Tree is called unmarshalling.
The process of creating the classes and interfaces from the XML Schema utilizes the JAXB binding compiler (xjc.bat or xjc.sh) that's included with the installation (see Resources section).
xjc.bat -p <package name> -d <working directory>
The -p option specifies the Java package for the generated classes and interfaces while the -d option specifies the working directory.
Once the classes and interfaces are generated, they can be used in the enterprise application. There are two typical usage scenarios.
1. Unmarshal an XML document to a Java object tree
JAXBContext jContext = JAXBContext.newInstance("<package name>") ;
where package name contains the JAXB generated classes.
Unmarshaller unmarshaller = jContext.createUnmarshaller() ;
Library library = (Library)unmarshaller.unmarshal(new
library.xml is an example XML document that conforms to the schema file from which the JAXB-generated Java classes and interfaces are created, and Library is the root object in the XML document.
Once a handle to the Library object instance is obtained, we're in the Java universe! The developer can use the power of Java to traverse through the object tree and use the same in the application, as required.
2. Marshal a Java object tree to an XML document
A JAXB implementation-provided class called ObjectFactory is used to create instances of the classes and interfaces that are generated by the JAXB binding compiler (during the generation process). This class uses the Factory pattern to create instances of the generated classes and this is the only way the class instances may be created.
Consider a small example in which a Library contains a list of Books in which each book has a title and a price field. The steps to create an XML document from the Java object tree are as follows:
ObjectFactory factory = new ObjectFactory() ;
Library library = factory.createLibrary() ;
Book bookOne = factory.createBook() ;
bookOne.setTitle("Design Patterns") ;
Book bookTwo = factory.createBook() ;
bookTwo.setTitle("Analysis Patterns") ;
Marshaller marshaller = jContext.createMarshaller() ;
marshaller.marshal(library, new FileOutputStream("library.xml")) ;
The power and flexibility of JAXB is further augmented by its customization feature that's added on top of the schema bindings. To add specific functionality to an application, JAXB binding customizations are used. These customizations are read and interpreted by the JAXB compiler. Customization is affected by annotating a schema with binding declarations that either override or extend the default bindings.
Customization has four scopes:
Although a detailed discussion about customization is beyond the scope of this article, it's worthwhile mentioning a few customization artifacts that are used more frequently in a typical JAXB usage scenario.
Customization bindings can be made at a global level of declaration that applies to all the defined elements in the XML Schema. Listing 1 provides a typical global customization binding.
Notice how in the listing defining the collectionType attribute tells the compiler that the type of collection used in the generated classes is of type ArrayList. The <xjc: serializable> element ensures that all the generated classes implement the Java Serializable marker interface. The <jxb: package> element's name attribute denotes the Java package in which the generated classes and interfaces are created.
All these elements' attributes can be tuned and configured to suit the requirements of the application.
Customization of the default binding can also be made at the element and its attribute's level. For example, an element can be adorned with its Javadoc by using annotations. Custom property names can also be specified that when defined, generate getter and setter methods for the property. This is illustrated in Listing 2. (Listing 2 can be downloaded from www.sys-con.com/java/sourcec.cfm.)
Notice how in the listing the <jxb: javadoc> element is used to create the documentation for the generated class. The <jxb:property> element is used to name an instance variable inside the generated class (Library class in this case) and generate its getter and setter methods. The generated class hence will have two methods: getBookList() and setBookList(...).
A detailed explanation of these bindings can be found in the Resources section (JAXB User's Guide).
Thinking in Terms of JAXB
In a typical enterprise application that's comprised of various application tiers, data is exchanged between these tiers to realize the business functionalities. It's a good design principle to create a data object model that can be used for inter-tier data exchange. This data object model is a good candidate to be represented in an XML Schema with JAXB customizations. With this design in place, data can be exchanged in either XML format or as Java objects while the JAXB libraries can be used to convert between XML and Java in a seamless fashion.
This article introduced the basic concepts of JAXB, how it works, and how it can be used in a Java-based enterprise application. It also provided a sneak peek at how JAXB customizations can be used to tailor an XML Schema to conform to the application requirements.
Part 2 will take a concrete example of an XML Schema and discuss the process of generating the classes and interfaces from a valid XML document and also the reverse process of creating an XML document from a Java object tree. Stay tuned!
(Note: The Reference Implementation of JAXB comes packaged inside the Java Web Services Developer's Pack [JWSDP]. Once this is installed, the JAXB compile time and runtime libraries are available in the <install-root>\jaxb directory.)
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
Dec. 5, 2016 04:15 AM EST Reads: 1,607
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
Dec. 5, 2016 04:00 AM EST Reads: 4,670
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
Dec. 5, 2016 04:00 AM EST Reads: 5,076
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 5, 2016 03:30 AM EST Reads: 933
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dec. 5, 2016 01:30 AM EST Reads: 743
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 5, 2016 12:45 AM EST Reads: 1,569
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Dec. 5, 2016 12:30 AM EST Reads: 6,083
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Dec. 5, 2016 12:15 AM EST Reads: 1,159
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 10:45 PM EST Reads: 1,000
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Dec. 4, 2016 10:45 PM EST Reads: 1,672
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Dec. 4, 2016 06:30 PM EST Reads: 2,177
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Dec. 4, 2016 06:30 PM EST Reads: 2,035
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 4, 2016 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,545
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 4,210
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 626
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 4, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 3,262
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 4, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 2,015
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Dec. 4, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,911
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Dec. 4, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 616
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Dec. 4, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 945