The Lavadora Project aims to deliver a plug-in for the Eclipse Platform which tries to mirror a functionality offered by commercial development environments (IDE's) in the area of Web Services, making use of (wherever it's possible)  available for this purpose Open Source software components. This is the first release of this program which delivers a basic functionality for:
  • Automatic Web Service client code generation
  • Class-to-Web Service conversion
  • Deployment and undeployment of thus created Web Services to a local installation of Tomcat server
  • WSDL document structure browsing
  • Caching of WSDL documents of frequently used Web Services (so called web references)
  • Browsing, searching and publishing in UDDI registries
  • Keeping track of all generated resources
  • Presentation of all plug-in related project data in a dedicated view
The main component of the program is Apache Axis. It is used as a SOAP protocol implementation, a server for created Web Services and a tool for automated Java code generation from WSDL documents. Other components are IBM's UDDI4J library for communicating witch UDDI registries and also IBM's WSDL4J library for parsing, creating and modifying WSDL documents.

History and rationale

The history of the program is fairly short and simple. It has been created as an illustration of my M.Sc. Thesis. It gave me a lot of fun and it turned out that it would be a good idea to further develop it. The moment when I decided to release it to Open Source was when I first saw what JBuilder X Enterprise has to offer for Web Services. It appeared that it could do almost the same things as my plug-in, but it had more options (which the plug-in lacked only because of time matters). So why to pay for almost the same thing when you can have it for free?

There is another reason, which is of bigger importance: Web Services, as a universal and open technology for heterogeneous software integration need to have good Open Source tools which will allow everyone (especially those who cannot afford expensive software) to easily and fast develop applications for it.

Plans for future development

There is a lot to do, but the main features to be developed are:
  • Better looking icons (sorry for current ones)
  • Deployed Web Services should be modular web applications and must fully conform to JSR 109 specification,  which means in particular that we don't want Axis to manage our Web Services (it's better to make it a part of them)
  • Automatically generated web service tester (as a HTML form, or a dialog window)
  • Debug support for and remote deployment/undeployment of created Web Services 
  • Better support for interaction with UDDI registries (including broader set of search criteria, more classification systems, functionality for complete management of published data).
When is this going to be done? It's hard to say - it depends on my time (as usual), but there should be soon next, small release, improving in various ways existing functionality, so stay tuned.


Eclipse is cross-platform, so its plug-ins shall be, but this one is not (at least for some time). I have encountered strange and hard to explain problem while running Lavadora under my Linux installation (Knoppix 3.3). It hangs while trying to parse WSDL documents. The problem doesn't exist under Windows and also under Linux, when running the plug-in from PDE (Plug-in Development Environment) - as a project. I'm sure I'm going to work this out, but it will take some time. You can try it on your own, any hints and explanations will be appreciated.

Marcin Karpinski

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