What is JiBX/WS?

JiBX/WS is a framework for creating fast, simple web services.

It is built upon the JiBX data binding framework. It provides the same advantages of flexibility and performance for web services as the base JiBX project does for ordinary XML data binding.


  • supports SOAP 1.1 and POX (Plain Old XML) protocols, with planned support for REST and SOAP 1.2.
  • supports HTTP and TCP/IP transports (using DIME message exchange).
  • XML messages can be encoded as text or using the XBIS binary format, for best performance.
  • SOAP support is limited to document/literal (doc/lit) web services, with no support for RPC/encoded.
  • supports JDK 1.3.1 or later.
  • supports the Spring Framework, but can also be used without Spring

JiBX treats both Java classes and XML schema as first class objects, and uses a separate binding definition to specify the mapping between them. This allows JiBX/WS services, and clients, to be developed in either a "code-first" or "schema-first" manner. If using a "code-first" approach, the JiBX BindGen tool allows you to create customized bindings and XML schema. If using "schema-first", the JiBX CodeGen tool will generate customized Java code and bindings. The binding definition can also be hand-crafted.

JiBX/WS is designed from the start to support document/literal (doc/lit) web services rather than the older rpc/encoded (rpc/enc) style. This is an important distinction - the rpc/enc approach allows developers to easily expose simple method calls as web services, but creates problems for interoperability, especially with more complex data structures. Because of these problems, rpc/enc has been effectively deprecated by recommendations such as the Web Services Interoperability Organization's Basic Profile (WS-I BP), and replaced by the doc/lit approach.

The doc/lit approach to web services focuses on the actual XML data being exchanged. Rather than model method calls with parameters encoded in XML, the doc/lit approach uses W3C XML Schema definitions to fix the XML data formats. It's up to the participants in a web services interaction to process the XML payload of doc/lit SOAP messages in whatever manner is appropriate to their needs.

This focus on the XML formats is what allows JiBX/WS to apply the power of JiBX data binding to doc/lit web services. JiBX is designed to support fast and flexible conversions between XML and Java objects. With doc/lit web services the contents of SOAP messages are just XML document fragments, which can be converted to and from Java objects using JiBX just the same as any other XML. All that's needed to support this is a framework that handles the SOAP wrappers and actual transport, which is what JiBX/WS provides.

In benchmark tests to date JiBX/WS performs 1.3 to 2.5 times faster than the Apache Axis2 implementation for doc/lit web services. With the XBIS encoding, JiBX/WS is even faster over the wire than RMI! You can view the details of some performance tests in Dennis's presentation on The World's Fastest Web Services. There's also a condensed 10-minute YouTube of this talk.

JiBX/WS is an update to, and replacement for, the JibxSoap project, which is in use by a number of organizations.

Alternative Frameworks

JiBX is also usable for web services as part of the Apache Axis2 web services framework. See the JiBX Axis2 page for more details. Some samples and documentation for working with JiBX are included in the Axis2 distributions.

The Spring-WS framework also includes support for JiBX. See the Spring-WS documentation for further details.

JiBX/WS provides a higher performance alternative to both of these frameworks, though without the stack of WS-* modules that are available as add-ons to them.