10.1. Introduction to Reliable Messaging

In the SOAP messaging world, presence of software, system or network failures is a common issue web service developers need to deal with. This issue is even more obvious in mobile applications which access the corporate network through mobile-enabled channels with limited connectivity and connection quality, such as WiFi, UMTS or GPRS.

WS-ReliableMessaging specification, an OASIS standard, addresses this issue by defining a modular mechanism for reliable transfer of messages. It defines a messaging protocol to identify, track, and manage the reliable transfer of messages between a source and a destination in an interoperabe fashion. The modularity and the extension points defined in the mechanism allows integration of other quality of service features, such as message level security.

Metro implementation of reliable messaging is based o WS-ReliableMessaging. As other Quality of Service features, Reliable Messaging is configured via WS-Policy expressions stored in the WSLD document of a web service or in the web service's WSIT configuration file. These XML-based expressions are designed for machine processing rather than for human readability. Metro comes with a tooling support in the form of a plug-in for NetBeans IDE which provides a convenient way to configure reliable messaging feature for your web services. It provides a dialog-based wizard that lets you fine-tune a few reliable messaging configuration properties. In general, the properties you configure on the web service endpoint apply to the web service client as well. On the other hand, the client-side configuration options have only local effect and let you tweak the client-specific behavior.

In the following sections we will look at enabling reliable messaging with Metro in more detail. These sections also contain tables that describe configuration options in more detail for service endpoint (Configuring Web Service Endpoint) as well as service client (Reliable Messaging Configuration Options for Service Client) side.

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