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Chapter 23. Web Services

23.1. Configuration and Packaging
23.2. Conversational Web Services
23.2.1. A Recommended Strategy
23.3. An example web service
23.4. RESTful HTTP webservices with RESTEasy
23.4.1. RESTEasy configuration and request serving
23.4.2. Resources and providers as Seam components

Seam integrates with JBossWS to allow standard JEE web services to take full advantage of Seam's contextual framework, including support for conversational web services. This chapter walks through the steps required to allow web services to run within a Seam environment.

To allow Seam to intercept web service requests so that the necessary Seam contexts can be created for the request, a special SOAP handler must be configured; org.jboss.seam.webservice.SOAPRequestHandler is a SOAPHandler implementation that does the work of managing Seam's lifecycle during the scope of a web service request.

A special configuration file, standard-jaxws-endpoint-config.xml should be placed into the META-INF directory of the jar file that contains the web service classes. This file contains the following SOAP handler configuration:

<jaxws-config xmlns="urn:jboss:jaxws-config:2.0" 
              xsi:schemaLocation="urn:jboss:jaxws-config:2.0 jaxws-config_2_0.xsd">
      <config-name>Seam WebService Endpoint</config-name>
               <javaee:handler-name>SOAP Request Handler</javaee:handler-name>

So how are conversations propagated between web service requests? Seam uses a SOAP header element present in both the SOAP request and response messages to carry the conversation ID from the consumer to the service, and back again. Here's an example of a web service request that contains a conversation ID:

<soapenv:Envelope xmlns:soapenv="" 
    <seam:conversationId xmlns:seam=''>2</seam:conversationId>

As you can see in the above SOAP message, there is a conversationId element within the SOAP header that contains the conversation ID for the request, in this case 2. Unfortunately, because web services may be consumed by a variety of web service clients written in a variety of languages, it is up to the developer to implement conversation ID propagation between individual web services that are intended to be used within the scope of a single conversation.

An important thing to note is that the conversationId header element must be qualified with a namespace of, otherwise Seam will not be able to read the conversation ID from the request. Here's an example of a response to the above request message:

<env:Envelope xmlns:env=''>
    <seam:conversationId xmlns:seam=''>2</seam:conversationId>
    <confirmAuctionResponse xmlns=""/>

As you can see, the response message contains the same conversationId element as the request.

Let's walk through an example web service. The code in this section all comes from the seamBay example application in Seam's /examples directory, and follows the recommended strategy as described in the previous section. Let's first take a look at the web service class and one of its web service methods:


@WebService(name = "AuctionService", serviceName = "AuctionService")
public class AuctionService implements AuctionServiceRemote
   public boolean login(String username, String password)
      return Identity.instance().isLoggedIn();
   // snip

As you can see, our web service is a stateless session bean, and is annotated using the JWS annotations from the javax.jws package, as defined by JSR-181. The @WebService annotation tells the container that this class implements a web service, and the @WebMethod annotation on the login() method identifies the method as a web service method. The name and serviceName attributes in the @WebService annotation are optional.

As is required by the specification, each method that is to be exposed as a web service method must also be declared in the remote interface of the web service class (when the web service is a stateless session bean). In the above example, the AuctionServiceRemote interface must declare the login() method as it is annotated as a @WebMethod.

As you can see in the above code, the web service implements a login() method that delegates to Seam's built-in Identity component. In keeping with our recommended strategy, the web service is written as a simple facade, passing off the real work to a Seam component. This allows for the greatest reuse of business logic between web services and other clients.

Let's look at another example. This web service method begins a new conversation by delegating to the AuctionAction.createAuction() method:


   public void createAuction(String title, String description, int categoryId)
      AuctionAction action = (AuctionAction) Component.getInstance(AuctionAction.class, true);
      action.setDetails(title, description, categoryId);

And here's the code from AuctionAction:


   public void createAuction()
      auction = new Auction();
      durationDays = DEFAULT_AUCTION_DURATION;

From this we can see how web services can participate in long running conversations, by acting as a facade and delegating the real work to a conversational Seam component.

Seam integrates the RESTEasy implementation of the JAX-RS specification (JSR 311). You can decide how "deep" the integration into your Seam application is going to be:

First, get the RESTEasy libraries and the jaxrs-api.jar, deploy them with the other libraries of your application. Also deploy the integration library, jboss-seam-resteasy.jar

On startup, all classes annotated will be discovered automatically and registered as HTTP resources. Seam automatically accepts and serves HTTP requests with its built-in SeamResourceServlet. The URI of a resource is build as follows:

As an example, the following resource definition would return a plaintext representation for any GET requests using the URI http://your.hostname/seam/resource/rest/customer/123:


public class MyCustomerResource {
    public String getCustomer(@PathParam("customerId") int id) {
         return ...;

No additional configuration is required, you do not have to edit web.xml or any other setting if these defauls are acceptable. However, you can configure RESTEasy in your Seam application. First import the resteasy namespace into your XML configuration file header:


You can then change the /rest prefix as mentioned earlier:

<resteasy:application-config resource-path-prefix="/restv1"/>

The full base path to your resources is now /seam/resource/restv1/{resource} - note that your @Path definitions and mappings do NOT change. This is an application-wide switch usually used for versioning of the HTTP API.

You can disable stripping of the base path if you'd like to map the full path in your resources:

<resteasy:application-config strip-seam-resource-path="false"/>

The path of a resource is now mapped with e.g. @Path("/seam/resource/rest/customer"). We do not recommend disabling this feature, as your resource class mappings are then bound to a particular deployment scenario.

Seam will scan your classpath for any deployed resources and any classes. You can disable scanning and configure these classes manually:





The use-built-in-providers switch enables (default) or disables the RESTEasy built-in providers. We recommend you leave them enabled, as they provide plaintext, JSON, and JAXB marshalling out of the box.

Finally, you can configure media type and language URI extensions:





This definition would map the URI suffix of .txt.deutsch to additional Accept and Accept-Language header values text/plain and de-DE.

Any resource and provider instances are managed by RESTEasy by default. That means a resource class will be instantiated by RESTEasy and serve a single request, after which it will be destroyed. This is the default JAX-RS lifecycle. Providers are instantiated once for the whole application and are effectively singletons and supposed to be stateless.

You can write resources and providers as Seam components and benefit from the richer lifecycle management of Seam, and interception for bijection, security, and so on. Simply make your resource class a Seam component:


public class MyCustomerResource {
    CustomerDAO customerDAO;
    public String getCustomer(@PathParam("customerId") int id) {
         return customerDAO.find(id).getName();

An instance of customerResource is now handled by Seam when a request hits the server. This is a Seam JavaBean component that is EVENT-scoped, hence no different than the default JAX-RS lifecycle. However, you get full Seam injection support and all other Seam components and contexts are available to you. Currently also supported are SESSION, APPLICATION, and STATELESS resource components. Remember that any HTTP request has to transmit a valid session identifier (cookie, URI path parameter) for correct handling of the server-side session context.

Conversation-scoped resource components and mapping of conversations is currently not supported but will be available soon.

Provider classes can also be Seam components, they must be APPLICATION-scoped or STATELESS.

Resources and providers can be EJBs or JavaBeans, like any other Seam component.