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    The SOA module has been removed from the standard distribution for NetBeans IDE 6.7. To use the SOA functionality with NetBeans IDE 6.7, you need to install GlassFish ESB v2.1 from the OpenESB website.

    For more information, read this section in NetBeans IDE 6.7.1 Release Notes.

    How To Install the SOA Functionality on Top of NetBeans IDE 6.7

    If you want to use the SOA functionality with NetBeans IDE 6.7, do the following:

    1. Download and install the NetBeans IDE 6.7 "All" installer.
    2. From the OpenESB project download page, install the GlassFish ESB v2.1 for NetBeans 6.7 download bundle. Select your NetBeans 6.7 installation directory as the directory for the GlassFish ESB installation.

    Latest Release with the IDE: NetBeans IDE 6.5

    The latest release that contained the SOA functionality was NetBeans IDE 6.5. The SOA functionality is was available in the "All" download option of the IDE.

    For more information about the 6.5 release, visit the NetBeans 6.5 SOA Application Learning Trail.


    The NetBeans SOA project consists of several subprojects, listed in the table below.

    Project Scope CVS Module Links
    BPEL Visually authoring Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) processes to orchestrate partner Web services, such as Java EE 5 services. enterprise/bpel Home
    Source Browse
    Composite Applications Combining submodules (for example, BPEL) into a composite application and deploying that composite application to a Java Business Integration (JBI) runtime. enterprise/compapp Home
    Source Browse
    Composite Application Service Assembly Editor Editing the deployment configuration of a JBI Service Assembly. The editable configuration parameters include a list of Service Units in the deployment package. Support for common editing scenarios, such as adding and modifying concrete WSDL elements, adding and removing service connections between Service Units, and connecting to endpoints of external Service Units is provided. enterprise/compapp/casaeditor Home Coming soon
    QA Coming soon
    Source Browse
    XSLT Editor Visually editing data transformations. The Mapper view has a source document panel, a target document panel, and a transformations panel. The Source view shows the XML source of the XSLT document being edited. enterprise/xslt Home Coming soon
    QA Coming soon
    Source Browse
    XML Authoring, analyzing, and visualizing XML Schema and WSDL, including support for large, real-world, multi-file XML Schemas; authoring assistance for XML instance documents xml Home
    Source Browse
    WSDL Editor Allowing the creation of WSDL documents with simple drag-and-drop functionality using the palette and a graphical canvas. xml/wsdlui Home
    Source Browse

    Community Involvement


    You can find the complete list of SOA documentation for the latest release on this page: SOA Applications Learning Trail. If you are a SOA developer and want to contribute documentation, check out our NetBeans Community Docs wiki.

    Mailing Lists

    To send feedback, get support, and receive updates and general information about the NetBeans SOA pack, subscribe to You can subscribe to the mailing list by sending a blank email to An archive of this mailing list is available here:

    For specific technologies included in NetBeans SOA, please follow the link to the subproject's homepage in the table above and use the Mailing Lists links on the left of the page to subscribe to the appropriate mailing lists.

    General questions about the IDE and SOA functionality can also be asked on the mailing list.


    Instructions for Working with NetBeans Sources are available. These instructions are for the NetBeans 6.5 release.

    SOA Overview

    The SOA functionality, which stands for service oriented architecture, is geared toward enterprise application development. The SOA functionality is available in the full profile of the NetBeans IDE. The IDE's SOA pack contains open-sourced features from Sun's Java Studio Enterprise and Java CAPS products, as well as all-new features for creating composite applications, BPEL-based Web services, secure Java EE Web services, and real-world XML artifacts like XML Schema and WSDL. The SOA pack is provided with all necessary runtimes, such as the GlassFish application server on which you can deploy applications, and Open ESB 2.0.

    Open ESB 2.0 implements a Java Business Integration (JBI) runtime that incorporates the JSR 208 specification for Java Business Integration and other open standards. Open ESB allows you to integrate web services and enterprise applications as loosely coupled composite applications, realizing the benefits of a service-oriented architecture (SOA). For more information, about the runtime parts of SOA, visit the open source project Open ESB.

    Concept & Vision

    The overarching theme for the SOA functionality is to provide tools that help developers build composite applications using a variety of technologies to solve medium- to large-scale business requirements. We place considerable emphasis on SOA technologies as a means to achieve this end.

    Composite Applications

    Composite applications are applications with a capital "A"—large applications that span multiple systems, technologies, and architectures. In the enterprise, in which there is a mix of technology, systems, and architecture, composite applications are the norm. However, tools today primarily address only selected pieces of what we call the application problem, meaning the business need for an application that must be addressed by the application developer. Except in very rare circumstances, the full scope of an enterprise application spans multiple front-ends (for example, intranets, extranets, B2C portals) and multiple back-ends (for example, databases, mainframes, manual processes); requires coordination across multiple technologies, systems, and business units; and must incorporate considerations like end-to-end security.

    For the mathematically minded, rather than a single equation, an enterprise-class application problem consists of many dependent equations with multiple terms that must be solved together. Thus, as tool providers, we can either approach this problem as providers of tools to make solving each equation easier, or tools for making solving all equations at once not just easier, but possible.

    Role of NetBeans SOA

    We consider large-scale application needs as the real problem that the NetBeans SOA can and should address, rather than just providing lower-level technology tools that leave highly-skilled developers to fill in the gaps between them. Rather than focus on point technologies, such as Web applications, thick client front-ends, and EJB back-ends, tools for composite applications should look at the full scope of the problem and address not just the individual point technology issues, but also the spaces between the technologies. Though traditionally this view is thought of as enterprise application integration, or EAI, to the developer this is all just part of building an application, albeit a large and complicated application which makes use of heterogeneous resources. While certainly these kinds of problems can be solved by a combination of point technologies (like those found in the Java EE SDK) and lots of developer-provided glue, such solutions are not ideal because they require large amounts of time and resources, and are generally brittle and difficult to adapt to changing business needs.

    It's easy to build a tool that helps developers build a widget faster and easier. What's more difficult is building a tool that helps developers avoid building widgets and instead focus on solving the real problem: solving a business need using technology as a means. Most tools designed for point technologies treat the technology as an end; rather, technology is a means to an end, and while developers need good tools to deal with complex technologies, if tools are to evolve beyond just "easier and faster," they must not stop at the technology and instead try to solve the larger problems that today require a great deal of manual skill and resources to address. Therefore, we can provide the most value to developers by considering the broader context within which they solve their business needs. This is the goal for the NetBeans SOA project.

    SOA as a Means to an End

    The rise of SOA formalizations gives both developers and tool providers a way to achieve a consistent composite application solution. With SOA technologies, there is now a mechanism (or we should say, several mechanisms unified under one architecture) for bridging systems in a consistent way, using standard protocols, that cross point technology boundaries. Unlike technologies like CORBA and RMI, SOA encourages loose coupling between services. Loose coupling allows composite application developers to focus on use cases and system interactions beyond the traditional programmatic styles used in the past, and allows a clear separation of technologies and systems. Therefore, SOA is the underlying theme, but the practical route forward is in building composite applications, and doing so using tools that encompass the entire solution rather than just point solutions based on a particular technology.

    See Also

    Project Features

    About this Project

    SOA was started in November 2009, is owned by slunegov, and has 93 members.
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