Home > Articles > Web Services > WebSphere

This chapter is from the book

Creating a Service Provider

To provide data to your list and detail portlets, you should create a service provider model. This model will contain operations to retrieve a list of loans and retrieve details on a particular loan, which is consumed by the list and detail models. The service provider is the singular access point for loans information in your application, and it makes your application easier to maintain.

Before you can begin the steps in this section, you need a WPF project, which houses the service provider model and the other models in this chapter. If you have a project from a previous chapter, you can use that. If you don't, you should create a new WPF project. For more information on creating projects, see Chapter 1, "Introduction to WebSphere Portlet Factory." The project is published as a WAR file and deployed to a portal server, and you should also deploy the application to a local application server for testing. You can use the portal server if it is running on your local machine. If not, it is recommended that you use the IBM WebSphere Application Server Community Edition server (WAS CE) that comes with WPF.

After you have a project set up, you need to add the service provider model. The service provider uses the following builders to provide its functionality:

  • Service Definition
  • Variable
  • Simple Schema Generator
  • Action List
  • Method
  • Service Operation (x2)

Note that although the order of builder calls is usually not important, some of the builder calls in this chapter need to be in a specific order. This is because some of the builder calls require certain things to be built by the time their build methods run when the WebApp is regenerated. In this example, the Variable builder call must precede the Simple Schema Generator builder call to create a schema based on the variable built by the Variable builder call, and the Simple Schema Generator must precede the Service Operations because the Service Operations require the schema to use for their results. Also, the Action List must precede the first Service Operation, and the Method must precede the second Service Operation, or you will get errors indicating that these resources are unavailable.

Creating a Model

Create a new model called loansService in your project under the folder WEB-INF/models/chapter09. Because you will store your data in an XML variable, rather than get it from a database, you need to create the service provider manually. To do this, the model should be based on the Empty template, which creates a model with no builder calls in it. For more information on creating models, see the example in Chapter 1.

Defining the Service

Add a Service Definition builder call to the model by selecting Service Definition from the Builder Palette. You can open the Builder Palette by clicking the 07icon01.jpg icon in the Outline view. Then, press OK. Name the builder call loansService and expand the Testing Support section at the bottom of the builder call, and then enable the box for Add Testing Support. WPF now automatically generates test pages for the operations in your service every time the model is regenerated. Save the builder call when you are finished.

Adding Loan Data

The next step is to add your sample data for the service provider. Add a Variable builder call to the model and name it loans. Change the Type input to XML and enter in the following XML into the Initial Value input:

<Loans xmlns="http://com.ibm.CooperativeExample">
      <Item>The Gullible Traveler</Item>
      <LoanedTo>Malcolm Johnson</LoanedTo>

      <Item>A Traveling Aunt</Item>
      <LoanedTo>Samuel Russell</LoanedTo>

      <Item>An Interminable Journey</Item>
      <LoanedTo>Joseph Jones</LoanedTo>

Save the builder call when you are finished. Next, add a Simple Schema Generator builder call to the model. This builder call is used to automatically generate a schema based on the Variable builder call, which is then used to define the structure of the result sets for the Service Operation builder calls. Name the builder call loansSchema, and for the Sample Data input, select 'loans' from the drop-down list. This is the variable you created earlier. Save the builder call when you are finished.

Adding an Action to Retrieve a List of Loans

Now, add an Action List builder call to the model. The Action List defines the action to be called when the retrieveLoansList service operation is consumed, which you create in a later step. Name the Action List getLoans and change the return type to IXml. IXml is a WPF interface used to access and manipulate XML. For more information on IXml, see Chapter 9, "Using Web Services and Manipulating XML."

Open the Select Action dialog for the first row in the Actions input, which you do by clicking on the ellipsis button on the first row of the Actions input. Select Special, Return, then select the loans Variable from under the Variables section and press OK. The action should appear in the Action List as follows:


When the Action List is called, this action returns the entire Loans variable created by the Variable builder. Save the builder call when you are finished.

Specifying the getLoansList Operation

Next, you create the first operation for the loansService service. This operation returns a list of loans (by calling the getLoansList Action List). Add a Service Operation builder call to the model and make sure the Service Operation Properties section is expanded. Select loansService for the Data Service input, which links the operation to the loansService service created by the Service Definition builder call.

The Operation Name input defines how the operation is referred to by consumers. Change this input to getLoansList—there is no problem with this being the same name as your Action List. The Action To Call input defines what happens when the operation is consumed. This input should be changed to point to your Action List (getLoansList). Note that the Operation Description input is left blank, because it appears only to service consumers when the service provider is defined as a Web service.

Make sure 'No inputs' is selected for the Input Structure Handling input in the Operation Inputs section of the builder call. This specifies that the operation has no inputs—consumers have only to specify that they want to consume the operation to retrieve the loans list.

Expand the Operation Results section of the builder call and select Specify Result Schema for the Result Structure Handling input. This enables you to manually specify the structure of the results to be returned from the operation. For the Result Field Mapping input, select the topmost element in the Loans schema (Loans). The Loans element contains a list of Loan elements and is returned from the getLoansList Action List. The input should read loansSchema/Loans when you are finished. Make sure the Result Field Mapping input is set to Automatic, which automatically maps results from the called action to the result returned from the service operation.

Save the builder call when you are finished.

Adding a Method to Retrieve a Specific Loan

Add a Method builder call to the model and name it getLoanFromID. This method returns a particular loan based on a loan ID argument and is called whenever the getLoanDetail operation is consumed. A Method builder call is used, rather than an Action List, because some IXml manipulation is required to link loanIDs to loans.

Expand the Arguments section of the builder call and add a single argument called loanID of type String. This argument corresponds to a particular loan, and you access it from the method defined in the Method Body Input.

Change the Return Type of the builder call to IXml, and then enter in the following code into the Method Body input:

  //cycle through loans variable to get each loan
  IXml loans = webAppAccess.getVariables().getXml("loans");
  for (IXml loan = loans.getFirstChildElement(); loan !=null;
  loan = loan.getNextSiblingElement())
    //look for match on loanID element
    if ( loan.getText("Loan/LoanID").equals(loanID) )

      //match found, return the current loan
    return loan;

  //no match found, return empty loan
  return XmlUtil.create("Loan");

This code cycles through each of the loan elements in the loans list, and checks to see whether the loan ID of the element matches the loan ID passed in to the method. For more information on the use of IXml, see Chapter 9. Save the builder call when you are finished.

Specifying the getLoanDetail Operation

The final builder call for the service provider is another Service Operation builder call. This builder call defines a second operation for the loansService service, which displays details for a particular loan (by calling the getLoanFromID Method). Add a Service Operation builder call to the model and point the Data Service input to loansService. Change the Operation Name to getLoanDetail, and the Action To Call to getLoanFromID. This creates a new operation on the loansService service called getLoanDetail, which runs the getLoanFromID method when consumed.

In the Operation Inputs section of the builder call, select 'Use structure from called action' for the Input Structure Handling input and make sure the Input Field Mapping input is set to Automatic. This specifies that the inputs to the operation are defined by the getLoanFromID Method, and should be automatically mapped to the inputs in getLoanFromID.

Fill out the Operation Results section of the builder call the same as the Operation Results section in the previous Service Operation builder call, which specifies that the structure of the results to be returned from the operation is defined by the Loan element in the Loans schema. Save the builder call when you are finished.

You have now finished building your service provider. The next section discusses how you can test your service provider before moving on to create the list portlet and detail portlet.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020