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Using Fabric3

Having completed the walkthrough of assembling and packaging the LoanApplication composite, we put this knowledge to practice by deploying a sample application to the Fabric3 SCA runtime.

Fabric3 is a full-featured, open source SCA implementation. It has a highly modular design with preconfigured distributions for a number of environments. For example, Fabric3 has distributions that can be embedded in a servlet container, such as Tomcat or Jetty, and specific Java EE application servers, including JBoss, WebLogic, and WebSphere.

Fabric3 has a modular architecture similar to Eclipse. The core distributions implement basic SCA functionality, whereas additional features are added through extensions. This allows Fabric3 to remain lightweight and allows users to include only the features required by their applications. For example, support for bindings such as web services is added as extensions to the core.

To get started with deploying the loan application, you will need to set up Fabric3 and your development environment. We assume that you have JDK 5.0 installed on your machine. To configure your machine, perform the steps outlined in the following sections.

Download Fabric3 LoanApplication Sample

Fabric3 provides a LoanApplication sample that we use in this hands-on exercise. The sample is a full-fledged version of the loan-processing system covered in this chapter and includes integration with JPA and a web application front-end. It can be downloaded from the same place the Fabric3 distribution is located: http://www.fabric3.org/downloads.html.

The sample contains a utility for downloading the Fabric3 runtime and extensions. Follow the instructions to run the utility and install the runtime.

Verify the Installation

To verify that the server has been successfully installed, go to the bin directory where it has been installed and execute java -jar server.jar. This will start the server.

Build and Deploy the Application

We are now ready to build and deploy the application. First, follow the instructions for building the sample application. After this is done, start the Fabric3 server by issuing the following command from the bin directory where it is installed:

java -jar server.jar

When the server starts, it activates an SCA domain that is contained in a single process. In a distributed environment, multiple Fabric3 servers participate in a single domain that spans processes.

After the server has booted, copy the loan application JAR that was built in the previous step from the target directory to the deploy directory of the Fabric3 server installation. The server will then deploy the application to the domain.

Invoking the LoanApplication Service

After the application has been deployed, we can invoke the LoanService interface. The sample application contains a JAX-WS client that can be used to test-drive the service. Follow the instructions for launching the test-client from the command line.

This completes the hands-on walkthrough of building and deploying an SCA application with Fabric3. At this point, it is worth spending some time familiarizing yourself with the application code. As you will see, most of the tedious tasks of generating WSDLs and exposing web services are handled transparently by the runtime. In the following chapters, we expand the loan application by introducing additional SCA features and capabilities. However, the basic structure and simplicity of the code will remain the same.

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