How to Hack Axis2 Codegen templates from an Axis2 Binary

I have been working for Axis2/C codegen tool for sometime now and I found lot of users who want to edit the codegen templates for a more optimized code specific to their use cases. This is mainly because codegen tool generates a very general code (For an example lot of unused variables generated for some WSDLs, but they are used in some other WSDLs) where as mostly ‘C’ people prefer to be as optimized as possible. Axis2 Java templates are more stable and not needed to customized as much as C templates, but Java developers too may find it is really useful to edit them in a case they need some customizations.

Both Axis2 C and Java tools comes with Axis2/Java project. So you may already have downloaded the latest Axis2/Java release or the Axis2/Java nightly build. As per title you can do this customization not only in the source but also in the binary pack. So I assume you have the binary pack.

Codegen tool mainly comes within two jars inside the lib directory of your Axis2/Java pack. (Here xxxx should be replaced with the particular jar version, it can be 1.4, 1.4.1 or SNAPSHOT)

  • axis2-codegen-xxxx.jar – The core classes of the codegen (This is where WSDL2C and WSDL2Java classes reside)
  • axis2-adb-codegen-xxxx.jar – This is the library containing the adb component of the codegen tool. ADB (Axis2 Data Binding) is the native databinding format of Axis2 which convert your xml schema to a more programmer friendly set of java classes or ‘C’ structures. The XSD2Java class comes in this jar.

Editing the Stub and Skeleton templates

When you unpack the axis2-codegen-xxxx.jar

jar xf axis2-codegen-xxxx.jar

you can find the template for Stub and Skel in org/apache/axis2/wsdl/template/c or org/apache/axis2/wsdl/template/java directories.

  • Stub For C – org/apache/axis2/wsdl/template/c/StubSourceTemplate.xsl (source) and org/apache/axis2/wsdl/template/c/StubHeaderTemplate.xsl (header)
  • Skeleton for C – org/apache/axis2/wsdl/template/c/SkelSourceTemplate.xsl (source) and org/apache/axis2/wsdl/template/c/SkelHeaderTemplate.xsl (header)
  • Stub For Java – org/apache/axis2/wsdl/template/java/InterfaceImplementationTemplate.xsl
  • Skel For Java – org/apache/axis2/wsdl/template/java/MessageReceiverTemplate.xsl (Message Reciever) and org/apache/axis2/wsdl/template/java/SkeletonTemplate.xsl (skeleton)

These templates are written is XSL. Even if you are an XSL expert, you may find little difficult to understand whole lot of codes in there. But if you really know what you need to change, you can track back the lines (may be using comment or some specific static set of code). So you don’t actually need to know any XSL to do these little customizations.

After you do the change simply pack the classes (which are in the ‘org’ directory) as the jar with the same name.

jar cf axis2-codegen-xxxx.jar org

Editing the ADB templates

You can similarly observe the axis2-adb-codegen-xxxx.jar. All the templates are in the org/apache/axis2/schema/template/ directory.

  • C ADB templates – org/apache/axis2/schema/template/CADBBeanTemplateHeader.xsl (Source) and org/apache/axis2/schema/template/CADBBeanTemplateHeader.xsl (Header)
  • Java ADB template – org/apache/axis2/schema/template/ADBBeanTemplate.xsl

You will find the template for the Java classes and C structures there. In C code generation if you find some variables are not used throughout your WSDLs, you can remove directly if from the templates. And some constants which are defined to allocate memory can be changed to suit to your application.

Anyway after all these notes, I have to say it is not really recommended to hack a code specific to your application. If you found a change general to all the applications you better submit the patch to the Axis2 community, so others too can use it. Otherwise whenever you do a upgrade you have to do this again on your own. But I hope these tips may be useful specially when you are working with ADB to do your own experiments.

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