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Showing posts from November, 2007

Case for Web services with JSON RPC

I have recently been working on developing JSON RPC based web services (over https) and using Java client. The server side JSONRPC services were developed using the JSON-RPC-Java and later also using the JSON-RPC C libraries.

The only client side JSON RPC stack in Java that is available at the time of this writing is http://code.google.com/p/json-rpc-client/. It supports JSON RPC over http (using apache commons httpclient library). It was easily extensible to support JSON RPC over https. In this post, i am going to put down my experiences of using JSON RPC.

JSON is a fat-free XML. (Read more at http://json.org/xml.html). JSON RPC is an alternative RPC mechanism over http (or https).JSON RPC is simpler to learn and implement than SOAP. The stacks are much less lines of code compared to SOAP stacks.JSON RPC is simple as it does not include an Interface Definition Language like WSDL for SOAP based web services. So there is no contract definition between client and server in a IDL rather co…

Using Basic authentication and HTTPS (w/ self-signed certificates) in Java

1. Client Authentication is in practice only used for B2B type applications.
2. In some cases we may even be okay with not authenticating the server on the client end during SSL handshake, for sake of:
o simplicity (no certificate signing infrastructure is required) and
o performance (we only use SSL for encryption and not for server authentication).

This approach is of self-signed certificate which the server can sign for itself and client will by-pass server authentication.

3. We first need to configure web server for SSL. Tomcat currently operates only on JKS, PKCS11 or PKCS12 format keystores.
4. We can use the JDK keytool to generate self-signed certificate for the host running tomcat as shown below:

$ keytool -genkey -alias tomcat -keyalg RSA -keystore example.keystore
Enter keystore password: secret
Re-enter new password: secret
What is your first and last name?
[Unknown]: localhost
What is the name of your organizational unit?
[Unknown]:
What is the name of your organization?