Along with Java SE 6 slowly getting finished, SDN provides a series of articles on how to use JDK 6 and JAX-WS 2.0 to build SOAP-based web services: Part 1 outlines a few basics and introduces the use of NetBeans to create a simple Web Service based application; Part 2 is more in-depth explaining how to use the eBay Web Services API with JAX-WS. Both documents are well-written and definitely help getting into things.
On the other side of the road, Richard Monson-Haefel – J(2)EE folks should mainly know him for his EJB book which probably still is the best reading material on that issue so far – wrote several articles on JAX-WS, not at all coming to a good conclusion: “JAX-WS is Bad, Bad!”, or “Redeemed! JAX-WS still sucks!”. Both papers are worth reading, and his most important complaint about the technology is that JAX-WS overally is a technology way too complex to be used in everyday life, hard to get started with, hard to get set up and debugged in a sane way. His reasoning seems to be quite concise, and in some way, perhaps one should think twice about using JAX-WS.
However, seeing that the combination “NetBeans+glassfish+JAX-WS” allows for creating Web Service based applications almost in a RAD-like way, I surely will spend some time having a closer look at JAX-WS. Perhaps after all it is a matter of choosing the right technology at the right time, and the fact that JAX-WS in an integrated, concise environment might be the faster approach towards getting an application up and running, this is enough a reason to deal with it, building atop of it.