The work (from a technology perspective) focused on 2 specific areas:
- JCP-based programming model updates
- Continuation of filling out the Web Services Roadmap
Extending beyond what's in just the JCP specification, the combination of EJB 3.0 beans and JAX-WS annotations also brings support for SOAP/JMS-based beans to JAX-WS-based services. This makes it consistent for those developers looking to use existing reliable transports as a way to send/receive their web services requests. As part of that support, we are tracking the emerging SOAP/JMS standard being developed at W3C.
With respect to filling out the Web Services roadmap, WebSphere v7.0 upgrades support for numerous OASIS and W3C specifications to their official standardized levels (as well as providing support for their pre-OASIS levels for versions previously introduced within WebSphere). OASIS WS-AtomicTransactions and WS-BusinessActivity were both upgraded to their 1.1 levels (so WebSphere supports both 1.0 and 1.1 levels now). The OASIS WS-Trust and WS-SecureConversation specifications have also been upgraded to their OASIS 1.3 levels as well as support for OASIS WS-SecurityPolicy 1.2 being introduced. The OASIS Kerberos Token Profile 1.1 is also now supported in v7.0 providing support for single signon with Keberos tokens.
With the addition of WS-SecurityPolicy also means that we've introduced support for W3C's WS-Policy 1.5 specification. As such, WebSphere now supports the ability to expose WS-Policy assertions for services exposing WSDL endpoints supporting the qualities of service attached at that endpoint (including Security, ReliableMessaging, Addressing, and Transactions). That information is available via the typical ?wsdl exposed for the service as well as a WS-MetadataExchange request to the service endpoint too.
To continue focusing on improving the ease-of-use experience for WS-Policy, WebSphere has also exposed the ability on the client side to configure itself based on the policy assertions exposed in the published service's WSDL file. This makes it easy to have the client configure itself (or calculate an effective policy based on the clients capabilities).
In addition to the standards upgrades, v7.0 continues to focus on other enhancements to the existing functionality (both functional and non-functional) which continues to enhance the maturity and ease-of-use to the development and adminstration of web services. For example, WS-Notification services now can take advantage of PolicySets. PolicySets themselves have been enhanced to support naming the configurations as well as the bindings. These can now be imported and exported easily to allow these pre-configured systems to be moved from one topology to another. For example, moving from a development environment to a test environment to a production environment.
Andrew Spyker had already talked about some of the dramatic performance improvements introduced in v7.0 for web services.
I guess to make a long story short, there's lots of good new stuff in the web services space. I hope that you find the links provided above as a good starting point to quickly get pointers to more information on the topics discussed.