The JAX-WS guide  makes the following statement:
Axis2 provides two mechanisms for deploying JAX-WS services:
- The service may be packaged and deployed as an AAR, just like any other service within Axis2. Like with all AARs, a services.xml file containing the relevant metadata is required for the service to deploy correctly.
- The service may be packaged in a jar file and placed into the servicejars directory. The JAXWSDeployer will examine all jars within that directory and deploy those classes that have JAX-WS annotations which identify them as Web services.
This is no longer true. The support for the first scenario has been eliminated by the change in r646585 . The commit comment explains the reason for this change as follows: "This is no longer needed now that JAXWS annotated endpoints can be deployed in Axis2." This argument is flawed because service.xml allows to configure the services in ways that are not supported by JAXWSDeployer. Here are some examples of valid use cases which could easily be satisfied if Axis2 supported JAX-WS services deployed as an AAR:
Other people have complained about the missing AAR/service.xml support, but without explaining their use case:
A closer look at r646585 reveals that the AAR support was actually considered experimental or at least not fit for production use. Therefore, simply rolling back that change is not an option. Analyzing the code in JAXWSDeployer and JAXWSMessageReceiver, it is also clear that a JAX-WS service can only work if the AxisService description has been created by org.apache.axis2.jaxws.description.DescriptionFactory. This is not the case if the service is deployed by ServiceDeployer (which is the component that deploys AAR files and parses service.xml). Interestingly, ServiceDeployer supports two approaches to build an AxisService:
1. The AxisService object is entirely built from information in service.xml.
2. The AxisService object is built from a WSDL, and this description is then completed with the information from the service.xml file.
Maybe JAX-WS services can be supported using an approach similar to item 2, i.e. by letting DescriptionFactory build the initial AxisService description and then add the information from the service.xml to that description.