AFAIK Apache WSIL is no longer developed (and spec "dead")
Did you mean WSIL or WSIF above. I was only asking about WSIF. Is WSIF dead at Apache? If so, I assume it would be prudent to not build any new project on it?
WSIF is about taking WSDL and invoking any service described in it irregardless of how the service is implemented (and that was accomplished before SOA became buzzword). WSIF allows developers to use the same API that reflects WSDL abstractions to access a service no matter what protocol is used. WSIF can implement any protocol binding (through WSIF providers) to allows interactions with a service solely though its interface (PortType).
Yes but it seems that the ESB concept achieves these goals of WSIF and JBI provides a standard Java SPI for building a standards based ESB framework. Does WSIF still have a role in the world of WSB and JBI?
JAX-WS is Java implementation of set of WS-* technologies based on JAX-* specs that is SOAP focused (main difference to WSIF - WSIF is not just for SOAP) - AFAIK JAX-WS do not have multi-protocol or an abstraction API of WSDL PortType as a goal. JAX-WS is also both for client and server but WSIF is only clients side.
That sounds reasonable. So comparing JX-WS and WSIF does not make sense. However, I do wonder if WSIF has a role in the SOA world of ESB and JBI? Any opinions would be appreciated.