I am having a lot of trouble finding good information on how to call a standard SOAP/WSDL web service with Android. All I've been able to find are either very convoluted documents and references to "kSoap2" and then some bit about parsing it all manually with SAX. OK, that's fine, but it's 2008, so I figured there should be some good library for calling standard web services.
The web service is just basically one created in NetBeans. I would like to have IDE support for generating the plumbing classes. I just need the easiest/most-elegant way to contact a WSDL based web service from an Android-based phone.
Android does not provide any sort of SOAP library. You can either write your own, or use something like kSOAP 2. As you note, others have been able to compile and use kSOAP2 in their own projects, but I haven't had to.
Google has shown, to date, little interest in adding a SOAP library to Android. My suspicion for this is that they'd rather support the current trends in Web Services toward REST-based services, and using JSON as a data encapsulation format. Or, using XMPP for messaging. But that is just conjecture.
XML-based web services are a slightly non-trivial task on Android at this time. Not knowing NetBeans, I can't speak to the tools available there, but I agree that a better library should be available. It is possible that the XmlPullParser will save you from using SAX, but I don't know much about that.