Spring Building a RESTful Web Service – revisited

I do frequently find that Spring documentation reads more like a novel than it does technical documentation. I find you can sometimes take many minutes, or even hours, just wading through stuff to find out how to do something that should have taken 5-10 minutes. Spring’s REST framework is relatively straight forward to use, but there doesn’t seem to be a good quick start on it’s use.

So, we endeavour to have you up and running with their “Building a RESTful Web Service” tutorial in under 5 minutes, assuming you have a basic java development environment going, meeting their requirements. Please quickly review the first two “What you’ll build” and the “What you’ll need” sections at “Building a RESTful Web Service“, then come back here.

We have one additional requirement. It’s assumed you’re able to develop from a Linux command line. If you’re not using Linux as a development platform, you really should be.

git clone https://github.com/spring-guides/gs-rest-service.git
cd gs-rest-service/complete
mvn clean install
java -jar target/gs-rest-service-0.1.0.jar
# on a separate terminal
curl http://localhost:8080/greeting

The key components of this tutorial, which are quite self explanatory with a simple explanation, are…

  • Application.java – starts the application with an embedded tomcat server
  • GreetingController.java – binds the REST url and handles the request
  • Greeting.java – serializable object for the framework to return JSON
  • pom.xml
    • spring-boot-start-parent – a dependency management parent project
    • spring-boot-starter-web – includes things like the mvc framework and the rest framework
    • For a WAR working in an existing tomcat instance…
      • include spring-boot-starter-tomcat dependency
      • add a pom “packaging” element with a value of “war”
      • make your Application class extend SpringBootServletInitializer


Example for the spring tomcat starter dependency.