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Going REST/NoXML: Embedding Jetty with Spring and JAX-RS using Apache CXF

01.30.2013
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For hardcore server-side Java developers, the only way to "speak" out to the world is by using APIs. Today's post is all about JAX-RS: writing and exposing RESTful services using Java.

But we won't do that using a traditional, heavyweight approach involving an application server, WAR packaging and whatnot. Instead, we will use the awesome Apache CXF framework and as always rely on Spring to wire all pieces together. And for sure we won't stop on that either as we need a web server to run our services on. Using fat or one jar concept we will embed Jetty server into our application and make our final JAR redistributable (all dependencies included) and runnable.  (curators note: Check out the Jetty Refcard to learn more)

It's a lot of work so let's get started. As we stated above, we will use Apache CXF, Spring and Jetty as building blocks so let's have them described in a POM file. The one additional dependency worth mentioning is excellent Jackson library for JSON processing.

<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemalocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 http://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
    <modelversion>4.0.0</modelversion>

    <groupid>com.example</groupid>
    <artifactid>spring-one-jar</artifactid>
    <version>0.0.1-SNAPSHOT</version>
    <packaging>jar</packaging>

    <properties>
        <project.build.sourceencoding>UTF-8</project.build.sourceencoding>
        <org.apache.cxf.version>2.7.2</org.apache.cxf.version>
        <org.springframework.version>3.2.0.RELEASE</org.springframework.version>
        <org.eclipse.jetty.version>8.1.8.v20121106</org.eclipse.jetty.version>
    </properties>

    <dependencies>   
        <dependency>
            <groupid>org.apache.cxf</groupid>
            <artifactid>cxf-rt-frontend-jaxrs</artifactid>
            <version>${org.apache.cxf.version}</version>
        </dependency>

        <dependency>
            <groupid>javax.inject</groupid>
            <artifactid>javax.inject</artifactid>
            <version>1</version>
        </dependency>

        <dependency>
            <groupid>org.codehaus.jackson</groupid>
            <artifactid>jackson-jaxrs</artifactid>
            <version>1.9.11</version>
        </dependency>
     
        <dependency>
            <groupid>org.codehaus.jackson</groupid>
            <artifactid>jackson-mapper-asl</artifactid>
            <version>1.9.11</version>
        </dependency>
     
        <dependency>
            <groupid>cglib</groupid>
            <artifactid>cglib-nodep</artifactid>
            <version>2.2</version>
        </dependency>

        <dependency>
            <groupid>org.springframework</groupid>
            <artifactid>spring-core</artifactid>
            <version>${org.springframework.version}</version>
        </dependency>

        <dependency>
            <groupid>org.springframework</groupid>
            <artifactid>spring-context</artifactid>
            <version>${org.springframework.version}</version>
        </dependency>

        <dependency>
            <groupid>org.springframework</groupid>
            <artifactid>spring-web</artifactid>
            <version>${org.springframework.version}</version>
        </dependency>
      
        <dependency>
            <groupid>org.eclipse.jetty</groupid>
            <artifactid>jetty-server</artifactid>
            <version>${org.eclipse.jetty.version}</version>
        </dependency>
     
        <dependency>
            <groupid>org.eclipse.jetty</groupid>
            <artifactid>jetty-webapp</artifactid>
            <version>${org.eclipse.jetty.version</version>
        </dependency>  
    </dependencies>

    <build>
        <plugins>
            <plugin>
                <groupid>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupid>
                <artifactid>maven-compiler-plugin</artifactid>
                <version>3.0</version>
                <configuration>
                    <source>1.6</source>
                    <target>1.6</target>
                </configuration>
            </plugin>  
            <plugin>
                <groupid>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupid>
                <artifactid>maven-jar-plugin</artifactid>
                <configuration>
                    <archive>
                        <manifest>
                            <mainclass>com.example.Starter</mainclass>
                        </manifest>
                    </archive>
                </configuration>
            </plugin>
            <plugin>
                <groupid>org.dstovall</groupid>
                <artifactid>onejar-maven-plugin</artifactid>
                <version>1.4.4</version>
                <executions>
                    <execution>
                        <configuration>
                            <onejarversion>0.97</onejarversion>
                            <classifier>onejar</classifier>
                        </configuration>
                        <goals>
                            <goal>one-jar</goal>
                        </goals>
                    </execution>
                </executions>
            </plugin>
        </plugins>
    </build>
    
    <pluginrepositories>
        <pluginrepository>
            <id>onejar-maven-plugin.googlecode.com</id>
            <url>http://onejar-maven-plugin.googlecode.com/svn/mavenrepo</url>
        </pluginrepository>
    </pluginrepositories>
 
    <repositories>
        <repository>
            <id>maven2-repository.dev.java.net</id>
            <url>http://download.java.net/maven/2/</url>
        </repository>
    </repositories>
</project>

It's a lot of stuff but should be pretty clear. Now, we are ready to develop our first JAX-RS services by starting with simple JAX-RS application.

package com.example.rs;

import javax.ws.rs.ApplicationPath;
import javax.ws.rs.core.Application;

@ApplicationPath( "api" )
public class JaxRsApiApplication extends Application {
}

As simple as it looks like, our application defines an /api to be the entry path for the JAX-RS services. The sample service will manage people represented by Person class.

package com.example.model;

public class Person {
    private String email;
    private String firstName;
    private String lastName;
  
    public Person() {
    }
 
    public Person( final String email ) {
        this.email = email;
    }
 
    public String getEmail() {
        return email;
    }
 
    public void setEmail( final String email ) {
        this.email = email;
    }
  
    public String getFirstName() {
        return firstName;
    }
 
    public String getLastName() {
        return lastName;
    }
 
    public void setFirstName( final String firstName ) {
        this.firstName = firstName;
    }
 
    public void setLastName( final String lastName ) {
        this.lastName = lastName;
    } 
}

And following bare bones business service (for simplicity, no database or any other storage are included).

package com.example.services;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Collection;

import org.springframework.stereotype.Service;

import com.example.model.Person;

@Service
public class PeopleService {
    public Collection< Person > getPeople( int page, int pageSize ) {
        Collection< Person > persons = new ArrayList< Person >( pageSize );
  
        for( int index = 0; index < pageSize; ++index ) {
            persons.add( new Person( String.format( "person+%d@at.com", ( pageSize * ( page - 1 ) + index + 1 ) ) ) );
        }
  
        return persons;
    }

    public Person addPerson( String email ) {
        return new Person( email );
    }
}

As you can see, we will generate a list of persons on the fly depending on the page requested. Standard Spring annotation @Service marks this class as a service bean. Our JAX-RS service PeopleRestService will use it for retrieving persons as the following code demonstrates.

package com.example.rs;

import java.util.Collection;

import javax.inject.Inject;
import javax.ws.rs.DefaultValue;
import javax.ws.rs.FormParam;
import javax.ws.rs.GET;
import javax.ws.rs.PUT;
import javax.ws.rs.Path;
import javax.ws.rs.Produces;
import javax.ws.rs.QueryParam;

import com.example.model.Person;
import com.example.services.PeopleService;

@Path( "/people" ) 
public class PeopleRestService {
    @Inject private PeopleService peopleService;
 
    @Produces( { "application/json" } )
    @GET
    public Collection< Person > getPeople( @QueryParam( "page") @DefaultValue( "1" ) final int page ) {
        return peopleService.getPeople( page, 5 );
    }
  
    @Produces( { "application/json" } )
    @PUT
    public Person addPerson( @FormParam( "email" ) final String email ) {
        return peopleService.addPerson( email );
    }
}

Though simple, this class needs more explanations. First of all, we want to expose our RESTful service to /people endpoint. Combining it with /api (where our JAX-RS application resides), it gives as the /api/people as qualified path.

Now, whenever someone issues HTTP GET to this path, the method getPeople should be invoked. This method accepts optional parameter page (with default value 1) and returns list of persons as JSON. In turn, if someone issues HTTP PUT to the same path, the method addPerson should be invoked (with required parameter email) and return new person as a JSON.

Now let's take a look on Spring configuration, the core of our application.

package com.example.config;

import java.util.Arrays;

import javax.ws.rs.ext.RuntimeDelegate;

import org.apache.cxf.bus.spring.SpringBus;
import org.apache.cxf.endpoint.Server;
import org.apache.cxf.jaxrs.JAXRSServerFactoryBean;
import org.codehaus.jackson.jaxrs.JacksonJsonProvider;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;

import com.example.rs.JaxRsApiApplication;
import com.example.rs.PeopleRestService;
import com.example.services.PeopleService;

@Configuration
public class AppConfig { 
    @Bean( destroyMethod = "shutdown" )
    public SpringBus cxf() {
        return new SpringBus();
    }
 
    @Bean
    public Server jaxRsServer() {
        JAXRSServerFactoryBean factory = RuntimeDelegate.getInstance().createEndpoint( jaxRsApiApplication(), JAXRSServerFactoryBean.class );
        factory.setServiceBeans( Arrays.< Object >asList( peopleRestService() ) );
        factory.setAddress( "/" + factory.getAddress() );
        factory.setProviders( Arrays.< Object >asList( jsonProvider() ) );
        return factory.create();
    }
 
    @Bean 
    public JaxRsApiApplication jaxRsApiApplication() {
        return new JaxRsApiApplication();
    }
 
    @Bean 
    public PeopleRestService peopleRestService() {
        return new PeopleRestService();
    }
 
    @Bean 
    public PeopleService peopleService() {
        return new PeopleService();
    }
  
    @Bean
    public JacksonJsonProvider jsonProvider() {
        return new JacksonJsonProvider();
    }
}
package com.example.config;

import java.util.Arrays;

import javax.ws.rs.ext.RuntimeDelegate;

import org.apache.cxf.bus.spring.SpringBus;
import org.apache.cxf.endpoint.Server;
import org.apache.cxf.jaxrs.JAXRSServerFactoryBean;
import org.codehaus.jackson.jaxrs.JacksonJsonProvider;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;

import com.example.rs.JaxRsApiApplication;
import com.example.rs.PeopleRestService;
import com.example.services.PeopleService;

@Configuration
public class AppConfig { 
    @Bean( destroyMethod = "shutdown" )
    public SpringBus cxf() {
        return new SpringBus();
    }
 
    @Bean
    public Server jaxRsServer() {
        JAXRSServerFactoryBean factory = RuntimeDelegate.getInstance().createEndpoint( jaxRsApiApplication(), JAXRSServerFactoryBean.class );
        factory.setServiceBeans( Arrays.< Object >asList( peopleRestService() ) );
        factory.setAddress( "/" + factory.getAddress() );
        factory.setProviders( Arrays.< Object >asList( jsonProvider() ) );
        return factory.create();
    }
 
    @Bean 
    public JaxRsApiApplication jaxRsApiApplication() {
        return new JaxRsApiApplication();
    }
 
    @Bean 
    public PeopleRestService peopleRestService() {
        return new PeopleRestService();
    }
 
    @Bean 
    public PeopleService peopleService() {
        return new PeopleService();
    }
  
    @Bean
    public JacksonJsonProvider jsonProvider() {
        return new JacksonJsonProvider();
    }
}

It doesn't look complicated but a lot happens under the hood. Let's dissect it into the peices. The two key component here are the factory JAXRSServerFactoryBean which does all heavy lifting for configuring our instance of JAX-RS server, and SpringBus instance which seamlessly glues Spring and Apache CXF together. All other components represent regular Spring beans.

What's not on a picture yet is embedding Jetty web server instance. Our main application class Starter does exactly that.

package com.example;

import org.apache.cxf.transport.servlet.CXFServlet;
import org.eclipse.jetty.server.Server;
import org.eclipse.jetty.servlet.ServletContextHandler;
import org.eclipse.jetty.servlet.ServletHolder;
import org.springframework.web.context.ContextLoaderListener;
import org.springframework.web.context.support.AnnotationConfigWebApplicationContext;

import com.example.config.AppConfig;

public class Starter {
    public static void main( final String[] args ) throws Exception {
        Server server = new Server( 8080 );
          
        // Register and map the dispatcher servlet
        final ServletHolder servletHolder = new ServletHolder( new CXFServlet() );
        final ServletContextHandler context = new ServletContextHandler();   
        context.setContextPath( "/" );
        context.addServlet( servletHolder, "/rest/*" );  
        context.addEventListener( new ContextLoaderListener() );
   
        context.setInitParameter( "contextClass", AnnotationConfigWebApplicationContext.class.getName() );
        context.setInitParameter( "contextConfigLocation", AppConfig.class.getName() );
      
        server.setHandler( context );
        server.start();
        server.join(); 
    }
}

Looking through this code uncovers that we are running Jetty server instance on port 8080, we are configuring Apache CXF servlet to handle all requests at /rest/* path (which together with our JAX-RS application and service gives us the /rest/api/people), we are adding Spring context listener parametrized with the configuration we have defined above and finally we are starting the server up. What we have at this point is full-blown web server hosting for our JAX-RS services. Let's see it in action. Firstly, let's package it as single, runnable and redistributable fat or one jar:

mvn clean package

Let's pick up the bits from the target folder and run them:

java -jar target/spring-one-jar-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.one-jar.jar

And we should see the output like that:

2013-01-19 11:43:08.636:INFO:oejs.Server:jetty-8.1.8.v20121106
2013-01-19 11:43:08.698:INFO:/:Initializing Spring root WebApplicationContext
Jan 19, 2013 11:43:08 AM org.springframework.web.context.ContextLoader initWebApplicationContext
INFO: Root WebApplicationContext: initialization started
Jan 19, 2013 11:43:08 AM org.springframework.context.support.AbstractApplicationContext prepareRefresh
INFO: Refreshing Root WebApplicationContext: startup date [Sat Jan 19 11:43:08 EST 2013]; root of context hierarchy
Jan 19, 2013 11:43:08 AM org.springframework.context.annotation.ClassPathScanningCandidateComponentProvider registerDefaultFilters
INFO: JSR-330 'javax.inject.Named' annotation found and supported for component scanning
Jan 19, 2013 11:43:08 AM org.springframework.web.context.support.AnnotationConfigWebApplicationContext loadBeanDefinitions
INFO: Successfully resolved class for [com.example.config.AppConfig]
Jan 19, 2013 11:43:09 AM org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.AutowiredAnnotationBeanPostProcessor 
INFO: JSR-330 'javax.inject.Inject' annotation found and supported for autowiring
Jan 19, 2013 11:43:09 AM org.springframework.beans.factory.support.DefaultListableBeanFactory preInstantiateSingletons
INFO: Pre-instantiating singletons in org.springframework.beans.factory.support.DefaultListableBeanFactory@1f8166e5: defining beans [org.springframework.context.annotation.internal
ConfigurationAnnotationProcessor,org.springframework.context.annotation.internalAutowiredAnnotationProcessor,org.springframework.context.annotation.internalRequiredAnnotationProces
sor,org.springframework.context.annotation.internalCommonAnnotationProcessor,appConfig,org.springframework.context.annotation.ConfigurationClassPostProcessor.importAwareProcessor,c
xf,jaxRsServer,jaxRsApiApplication,peopleRestService,peopleService,jsonProvider]; root of factory hierarchy
Jan 19, 2013 11:43:10 AM org.apache.cxf.endpoint.ServerImpl initDestination
INFO: Setting the server's publish address to be /api
Jan 19, 2013 11:43:10 AM org.springframework.web.context.ContextLoader initWebApplicationContext
INFO: Root WebApplicationContext: initialization completed in 2227 ms
2013-01-19 11:43:10.957:INFO:oejsh.ContextHandler:started o.e.j.s.ServletContextHandler{/,null}
2013-01-19 11:43:11.019:INFO:oejs.AbstractConnector:Started SelectChannelConnector@0.0.0.0:8080

Having our server up and running, let's issue some HTTP requests to it to be sure everything works just as we expected:

> curl http://localhost:8080/rest/api/people?page=2
[
  {"email":"person+6@at.com","firstName":null,"lastName":null},
  {"email":"person+7@at.com","firstName":null,"lastName":null},
  {"email":"person+8@at.com","firstName":null,"lastName":null}, 
  {"email":"person+9@at.com","firstName":null,"lastName":null}, 
  {"email":"person+10@at.com","firstName":null,"lastName":null}
]
> curl http://localhost:8080/rest/api/people -X PUT -d "email=a@b.com"
{"email":"a@b.com","firstName":null,"lastName":null}

Awesome! And please notice, we are completely XML-free! Source code: https://github.com/reta/spring-one-jar/tree/jetty-embedded

Before ending the post, I would like to mention one great project, Dropwizard, which uses similar concepts but pushes it to the level of an excellent, well-designed framework, thanks to the Yammer guys for that.





Published at DZone with permission of Andriy Redko, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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Comments

Charl Victor replied on Thu, 2013/01/31 - 1:29am

Very useful, thanks for sharing!

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