Why Use Spring to develop Java Web Services?
Originally published by Javin Paul on August 20th 2018 Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash REST has now become a standard way to develop web services and when it comes to Java, there are many frameworks and libraries available, e.g. JAX-RS, Restlet, Jersey, RESTEasy, Apache CFX etc., but I encourage Java developers to use Spring MVC to develop RESTful web services. Some of you might ask, why use Spring MVC Framework to develop RESTful web services in Java? What are the advantages, and why is it better than other frameworks and libraries available out there? Well, the most important reason, I think, to use Spring for developing RESTful web service is that you can use your Spring MVC experience for developing RESTful web services and you don’t need to learn a new framework or library, which means you can quickly roll out your REST API. This is one of the biggest advantages, i.e. leveraging your years of experience on Spring MVC to expose your application as REST APIs. Another reason is that Spring has excellent support for developing RESTful web services. In the last couple of versions, starting from Spring version 3.0, it has provided a lot of enhancements to Spring MVC to provide first-class REST support. It has provided dedicated annotations, e.g. @RestController and @ResponseStatus to make the development of RESTful resources even easier in Spring 4.0. It’s also not only help you to create RESTful web services but also provides classes to consume REST resources, e.g. you can use the RestTemplate class to consume RESTful resources. There are many more utility classes and annotations which make the development of RESTful web services in Spring easier and seamless and I’ll share a couple of them in this article to prove my point that using Spring to develop RESTful Web service is the right decision. 7 Reasons to Use Spring for Creating RESTful Web Services in Java As I told you in the first paragraph, we can use Spring MVC to create and consume RESTful web services. Now, let’s see those supports in a little bit more details so that you can make the best use of them and quickly develop the RESTful services you always wanted. 1. In Spring MVC, a controller can handle the requests for all HTTP methods, which is a backbone of RESTful web services. For example, you can handle a GET method to perform read operations, POST methods to create resources, PUT methods to update resources, and DELETE methods to remove resources from the server. From Spring 3.2 onwards, you can also handle PATCH requests. By the way, if you are not familiar with the Spring MVC framework, then you should first take a look at that; Spring MVC For Beginners is a good place to begin. 2. In the case of REST, the representation of data is very important and that’s why Spring MVC allows you to bypass View-based rendering altogether by using the @ResponseBody annotation and various HttpMessgeConverterimplementations. By using this, you can directly send a response to a client, e.g. the resource clients want and also in the format they want. See here to learn more about HttpMessageConvert and @ResponseBody annotation. 3. » Read More
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