This guide walks you through the process of creating a "hello world" Hypermedia Driven REST web service with Spring.

Hypermedia is an important aspect of REST. It allows you to build services that decouple client and server to a large extent and allow them to evolve independently. The representations returned for REST resources contain not only data, but links to related resources. Thus the design of the representations is crucial to the design of the overall service.

What you'll build

You'll build a hypermedia-driven REST service with Spring HATEOAS, a library of APIs that you can use to easily create links pointing to Spring MVC controllers, build up resource representations, and control how they're rendered into supported hypermedia formats such as HAL.

The service will accept HTTP GET requests at:

http://localhost:8080/greeting

and respond with a JSON representation of a greeting enriched with the simplest possible hypermedia element, a link pointing to the resource itself:

{
  "content":"Hello, World!",
  "_links":{
    "self":{
      "href":"http://localhost:8080/greeting?name=World"
    }
  }
}

The response already indicates you can customize the greeting with an optional name parameter in the query string:

http://localhost:8080/greeting?name=User

The name parameter value overrides the default value of "World" and is reflected in the response:

{
  "content":"Hello, User!",
  "_links":{
    "self":{
      "href":"http://localhost:8080/greeting?name=User"
    }
  }
}

What you'll need

How to complete this guide

Like most Spring Getting Started guides, you can start from scratch and complete each step, or you can bypass basic setup steps that are already familiar to you. Either way, you end up with working code.

To start from scratch, move on to Build with Gradle.

To skip the basics, do the following:

When you're finished, you can check your results against the code in gs-rest-hateoas/complete.

Build with Gradle

First you set up a basic build script. You can use any build system you like when building apps with Spring, but the code you need to work with Gradle and Maven is included here. If you're not familiar with either, refer to Building Java Projects with Gradle or Building Java Projects with Maven.

Create the directory structure

In a project directory of your choosing, create the following subdirectory structure; for example, with mkdir -p src/main/java/hello on *nix systems:

└── src
    └── main
        └── java
            └── hello

Create a Gradle build file

build.gradle

buildscript {
    repositories {
        mavenCentral()
    }
    dependencies {
        classpath("org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-gradle-plugin:2.0.3.RELEASE")
    }
}

apply plugin: 'java'
apply plugin: 'eclipse'
apply plugin: 'idea'
apply plugin: 'org.springframework.boot'
apply plugin: 'io.spring.dependency-management'

bootJar {
    baseName = 'gs-rest-hateoas'
    version =  '0.1.0'
}

repositories {
    mavenCentral()
}

sourceCompatibility = 1.8
targetCompatibility = 1.8

dependencies {
    compile("org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-hateoas")
    testCompile("com.jayway.jsonpath:json-path")
    testCompile("org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-test")
}

The Spring Boot gradle plugin provides many convenient features:

  • It collects all the jars on the classpath and builds a single, runnable "über-jar", which makes it more convenient to execute and transport your service.

  • It searches for the public static void main() method to flag as a runnable class.

  • It provides a built-in dependency resolver that sets the version number to match Spring Boot dependencies. You can override any version you wish, but it will default to Boot's chosen set of versions.