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Rest Web Service with Java and Spring

Daisy RidleyDaisy Ridley Member Posts: 1

In the modern world of interconnected software, web applications have become an indispensable asset. Foremost among these web applications is the Representational State Transfer (REST) web service, with Java becoming one of the most popular implementation languages. Within the Java REST ecosystem, there are two popular contenders: Java Enterprise Edition (JavaEE) and Spring. While both have their strengths and weaknesses, this article will focus on Spring and create a simple order management RESTful web application using Spring 4. Although this management system will be simple compared to the large-scale RESTful services found today, it will nonetheless demonstrate the basic thought process, design decisions, and implementation tests required to create a Level 3 (hypermedia-driven) Spring REST web service.

By the end of this article, we will have created a fully functional Spring REST order management system. While the source code illustrated in this article covers the essential aspects of the order management system, there are other components and code (such as test cases) that support the main service that are not shown. All of the source code, including these supporting aspects, can be found in the following

The source code snippets in this article are not in-and-of-themselves sufficient for creating a fully functioning REST web service. Instead, they serve as a snapshot or reflection of the source code contained in the above repository. Therefore, as we walk through each step in creating our REST service, the source code in the above repository should be visited consistently and used as the authoritative reference for all design and implementation choices. For the remainder of this article, when we refer to our order management system, we are actually referring to the Spring REST service contained in the above repository.

Development Cycle and Tools
Our order management system was created using Test Driven Development (TDD), where tests were created first and each design decision and implemented component was focused on passing the created test cases. This not only resulted in a simple set of classes, but a more easily distinguishable set of components. For example, persistence logic and domain logic are not intertwined. Apart from the process used to create the service, there are also numerous tools used to build, test, and deploy the system, including:

Spring Model-View-Controller (MVC): the core framework of our web service; this framework provides the necessary annotations and structure required to create our REST endpoints and serve these endpoints over HTTP.

Spring Boot: a convention-over-configuration framework that removes a majority of the boilerplate Java Spring code and configuration; this framework allows us to develop and launch of web service with a fraction of the hassle of a standard Spring web service.

Apache Maven: a build and dependency management tool that is used to build, execute tests, and package our web service into a Java Archive (JAR) file that will be executed to run our RESTful web service.

JUnit: an automated unit testing framework that will be used for unit and integration tests, as well as to automate the execution of our acceptance tests.

Cucumber: an automated acceptance testing framework that allows us to create text-based acceptance criteria and exercise our web service to ensure that all top-level functionality is correct during the development of the service.

Java 8: at the time of writing, the latest version of Java; we will utilize the streams API to reduce the code needed to filter through the domain objects in our system.

GitHub: a free hosting service for Git-based projects; our web service will be hosted here and the commit history for the web service can be viewed here.

Travis Continuous Integration (CI): a free continuous integration platform that executes the automated tests in order of web service each time a commit is pushed to our GitHub repository; the build and test history of our web service can be viewed here.


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