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About Andrey Redko

Andriy is a well-grounded software developer with more then 12 years of practical experience using Java/EE, C#/.NET, C++, Groovy, Ruby, functional programming (Scala), databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle) and NoSQL solutions (MongoDB, Redis).

Going REST: embedding Jetty with Spring and JAX-RS (Apache CXF)

For hardcore server-side Java developer 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 application server, WAR packaging and whatnot. Instead, we will use 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.

It’s a lot of work so let’s get started. As we stated above, we will use Apache CXF, Spring and Jetty as a 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">










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;

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' } )
    public Collection< Person > getPeople( @QueryParam( 'page') @DefaultValue( '1' ) final int page ) {
        return peopleService.getPeople( page, 5 );

    @Produces( { 'application/json' } )
    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;

public class AppConfig { 
    @Bean( destroyMethod = 'shutdown' )
    public SpringBus cxf() {
        return new SpringBus();

    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();

    public JaxRsApiApplication jaxRsApiApplication() {
        return new JaxRsApiApplication();

    public PeopleRestService peopleRestService() {
        return new PeopleRestService();

    public PeopleService peopleService() {
        return new PeopleService();

    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 );

Looking through this code uncovers that we are running Jetty server instance on port 8080, we are configuring Apache CXF servlet to handle all request 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 server up. What we have at this point is full-blown web server hosting 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
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@

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

> curl http://localhost:8080/rest/api/people?page=2

> curl http://localhost:8080/rest/api/people -X PUT -d 'email=a@b.com'

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 quite similar concepts but pushes it to the level of excellent, well-designed framework, thanks to Yammer guys for that.

Reference: Going REST: embedding Jetty with Spring and JAX-RS (Apache CXF) from our JCG partner Andrey Redko at the Andriy Redko {devmind} blog.

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9 years ago

Nice job. Quick point – Do you need the @Bean and PeopleService in the AppConfig? The @Service annotation on PeopleService makes it available already to the Spring context for @Inject or @Autowired for the target injection points.

9 years ago
Reply to  Cory

I believe its still needed since component scanning is not configured. I don’t think it was the intention of the author to have classes annotated with @Service to be automatically scanned and registered as a Spring bean.

9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Dan good catch. He would have had @ComponentScan(basePackages=”com.example” ) in his AppConfig if that was the case.

8 years ago

Any ideas how to setup Spring Unit tests with this?

Andrey Redko
8 years ago

Hi Pete,

There could be several flavors to JUnit test the applications like that:
– integration JUnit tests: super-easy, copy-paste (without server.join()) of Starter::main to @BeforeClass and destroying server after that (server.stop())
– traditional JUnit testing: use the AppConfig as-is (or customized one with the mocks) in @ContextConfiguration annotation: inject your beans and test them as usual


Best Regards,
Andrey Redko

Fernando Luna
Fernando Luna
7 years ago

Thanks! That was really helpful!!
One small thing I had issues with was the fact that all strings were using single-quoting. Besides that, the example worked perfectly!