Enterprise Java

Handle custom exception types in JAX-RS

JAX-RS supports handling custom exceptions — thrown in either EJBs or CID beans — to custom HTTP responses.

Assuming we have an “exceptional” EJB:

public class Hello {

    public String greeting() {
        if (new Random().nextBoolean())
            throw new GreetingException("Could not greet");

        return "hello";

public class GreetingException extends RuntimeException {

    public GreetingException(String message) {


The EJB is used in our JAX-RS resource:

public class HelloResource {

    Hello hello;

    public String hello() {
        return hello.greeting();


Now to map the occurring exception to a custom HTTP response we can define a JAX-RS ExceptionMapper.

public class GreetingExceptionMapper implements ExceptionMapper<GreetingException> {

    public Response toResponse(GreetingException exception) {
        return Response.status(Response.Status.CONFLICT)
                .header("Conflict-Reason", exception.getMessage())


The exception mapper is registered as a JAX-RS extension (by @Provider) and will handle any GreetingException thrown by a resource method.

The example will occasionally output HTTP 409 Conflict with header Conflict-Reason: Could not greet.

If a CDI managed bean is used instead of an EJB, the @ApplicationException annotation is not required.

Published on Java Code Geeks with permission by Sebastian Daschner, partner at our JCG program. See the original article here: Handle custom exception types in JAX-RS

Opinions expressed by Java Code Geeks contributors are their own.

Sebastian Daschner

Sebastian Daschner is a self-employed Java consultant and trainer. He is the author of the book 'Architecting Modern Java EE Applications'. Sebastian is a Java Champion, Oracle Developer Champion and JavaOne Rockstar.
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