Spring 4 MVC REST Controller Example (JSON CRUD Tutorial)

Spring 4 MVC REST Controller Service Example (JSON CRUD Tutorial) – A step by step tutorial to understand Spring 4 MVC REST API and to create RESTful service using Spring 4.

Spring 4 MVC REST provides powerful APIs to built complete RESTful services. Let us understand the core concept and create simple web application using Maven and make our CRUD based REST service.

Getting started with Spring 4 MVC REST Controller

For this project we will use following tools and technologies.

  • Java 1.7
  • Spring MVC 4.3.0.RELEASE
  • Tomcat 7
  • Maven 3
  • POSTMan (optional)

The demo REST application will have Customer resource. This customer resource can be accessed using standard GET, POST, PUT, DELETE http methods. We will create below REST endpoints for this project.

REST Endpoint HTTP Method Description
/customers GET Returns the list of customers
/customers/{id} GET Returns customer detail for given customer {id}
/customers POST Creates new customer from the post data
/customers/{id} PUT Replace the details for given customer {id}
/customers/{id} DELETE Delete the customer for given customer {id}

1. Create a new Maven Project

If you are using Eclipse then you can use M2Eclipse plugin. Check the tutorial Spring 4 MVC Hello World and follow the section 1.

Alternatively if you want to generate Maven webapp using mvn command then follow these steps.

mvn archetype:create 

This will generate maven application with default project directory structure. You can then run following command and convert the project in Eclipse project.

mvn eclipse:eclipse

And then simply import the project in Eclipse.

2. Add Spring 4 MVC Maven dependencies (Update pom.xml)

Project structure is created. Now let’s start and add first the maven dependencies for Spring 4 MVC REST in our pom.xml file.

Update pom.xml file and add following dependencies.


After updating pom.xml, Eclipse’s maven plugin should start resolving the dependencies.

3. Set Annotation based Configuration for Spring 4 MVC REST

For this Spring 4 MVC REST tutorial we are going to use Spring’s Java based configuration or annotation based configuration instead of old XML configuration. So now let us add the Java Configuration required to bootstrap Spring 4 MVC REST in our webapp.

Create AppConfig.java file under /src folder. Give appropriate package name to your file. We are using @EnableWebMvc, @ComponentScan and @Configuration annotations. These will bootstrap the spring mvc application and set package to scan controllers and resources.

package net.viralpatel.spring.config;

import org.springframework.context.annotation.ComponentScan;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.config.annotation.EnableWebMvc;

@ComponentScan(basePackages = "net.viralpatel.spring")
public class AppConfig {


4. Set Servlet 3 Java Configuration

Create AppInitializer class under config package. This class will replace web.xml and it will map the spring’s dispatcher servlet and bootstrap it.

package net.viralpatel.spring.config;

import org.springframework.web.servlet.support.AbstractAnnotationConfigDispatcherServletInitializer;

public class AppInitializer extends AbstractAnnotationConfigDispatcherServletInitializer {

	protected Class[] getRootConfigClasses() {
		return new Class[] { AppConfig.class };

	protected Class[] getServletConfigClasses() {
		return null;

	protected String[] getServletMappings() {
		return new String[] { "/" };


We have configured the dispatcher servlet using standard Java based configuration instead of the older web.xml. Thus web.xml is no longer required and we can simply delete it.

5. Create the Customer Model

Next let us create Customer model class that will have few properties such as firstName, lastName, email etc. This bean will hold customer information.

package net.viralpatel.spring.model;

import java.util.Date;

public class Customer {

	private Long id;
	private String firstName;
	private String lastName;
	private String email;
	private String mobile;
	private Date dateOfBirth;

	public Customer(long id, String firstName, String lastName, String email, String mobile) {
		this.id = id;
		this.firstName = firstName;
		this.lastName = lastName;
		this.email = email;
		this.mobile = mobile;
		this.dateOfBirth = new Date();

	public Customer() {

	//..Getter and setter methods


6. Create the Dummy Customer Data Access Object (DAO)

Instead of storing the customer data in database and to make this example simple, we will create a dummy data access object that will store customer details in a list. This DAO class can be easily replaced with Spring Data DAO or custom DAO. But for this example we will keep it easy.

The CustomerDAO contains methods list(), get(), create(), update() and delete() to perform CRUD operation on customers.

package net.viralpatel.spring.dao;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

import org.springframework.stereotype.Component;

import net.viralpatel.spring.model.Customer;

public class CustomerDAO {

	// Dummy database. Initialize with some dummy values.
	private static List customers;
		customers = new ArrayList();
		customers.add(new Customer(101, "John", "Doe", "[email protected]", "121-232-3435"));
		customers.add(new Customer(201, "Russ", "Smith", "[email protected]", "343-545-2345"));
		customers.add(new Customer(301, "Kate", "Williams", "[email protected]", "876-237-2987"));

	 * Returns list of customers from dummy database.
	 * @return list of customers
	public List list() {
		return customers;

	 * Return customer object for given id from dummy database. If customer is
	 * not found for id, returns null.
	 * @param id
	 *            customer id
	 * @return customer object for given id
	public Customer get(Long id) {

		for (Customer c : customers) {
			if (c.getId().equals(id)) {
				return c;
		return null;

	 * Create new customer in dummy database. Updates the id and insert new
	 * customer in list.
	 * @param customer
	 *            Customer object
	 * @return customer object with updated id
	public Customer create(Customer customer) {
		return customer;

	 * Delete the customer object from dummy database. If customer not found for
	 * given id, returns null.
	 * @param id
	 *            the customer id
	 * @return id of deleted customer object
	public Long delete(Long id) {

		for (Customer c : customers) {
			if (c.getId().equals(id)) {
				return id;

		return null;

	 * Update the customer object for given id in dummy database. If customer
	 * not exists, returns null
	 * @param id
	 * @param customer
	 * @return customer object with id
	public Customer update(Long id, Customer customer) {

		for (Customer c : customers) {
			if (c.getId().equals(id)) {
				return customer;

		return null;


7. Create the Customer REST Controller

Now let us create CustomerRestController class. This class is annotated with @RestController annotation. Also note that we are using new annotations @GetMapping, @PostMapping, @PutMapping and @DeleteMapping instead of standard @RequestMapping. These annotations are available since Spring MVC 4.3 and are standard way of defining REST endpoints. They act as wrapper to @RequestMapping. For example @GetMapping is a composed annotation that acts as a shortcut for @RequestMapping(method = RequestMethod.GET).

package net.viralpatel.spring.controller;

import java.util.List;

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.http.HttpStatus;
import org.springframework.http.ResponseEntity;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.DeleteMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.GetMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.PathVariable;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.PostMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.PutMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestBody;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RestController;

import net.viralpatel.spring.dao.CustomerDAO;
import net.viralpatel.spring.model.Customer;

public class CustomerRestController {

	private CustomerDAO customerDAO;

	public List getCustomers() {
		return customerDAO.list();

	public ResponseEntity getCustomer(@PathVariable("id") Long id) {

		Customer customer = customerDAO.get(id);
		if (customer == null) {
			return new ResponseEntity("No Customer found for ID " + id, HttpStatus.NOT_FOUND);

		return new ResponseEntity(customer, HttpStatus.OK);

	@PostMapping(value = "/customers")
	public ResponseEntity createCustomer(@RequestBody Customer customer) {


		return new ResponseEntity(customer, HttpStatus.OK);

	public ResponseEntity deleteCustomer(@PathVariable Long id) {

		if (null == customerDAO.delete(id)) {
			return new ResponseEntity("No Customer found for ID " + id, HttpStatus.NOT_FOUND);

		return new ResponseEntity(id, HttpStatus.OK);


	public ResponseEntity updateCustomer(@PathVariable Long id, @RequestBody Customer customer) {

		customer = customerDAO.update(id, customer);

		if (null == customer) {
			return new ResponseEntity("No Customer found for ID " + id, HttpStatus.NOT_FOUND);

		return new ResponseEntity(customer, HttpStatus.OK);


That’s All Folks

Let us execute the Spring REST project. In Eclipse you can start Tomcat and run the project inside it. Or you can run the project using Embedded Tomcat using Maven.

Once the application starts successfully, launch the browser and open http://localhost:8080/springrest/customers. This hit the /customers end point and will list down all the customers.

spring 4 mvc rest controller service restful

Next we can try GET method by hitting http://localhost:8080/springrest/customers/{id} endpoint. This will display details of customer for given id.

spring 4 mvc rest get example

Also you can POST the customer details to http://localhost:8080/springrest/customers using POSTMan extension. Once you do that, the new customer will be created and same can be viewed under /customers endpoint.

spring 4 mvc restful example

Download Source Code – Spring 4 REST Tutorial

Source code of this Spring 4 REST Controller tutorial is available in Github.

Download – spring4-rest-example.zip (6.54 KB)
Github – spring4-rest-example.git

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  1. 1. You can use a map since you are using ID for customer model, this is to make it efficient.
    2. It would be interesting to see Jpa Repository integrated in this demo app. That would take dummy code out of picture altogether.
    3. Tweet again when it works in the first attempt :)

    • Viral Patel says:

      Thanks Vimal.. Integration with Spring Data is coming next.

      • sachin says:

        maybe this is a bit late but i have modified the code to include a HashMap

        private static HashMap customers;
        customers = new HashMap();
        customers.put(101, new Customer(101, “John”, “Doe”, “[email protected]”, “121-232-3435”));
        customers.put(201, new Customer(201, “Russ”, “Smith”, “[email protected]”, “343-545-2345”));
        customers.put(301, new Customer(301, “Kate”, “Williams”, “[email protected]”, “876-237-2987”));

      • Ssingh says:

        I am facing this issue :(
        Mar 07, 2017 12:02:17 PM org.apache.catalina.core.StandardContext listenerStart
        SEVERE: Exception sending context initialized event to listener instance of clas
        s org.springframework.web.context.ContextLoaderListener
        java.lang.IllegalStateException: Cannot initialize context because there is alre
        ady a root application context present – check whether you have multiple Context
        Loader* definitions in your web.xml!

  2. Krishnan Narayanan says:

    The blog looks good when you read it. However,wWhen you click on Download link (spring-rest-example.zip) you get “spring4-mvc-example-master (1).zip” and when you go to github and download the zip file you get “spring4-restful-example-master.zip”. Regardless both of them does not work.
    I have changed the jva version to 1.8 and tried without anysuccess.

    • Viral Patel says:

      Hi Krishnan, Thanks for your feedback. I have fixed the Download link. Now you should be able to download correct source. Did you try running mvn tomcat7:run and execute the project? Let me know what errors are you getting while running this example.

  3. kuldip h soni says:

    Hi Virat,
    Thanks for such a nice blog
    I have followed all the steps, and when i tried accessing below url
    i can see o/p as “Hello World”
    but when i am trying below url:
    o/p is “404-page not found”
    re verified all the steps but same o/p.
    could you kindly help

  4. gaurav says:

    Build failing
    Error assembling WAR: webxml attribute is required (or pre-existing WEB-INF/web.xml if executing in update mode) –

    • ravi says:

      did you get this resolved. please let me know

    • Sarang says:

      You can add this in the plugin section of pom.xml to avoid this error:



  5. Carmen Stira says:

    Thanks for your guide.
    I tried it on Tomcat 7 with JRE 7 and it works fine.

    I modified the pom.xml adding the maven-war-plugin 2.6 with the failOnMissingWebXml=false to deploy the war on JBoss with JRE 7.

    On JBoss 7 or JBoss EAP 6 the module is deployed and the welcome page works but the /customers or /customers/{id} call doesn’t work.

    >JBWEB000069: description JBWEB000124: The requested resource is not available.

    Any idea ?


    • ravi says:

      did you figure it out?

    • Anil Samuel says:

      I have same issue; works in Tomcat 8.

  6. Will says:

    Hi Viral, nice REST server.

    Any chance of seeing this code integrated with an AngularJS front-end/UI?


  7. Ishan Sharma says:

    Excellent thanks…. helped me to understand many points which were creating error in my project :-)

  8. D Prasad says:

    Hi Viral, nice REST server.

    Any chance of seeing this code integrated with an AngularJS front-end/UI?


    • Ravikumar says:

      its vary simple, make a ajax call and store the data into a variable. then all your data will be at front end then you can play with ng-repeat and ng-bind. That’s all..!

  9. D Prasad says:

    i have the same question as will

  10. ravi says:

    Build failing
    Error assembling WAR: webxml attribute is required (or pre-existing WEB-INF/web.xml if executing in update mode) –

    • ravi says:

      figured it out.



  11. java blogger says:


    Is there a way we can have both Spring MVC and Struts2 in a single web app project?
    If so do you have any samples of such project.

  12. Thanks for sharing it was very useful to under the concept.

  13. Abbas says:

    i am getting this error when i configure project java based ,Please help
    Oct 17, 2016 5:19:31 PM org.apache.catalina.core.AprLifecycleListener init
    INFO: The APR based Apache Tomcat Native library which allows optimal performance in production environments was not found on the java.library.path: C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.8.0_45\bin;C:\Windows\Sun\Java\bin;C:\Windows\system32;C:\Windows;C:/Program Files/Java/jre1.8.0_45/bin/server;C:/Program Files/Java/jre1.8.0_45/bin;C:/Program Files/Java/jre1.8.0_45/lib/amd64;C:\oracle\product\10.2.0\client_1\bin;C:\ProgramData\Oracle\Java\javapath;C:\Windows\system32;C:\Windows;C:\Windows\System32\Wbem;C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Fuse\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\;C:\Program Files\nodejs\;C:\Users\ghulam.abbas\AppData\Roaming\npm;D:\eclipse;;.
    Oct 17, 2016 5:19:31 PM org.apache.tomcat.util.digester.SetPropertiesRule begin
    WARNING: [SetPropertiesRule]{Server/Service/Engine/Host/Context} Setting property ‘source’ to ‘org.eclipse.jst.jee.server:Spring4Rest’ did not find a matching property.
    Oct 17, 2016 5:19:31 PM org.apache.coyote.AbstractProtocol init
    INFO: Initializing ProtocolHandler [“http-bio-8080”]
    Oct 17, 2016 5:19:31 PM org.apache.coyote.AbstractProtocol init
    INFO: Initializing ProtocolHandler [“ajp-bio-8009”]
    Oct 17, 2016 5:19:31 PM org.apache.catalina.startup.Catalina load
    INFO: Initialization processed in 328 ms
    Oct 17, 2016 5:19:31 PM org.apache.catalina.core.StandardService startInternal
    INFO: Starting service Catalina
    Oct 17, 2016 5:19:31 PM org.apache.catalina.core.StandardEngine startInternal
    INFO: Starting Servlet Engine: Apache Tomcat/7.0.47
    Oct 17, 2016 5:19:31 PM org.apache.coyote.AbstractProtocol start
    INFO: Starting ProtocolHandler [“http-bio-8080”]
    Oct 17, 2016 5:19:31 PM org.apache.coyote.AbstractProtocol start
    INFO: Starting ProtocolHandler [“ajp-bio-8009”]
    Oct 17, 2016 5:19:31 PM org.apache.catalina.startup.Catalina start
    INFO: Server startup in 304 ms

  14. Fin says:

    How can I handle requestparam with bracket :

    • kunal says:


  15. bala says:

    Awesome Post Sir Very Clean Explanation. Thanks For Posting

  16. Dhruv says:

    can u please tell how to pass list/data to jsp using getmapping method.

  17. Manoj Dhanji says:

    It should be mvn archetype:generate for creating the project. The tutorial, otherwise is a good starting point. Thanks

  18. Nikhil says:

    How can I generate response in XML ? Response getting is in JSONArray format.Can anyone please help.

  19. Nikhil Pate says:

    Very nice tutorial.But one question,this code is always returning response in JSON format.How can I change it to XML ? Can any one please suggest ?

  20. Rakesh says:

    Very nice blog . Its working for me.Patel Jee.

  21. ramesh says:





  22. Dinesh Krishnan says:

    Very Good Post, Thanks for sharing.

  23. pink says:

    Hi ,

    Iam getting 404 error while accessing : http://localhost:8080/spring/customers

    please let me know what to do ? I have followed the same as in documentation.

  24. pink says:

    Hi ,

    Iam getting page not found error while accessing : http://localhost:8080/spring/customers

    please let me know what to do ? I have followed the same as in documentation.

  25. pink says:


    any one please give me the solution for this error? Please??

  26. song lei says:

    for the error http://localhost:8080/spring/customers not found.
    firstly : add the old web.xml back.
    secondly: in pom.xml , remove the only leave as below:


    thirdly : access it like : http://localhost:8080/webService/customers eg: webService is my project name

    • song lei says:

      secondly: in pom.xml , remove the one line “configutation” at the bottom part plugin area

  27. Caíque says:

    If you are trying to do a “Maven Build” from eclipse, you must add the goal “spring-boot:run”, otherwise it won’t initialize the spring boot and you won’t be able to see the pages.

  28. Bala says:

    Good article, but I am facing issues when I try to http://localhost:8080/spring/customers

    WARNING: No mapping found for HTTP request with URI [/SpringRest/] in DispatcherServlet with name ‘dispatcher’

    I am using inteliJ IDE


  29. Dinesh Krishnan says:

    Useful website…. keep up the good work

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