Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: Kevin Jackson, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: IBM Cloud, Java IoT, Apache

IBM Cloud: Article

A Framework for REST in Java

The Apache Wink Project

Not long ago I worked on a team charged with building up a Java-based REST infrastructure. Our goals were to first support what was then an emerging specification for Java-based RESTful services called JAX-RS. Beyond that, we had thoughts of building an entire framework, both server and client, around RESTful services written in Java. Some of the people I worked with on that team are now part of the team that is responsible for an open source implementation called Apache Wink which embodies some of our early ideas and much more.

Developers have been implementing RESTful services in Java for a long, long time, so what's the deal with JAX-RS and an entire framework? Well, the way developers have been implementing REST services typically involves writing their own custom servlet. Within the servlet they write custom code to route incoming requests to the proper back-end resources. This can be extremely simple, but it can also become quite involved depending on the number of resources, the degree to which they are nested, depend on content negotiation capabilities, and more. Why not turn a lot of this over to a container capable of providing such function?

A JAX-RS aware container can provide a lot of the function that developers previously had to code in their servlets. In such a container users can package and deploy a Java bean with annotations that declare a resource and describe that resource to the container. For example, consider the following bean that represents book orders:

package jaxrs.example
@Path("/bookorders")
public class BookOrders {
     @GET
@Path("/{orderId}")
@Produces("application/json")
public BookOrder getBookOrder(
@PathParam("orderId") String orderId) {
....
}

@POST
@Accepts("application/json")
public void createBookOrder
(BookOrder newOrder) {
....
}

This is a very simple example, but in just this little bit of code with annotations, quite a bit of logic that would have gone in a servlet is replaced. The annotations in this example encapsulate both request routing and content negotiation. For instance, an incoming HTTP GET request with a path like "/bookorders/{orderId}" would automatically be routed to the BookOrder's getBookOrder method provided the HTTP Accept header in the request was congruent with the "application/json" content type. Likewise, an incoming HTTP POST request with a path of "/bookorders" would be routed to the BookOrder's createBookOrder method providing the Content-Type of the incoming request was "application/json". As you can see, both request routing and content negotiation capabilities are provided by annotation metadata.

Use cases with JAX-RS can be much more complex. Users can develop deeply nested resource URI trees, plug into the data handling framework for both requests and responses, and much more. Many of the things that users require to provide Java-based RESTful services are either provided by JAX-RS or can be supplied by the user via standards-based extension mechanisms.

However, and perhaps you picked up on this above, the JAX-RS specification only provides standards for the server-side programming model. A standard client-side programming model API for Java-based RESTful services is not in the scope of this specification (or any other one that I'm aware of at this time, but please drop me a line if you know of one). The Apache Wink project (and many other Java-based RESTful services offerings to be fair) realizes that such an API and framework provides quite a bit of convenience to developers. Instead of the developer implementing such a framework on their own, or worse yet, having to deal with low-level client-side HTTP APIs (i.e. Jakarta Commons Http Client), they can simply utilize a higher level API to communicate with resources they declared on the server using JAX-RS. For example, using the Apache Wink project, our client to the BookOrders resource may look like the following:

RestClient client = new RestClient();

Resource resource = client.resource
(
"http://jaxrs.example.com/bookorders/1");

BookOrder bookOrder = resource.accept
("application/json").get(BookOrder.class);

It certainly seems like the movement toward RESTful services is a growing trend. Many cloud service providers, Amazon most notably, offer REST interfaces to the functions and capabilities they deliver. In addition, many vendors now deliver products with REST interfaces to accompany the more traditional GUI and CLI interfaces. As the use of REST continues to grow, it seems inevitable that the use of Java with such services, on both the client and server, will grow as well. If you have any interest in this area, I'd encourage you to take a look at the different Java offerings available for building RESTful services and clients. With admitted bias I would suggest starting with the Apache Wink project. Download the code, try out the samples, and get involved in the open community.

More Stories By Dustin Amrhein

Dustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, he worked on the development of Web services infrastructure and Web services programming models. In his current role, Dustin is a technical specialist for cloud, mobile, and data grid technology in IBM's WebSphere portfolio. He blogs at http://dustinamrhein.ulitzer.com. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/damrhein.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to ma...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deliver...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...