Click here to close now.


IBM Cloud Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Chris Witeck

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
public class BookOrders {
public BookOrder getBookOrder(
@PathParam("orderId") String orderId) {

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

BookOrder bookOrder = resource.accept

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 You can follow him on Twitter at

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment process from development to production scenarios using Docker containers.
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.