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Creating a REST Controller

Creating a REST controller is a fundamental step in building a Spring Boot application that exposes RESTful APIs. In this section, we will guide you through the process of creating a REST controller in your Spring Boot application. We will explain the key concepts of RESTful web services, demonstrate how to define endpoints, handle HTTP requests, and return appropriate responses. Throughout this section, we will provide code samples to illustrate the implementation of a REST controller in a Spring Boot application.

1. Understanding RESTful Web Services:

REST (Representational State Transfer) is an architectural style for building web services. It emphasizes simplicity, scalability, and interoperability between different systems. RESTful web services are based on a set of principles and conventions that define how resources are identified and accessed over HTTP. Key concepts in RESTful web services include resources, URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers), HTTP methods, and representations.

2. Creating a Basic REST Controller:

To create a REST controller in a Spring Boot application, follow these steps:

Step 1: Create a new Java class and annotate it with the `@RestController` annotation. This annotation indicates that the class will handle RESTful requests.

public class MyRestController {


Step 2: Define a method inside the controller class and annotate it with the `@RequestMapping` annotation to specify the URL mapping for the method.

public class MyRestController {

public String hello() {
return “Hello, World!”;


In this example, the `/hello` endpoint is mapped to the `hello()` method, which returns the string “Hello, World!”.

Step 3: Run your Spring Boot application and access the defined endpoint using a web browser or an HTTP client tool like Postman. You should see the response “Hello, World!”.

3. Handling HTTP Methods:

RESTful web services use HTTP methods (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, etc.) to perform different operations on resources. Spring Boot provides annotations to map specific HTTP methods to controller methods. Let’s see an example:

public class UserController {

public User getUser(@PathVariable(“id”) Long id) {
// Retrieve user from the database or other data source
User user = userRepository.findById(id);
return user;

public User createUser(@RequestBody User user) {
// Save the user to the database or other data source
return user;

public User updateUser(@PathVariable(“id”) Long id, @RequestBody User user) {
// Update the user in the database or other data source
User existingUser = userRepository.findById(id);
// Update the user properties
return existingUser;

public void deleteUser(@PathVariable(“id”) Long id) {
// Delete the user from the database or other data source

In this example, we have defined different methods to handle GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE operations on the `/users` endpoint. The `@PathVariable` annotation is used to extract path variables from the URL, and the `@RequestBody` annotation is used to bind the request body to a Java object.

4. Returning Response Entities:

In addition to simple string or object responses, Spring Boot allows you to return more complex responses using the `ResponseEntity` class. This class provides flexibility in setting HTTP status codes,

headers, and response bodies. Here’s an example:

public class BookController {

public ResponseEntity<Book> getBook(@PathVariable(“id”) Long id) {
Book book = bookRepository.findById(id);
if (book != null) {
return ResponseEntity.ok(book);
} else {
return ResponseEntity.notFound().build();

In this example, we return a `ResponseEntity<Book>` object. If the book is found, we return an `ok` response with the book as the body. If the book is not found, we return a `not found` response with no body.


Creating a REST controller is a crucial step in building a Spring Boot application that provides RESTful APIs. In this section, we explored the key concepts of RESTful web services, learned how to define endpoints, handle HTTP requests using different methods, and return appropriate responses. By following the provided code samples and understanding the principles of RESTful web services, you can create powerful and flexible APIs in your Spring Boot applications. In the next section, we will dive deeper into Spring Boot and explore more advanced features and functionalities.

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Ozzie Feliciano CTO @ Felpfe Inc.

Ozzie Feliciano is a highly experienced technologist with a remarkable twenty-three years of expertise in the technology industry.

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