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Web Annotations

Spring Boot provides a rich set of annotations that simplify web development tasks and help you build robust and scalable web applications. In this section, we will explore the commonly used web annotations in Spring Boot and demonstrate how they can be effectively used in your projects.

1. @RestController:
The `@RestController` annotation combines the `@Controller` and `@ResponseBody` annotations, simplifying the creation of RESTful web services. It indicates that the class is a controller that handles incoming HTTP requests and automatically serializes the response to JSON or XML. Here’s an example:

“`java
@RestController
@RequestMapping(“/api”)
public class UserController {

@GetMapping(“/users”)
public List<User> getAllUsers() {
// Retrieve all users from the database
List<User> users = userService.getAllUsers();

return users;
}

// …
}
“`

In this example, the `UserController` class is annotated with `@RestController` and maps the `/api/users` URL to the `getAllUsers()` method. When a GET request is made to this URL, the method is invoked and returns a list of users as a JSON response.

2. @RequestMapping:
The `@RequestMapping` annotation is used to map HTTP requests to specific handler methods or classes. It allows you to define the URL pattern and HTTP method for a particular request. Consider the following example:

“`java
@RestController
@RequestMapping(“/api”)
public class UserController {

@GetMapping(“/users/{id}”)
public User getUserById(@PathVariable Long id) {
// Retrieve the user with the given ID from the database
User user = userService.getUserById(id);

return user;
}

// …
}
“`

In this example, the `getUserById()` method is annotated with `@GetMapping` and `/users/{id}` as the request mapping. The `{id}` placeholder indicates that the method expects a path variable representing the user ID. When a GET request is made to `/api/users/1`, for example, the method is invoked with the ID value of 1.

3. @RequestBody and @ResponseBody:
The `@RequestBody` and `@ResponseBody` annotations are used to bind the HTTP request body and response body, respectively. They are commonly used in RESTful web services to handle JSON or XML data. Here’s an example:

“`java
@RestController
@RequestMapping(“/api”)
public class UserController {

@PostMapping(“/users”)
public ResponseEntity<User> createUser(@RequestBody User user) {
// Create the user in the database
User createdUser = userService.createUser(user);

return ResponseEntity.ok(createdUser);
}

// …
}
“`

In this example, the `createUser()` method is annotated with `@PostMapping` and `/users` as the request mapping. The `@RequestBody` annotation binds the incoming JSON or XML data to the `User` object. The `ResponseEntity` is used to customize the HTTP response, in this case, returning a 200 OK status code with the created user in the response body.

4. @PathVariable:
The `@PathVariable` annotation is used to bind a path variable from the URL to a method parameter. It is often used in conjunction with `@RequestMapping` to handle dynamic URLs. Consider the following example:

“`java
@RestController
@RequestMapping(“/api”)
public class UserController {

@GetMapping(“/users/{id}”)
public User getUserById(@PathVariable Long id) {
// Retrieve the user with the given ID from the database
User user = userService.getUserById(id);

return user;
}

// …
}
“`

In this example, the `getUserById()` method expects a path variable named `id`, which represents the user

ID. When a GET request is made to `/api/users/1`, for example, the `id` parameter is automatically populated with the value 1.

5. @RequestParam:
The `@RequestParam` annotation is used to bind a request parameter from the URL to a method parameter. It allows you to extract query parameters from the URL or form data from a POST request. Here’s an example:

“`java
@RestController
@RequestMapping(“/api”)
public class UserController {

@GetMapping(“/users”)
public List<User> getUsersByRole(@RequestParam String role) {
// Retrieve users with the given role from the database
List<User> users = userService.getUsersByRole(role);

return users;
}

// …
}
“`

In this example, the `getUsersByRole()` method expects a request parameter named `role`. When a GET request is made to `/api/users?role=admin`, for example, the `role` parameter is automatically populated with the value “admin”.

These are just a few examples of the web annotations available in Spring Boot. Each annotation serves a specific purpose and simplifies the development of web applications by handling routing, request handling, and response serialization. By utilizing these annotations effectively, you can build robust and scalable web applications with ease.

In the next section, we will explore annotations related to data access, such as working with databases and ORM frameworks.

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About Author
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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