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Introduction to Spring Data REST

This tutorial on Spring Data REST shows how Spring Data repositories can be exposed as a REST API. Its a really interesting idea, and can save you a lot of boilerplate code building microservices.

Introduction to Spring Data REST

Spring Boot makes it easy to create a Spring Data REST starter project using Spring Initializr

spring initializr

Spring Initializr – Spring Boot JPA Microservice

Im using Spring Boot 2.0.0, and the HAL Browser to quickly demonstrate REST API.

Download, expand and import into your IDE –

Expanded Spring Boot Project

Expanded Spring Boot Project


For a quickstart the code is available on github at –

Let’s keep this simple and use the classes from my parkrunpb project.

The starting point is the pom.xml –

So we have our JPA object –

Im using JPARepository –

And a script to ensure the data is preloaded – stored in (src\main\resources\import.sql) –

Running the Code

Run the code using the maven wrapper – mvnw –

We can then access the HALBrowser on –


Spring Data REST - HALBrowser

Spring Data REST – HALBrowser

The response body returns all the parkrunCourse. You can also do GET, POST, PUT, PATCH and DELETE.

A good trick is to use the browser integrated SQL editor for the H2 database. I covered this in my spring boot security tutorial.

hal+json media type

Spring Data JPA allows you to make calls as json or hal+json. The purpose of hal+json makes it easier to navigate API’s following links. The HALBrowser is great for quickly checking your API.


This example shows how a spring data repository can easily be exposed as a REST API. My next post will look at the practicality of this approach, and what restrictions you might want to apply to your API.