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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.

About the Author Martin Farrell

My name is Martin Farrell. I have almost 20 years Java experience. I specialize inthe Spring Framework and JEE. I’ve consulted to a range of businesses, and have provide Java and Spring mentoring and training. You can learn more at About or on my consultancy website Glendevon Software

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Spring Data REST and Projection's says 21/08/2017

[…] Introduction to Spring Data REST […]

Spring Security and Spring Data REST - javabullets says 22/08/2017

[…] Security and Spring Data REST are discussed in this post. It builds on the previous post “Introduction to Spring Data REST” and my series of posts on Spring Security […]

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