This guide walks you through the process of creating an application that accesses data stored in Apache Geode through a hypermedia-based REST-ful frontend.

What you’ll build

You’ll build a Spring Web application that let’s you create and retrieve Person objects stored in the Apache Geode In-Memory Data Grid (IMDG) using Spring Data REST. Spring Data REST takes the features of Spring HATEOAS and Spring Data for Apache Geode and combines them together automatically.

Spring Data REST also supports Spring Data JPA, Spring Data MongoDB and Spring Data Neo4j as backend data stores, but those are not part of this guide.
For more general knowledge of Apache Geode concepts and accessing data from Apache Geode, read through the guide, Accessing Data with Apache Geode.

What you’ll need

How to complete this guide

Like most Spring Getting Started guides, you can start from scratch and complete each step or you can bypass basic setup steps that are already familiar to you. Either way, you end up with working code.

To start from scratch, move on to Starting with Spring Initializr.

To skip the basics, do the following:

When you finish, you can check your results against the code in gs-accessing-gemfire-data-rest/complete.

Starting with Spring Initializr

For all Spring applications, you should start with the Spring Initializr. Spring Initializr offers a fast way to pull in all the dependencies you need for an application and does a lot of the set up for you. This example needs "Spring for Apache Geode" dependency.

The following listing shows an example pom.xml file when using Maven:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0"
		 xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
		 xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 https://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">

	<modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>

	<parent>
		<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
		<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-parent</artifactId>
		<version>2.4.1</version>
	</parent>

	<groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
	<artifactId>gs-accessing-gemfire-data-rest</artifactId>
	<version>0.1.0</version>

	<properties>
		<spring-shell.version>1.2.0.RELEASE</spring-shell.version>
	</properties>

	<dependencies>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-data-rest</artifactId>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-web</artifactId>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.data</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-data-geode</artifactId>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.projectlombok</groupId>
			<artifactId>lombok</artifactId>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.shell</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-shell</artifactId>
			<version>${spring-shell.version}</version>
			<scope>runtime</scope>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-test</artifactId>
			<scope>test</scope>
			<exclusions>
				<exclusion>
					<groupId>org.junit.vintage</groupId>
					<artifactId>junit-vintage-engine</artifactId>
				</exclusion>
			</exclusions>
		</dependency>
	</dependencies>

	<build>
		<plugins>
			<plugin>
				<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
				<artifactId>spring-boot-maven-plugin</artifactId>
			</plugin>
		</plugins>
	</build>

</project>

The following listing shows an example build.gradle file when using Gradle:

plugins {
    id 'org.springframework.boot' version '2.4.1'
    id 'io.spring.dependency-management' version '1.0.8.RELEASE'
    id "io.freefair.lombok" version "5.3.0"
    id 'java'
}

apply plugin: 'eclipse'
apply plugin: 'idea'

group = "org.springframework"
version = "0.1.0"
sourceCompatibility = 1.8
targetCompatibility = 1.8

repositories {
    mavenCentral()
}

dependencies {

    implementation "org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-data-rest"
    implementation "org.springframework.data:spring-data-geode"
    implementation "org.projectlombok:lombok"

    runtimeOnly "org.springframework.shell:spring-shell:1.2.0.RELEASE"

    testImplementation "org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-test"

}

test {
    useJUnitPlatform()
}

bootJar {
    baseName = 'gs-accessing-gemfire-data-rest'
    version =  '0.1.0'
}

Create a domain object

Create a new domain object to present a person.

src/main/java/hello/Person.java

package hello;

import java.util.concurrent.atomic.AtomicLong;

import org.springframework.data.annotation.Id;
import org.springframework.data.annotation.PersistenceConstructor;
import org.springframework.data.gemfire.mapping.annotation.Region;

import lombok.Data;

@Data
@Region("People")
public class Person {

  private static AtomicLong COUNTER = new AtomicLong(0L);

  @Id
  private Long id;

  private String firstName;
  private String lastName;

  @PersistenceConstructor
  public Person() {
    this.id = COUNTER.incrementAndGet();
  }
}

The Person has a first and last name. Apache Geode domain objects need an id, so an AtomicLong is being used to increment with each Person object creation.

Create a Person Repository

Next, you need to create a simple Repository to persist/access Person objects stored in Apache Geode.

src/main/java/hello/PersonRepository.java

package hello;

import java.util.List;

import org.springframework.data.repository.CrudRepository;
import org.springframework.data.repository.query.Param;
import org.springframework.data.rest.core.annotation.RepositoryRestResource;

@RepositoryRestResource(collectionResourceRel = "people", path = "people")
public interface PersonRepository extends CrudRepository<Person, Long> {

  List<Person> findByLastName(@Param("name") String name);

}

This Repository is an interface and will allow you to perform various data access operations (e.g. basic CRUD and simple queries) involving Person objects. It gets these operations by extending CrudRepository.

At runtime, Spring Data for Apache Geode will create an implementation of this interface automatically. Then, Spring Data REST will use the @RepositoryRestResource annotation to direct Spring MVC to create REST-ful endpoints at /people.

@RepositoryRestResource is not required for a Repository to be exported. It is only used to change the export details, such as using /people instead of the default value of /persons.

Here you have also defined a custom query to retrieve a list of Person objects based on lastName. You’ll see how to invoke it further down in this guide.

Make the application executable

Although it is possible to package this service as a traditional WAR file for deployment to an external application server, the simpler approach demonstrated below creates a standalone application. You package everything in a single, executable JAR file, driven by a good old Java main() method. Along the way, you use Spring’s support for embedding the Tomcat servlet container as the HTTP runtime, instead of deploying to an external servlet container.

src/main/java/hello/Application.java

package hello;

import org.apache.geode.cache.client.ClientRegionShortcut;

import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.data.gemfire.config.annotation.ClientCacheApplication;
import org.springframework.data.gemfire.config.annotation.EnableEntityDefinedRegions;
import org.springframework.data.gemfire.repository.config.EnableGemfireRepositories;

@SpringBootApplication
@ClientCacheApplication(name = "AccessingGemFireDataRestApplication")
@EnableEntityDefinedRegions(
  basePackageClasses = Person.class,
  clientRegionShortcut = ClientRegionShortcut.LOCAL
)
@EnableGemfireRepositories
@SuppressWarnings("unused")
public class Application {

  public static void main(String[] args) {
    SpringApplication.run(Application.class, args);
  }
}

@SpringBootApplication is a convenience annotation that adds all of the following:

  • @Configuration: Tags the class as a source of bean definitions for the application context.

  • @EnableAutoConfiguration: Tells Spring Boot to start adding beans based on classpath settings, other beans, and various property settings. For example, if spring-webmvc is on the classpath, this annotation flags the application as a web application and activates key behaviors, such as setting up a DispatcherServlet.

  • @ComponentScan: Tells Spring to look for other components, configurations, and services in the hello package, letting it find the controllers.

The main() method uses Spring Boot’s SpringApplication.run() method to launch an application. Did you notice that there was not a single line of XML? There is no web.xml file, either. This web application is 100% pure Java and you did not have to deal with configuring any plumbing or infrastructure.

The @EnableGemfireRepositories annotation activates Spring Data for Apache Geode Repositories. Spring Data for Apache Geode will create a concrete implementation of the PersonRepository interface and configure it to talk to an embedded instance of Apache Geode.

Build an executable JAR

You can run the application from the command line with Gradle or Maven. You can also build a single executable JAR file that contains all the necessary dependencies, classes, and resources and run that. Building an executable jar makes it easy to ship, version, and deploy the service as an application throughout the development lifecycle, across different environments, and so forth.

If you use Gradle, you can run the application by using ./gradlew bootRun. Alternatively, you can build the JAR file by using ./gradlew build and then run the JAR file, as follows:

java -jar build/libs/gs-accessing-gemfire-data-rest-0.1.0.jar

If you use Maven, you can run the application by using ./mvnw spring-boot:run. Alternatively, you can build the JAR file with ./mvnw clean package and then run the JAR file, as follows:

java -jar target/gs-accessing-gemfire-data-rest-0.1.0.jar
The steps described here create a runnable JAR. You can also build a classic WAR file.

Logging output is displayed. The service should be up and running within a few seconds.

Test the application

Now that the application is running, you can test it. You can use any REST client you wish. The following examples uses the *nix tool curl.

First you want to see the top level service.

$ curl http://localhost:8080
{
  "_links" : {
    "people" : {
      "href" : "http://localhost:8080/people"
    }
  }
}

Here you get your first glimpse of what this server has to offer. There is a people link located at http://localhost:8080/people. Spring Data for Apache Geode doesn’t support pagination like the other Spring Data REST guides so there are no extra navigational links.

Spring Data REST uses the HAL format for JSON output. It is flexible and offers a convenient way to supply links adjacent to the data that is served.
$ curl http://localhost:8080/people
{
  "_links" : {
    "search" : {
      "href" : "http://localhost:8080/people/search"
    }
  }
}

Time to create a new Person!

$ curl -i -X POST -H "Content-Type:application/json" -d '{  "firstName" : "Frodo",  "lastName" : "Baggins" }' http://localhost:8080/people
HTTP/1.1 201 Created
Server: Apache-Coyote/1.1
Location: http://localhost:8080/people/1
Content-Length: 0
Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2014 20:16:11 GMT
  • -i ensures you can see the response message including the headers. The URI of the newly created Person is shown

  • -X POST issues a POST HTTP request to create a new entry

  • -H "Content-Type:application/json" sets the content-type so the application knows the payload contains a JSON object

  • -d '{ "firstName" : "Frodo", "lastName" : "Baggins" }' is the data being sent

Notice how the previous POST operation includes a Location header. This contains the URI of the newly created resource. Spring Data REST also has two methods on RepositoryRestConfiguration.setReturnBodyOnCreate(…) and setReturnBodyOnCreate(…) which you can use to configure the framework to immediately return the representation of the resource just created.

From this you can query for all people:

$ curl http://localhost:8080/people
{
  "_links" : {
    "search" : {
      "href" : "http://localhost:8080/people/search"
    }
  },
  "_embedded" : {
    "persons" : [ {
      "firstName" : "Frodo",
      "lastName" : "Baggins",
      "_links" : {
        "self" : {
          "href" : "http://localhost:8080/people/1"
        }
      }
    } ]
  }
}

The people collection resource contains a list with Frodo. Notice how it includes a self link. Spring Data REST also uses Evo Inflector to pluralize the name of the entity for groupings.

You can query directly for the individual record:

$ curl http://localhost:8080/people/1
{
  "firstName" : "Frodo",
  "lastName" : "Baggins",
  "_links" : {
    "self" : {
      "href" : "http://localhost:8080/people/1"
    }
  }
}
This might appear to be purely web based, but behind the scenes, it is talking to an embedded Apache Geode database.

In this guide, there is only one domain object. With a more complex system where domain objects are related to each other, Spring Data REST will render additional links to help navigate to connected records.

Find all the custom queries:

$ curl http://localhost:8080/people/search
{
  "_links" : {
    "findByLastName" : {
      "href" : "http://localhost:8080/people/search/findByLastName{?name}",
      "templated" : true
    }
  }
}

You can see the URL for the query including the HTTP query parameter name. If you’ll notice, this matches the @Param("name") annotation embedded in the interface.

To use the findByLastName query, do this:

$ curl http://localhost:8080/people/search/findByLastName?name=Baggins
{
  "_embedded" : {
    "persons" : [ {
      "firstName" : "Frodo",
      "lastName" : "Baggins",
      "_links" : {
        "self" : {
          "href" : "http://localhost:8080/people/1"
        }
      }
    } ]
  }
}

Because you defined it to return List<Person> in the code, it will return all of the results. If you had defined it to only return Person, it would pick one of the Person objects to return. Since this can be unpredictable, you probably don’t want to do that for queries that can return multiple entries.

You can also issue PUT, PATCH, and DELETE REST calls to either replace, update, or delete existing records.

$ curl -X PUT -H "Content-Type:application/json" -d '{ "firstName": "Bilbo", "lastName": "Baggins" }' http://localhost:8080/people/1
$ curl http://localhost:8080/people/1
{
  "firstName" : "Bilbo",
  "lastName" : "Baggins",
  "_links" : {
    "self" : {
      "href" : "http://localhost:8080/people/1"
    }
  }
}
$ curl -X PATCH -H "Content-Type:application/json" -d '{ "firstName": "Bilbo Jr." }' http://localhost:8080/people/1
$ curl http://localhost:8080/people/1
{
  "firstName" : "Bilbo Jr.",
  "lastName" : "Baggins",
  "_links" : {
    "self" : {
      "href" : "http://localhost:8080/people/1"
    }
  }
}
PUT replaces an entire record. Fields not supplied will be replaced with null. PATCH can be used to update a subset of items.

You can delete records:

$ curl -X DELETE http://localhost:8080/people/1
$ curl http://localhost:8080/people
{
  "_links" : {
    "search" : {
      "href" : "http://localhost:8080/people/search"
    }
  }
}

A very convenient aspect of this hypermedia-driven interface is how you can discover all the REST-ful endpoints using curl (or whatever REST client you are using). There is no need to exchange a formal contract or interface document with your customers.

Summary

Congratulations! You’ve just developed an application with a hypermedia-based RESTful frontend and a Apache Geode-based backend.