This guide walks you through the process of consuming a simple rest.js client that consumes a Spring MVC-based RESTful web service.

What you’ll build

You will build a rest.js client that consumes a Spring-based RESTful web service. Specifically, the client will consume the service created in Building a RESTful Web Service with CORS.

The rest.js client will be accessed by opening the index.html file in your browser, and will consume the service accepting requests at:

The service will respond with a JSON representation of a greeting:

{"id":1,"content":"Hello, World!"}

The client will render the ID and content into the DOM.

You can customize the greeting with an optional query string in the url:


The code will send a parameter to the REST endpoint and render a custom greeting into the DOM.

What you’ll need

  • About 15 minutes

  • A favorite text editor

  • A modern web browser

  • An internet connection

  • Node.js and Git pre-installed

  • Bower installed as a global node.js JavaScript package

Create bower configuration files

First, create a bower control file, .bowerrc. This file tells bower where to put the JavaScript dependencies. The .bowerrc file should be located at the root of the project ({project_id}/initial) and formatted as JSON:


	"directory": "public/lib"

From a command prompt at the root of the project, run bower init. This will create a bower.json file that describes each JavaScript package required by the project. Bower will ask for several bits of information such as a project name, license, etc. If in doubt, just press Enter to accept the defaults.

Next, use Bower to install rest.js and an AMD module loader such as curl.js. From the command prompt, type:

bower install --save rest#~1
bower install --save curl#~0.8

Bower will install rest.js and curl.js into the directory we listed in .bowerrc. Since we specified the --save option, bower will store the package information in the bower.json file.

Bower should discover that rest.js depends on when.js and install a compatible version.

When done, the bower.json file should have a "dependencies" object property that lists "curl" and "rest" as property names and their semver information as values:


  "name": "consuming-rest-rest.js",
  "version": "0.0.1",
  "authors": [
    "John Hann <[email protected]>"
  "license": "",
  "ignore": [
  "dependencies": {
    "curl": "~0.8",
    "rest": "~1"

Create a render module

First, create a render function to inject data into an HTML document.


define(function (require) {

    var ready = require('curl/domReady');

    return render;

    function render (entity) {
        ready(function () {
            var idElement, nameElement;

            idElement = document.querySelector('[data-name="id"]');
            nameElement = document.querySelector('[data-name="content"]');

            idElement.textContent +=;
            nameElement.textContent += entity.content;


This AMD module uses simple DOM querying and manipulation to inject text into the document. To ensure that the DOM is not used before it is ready, the render module imports and uses curl.js’s domReady function-module.

In a real application, you’ll want to use data binding or templating, rather than DOM manipulation as shown here.

Create an application composition module

Next, create a module that will compose the application.


define(function (require) {

    var rest = require('rest');
    var mime = require('rest/interceptor/mime');
    var entity = require('rest/interceptor/entity');
    var render = require('./render');

    var endpointUrl, name, client;

    endpointUrl = '';
    name =;

    client = rest
        .chain(mime, { mime: 'application/json' })

    client({ path: endpointUrl, params: { name:  name } })


The main module reads the query string from the document’s location object, configures a rest.js mime client, and calls the REST endpoint.

rest.js returns a Promises/A+ promise, which will call the render function-module when the endpoint returns data. The render function expects the entity, but the rest.js client normally returns a response object. The "rest/interceptor/entity" interceptor plucks the entity from the response and forwards that onto the render function.

Create a boot script

Next, create the boot script, run.js:


var curl;
(function () {

        main: 'hello',
        packages: {
            // Your application's packages
            hello: { location: 'hello' },
            // Third-party packages
            curl: { location: 'lib/curl/src/curl' },
            rest: { location: 'lib/rest', main: 'rest' },
            when: { location: 'lib/when', main: 'when' }


This script configures the AMD loader: curl.config(). The main configuration property tells curl.js where to find the application’s main module, which will be fetched and evaluated automatically. The packages config object tells curl.js where to find modules in our application’s packages or in third-party packages.

Create the application page

Finally, create an index.html file and add the following HTML:


<!doctype html>
        <title>Hello rest.js</title>
        <script data-curl-run="run.js" src="lib/curl/src/curl.js"></script>
            <p data-name="id">The ID is </p>
            <p data-name="content">The content is </p>

The script element loads curl.js and then loads an application boot script named "run.js". The boot script initializes and configures an AMD module environment and then starts the client-side application code.

Run the client

To run the client, you’ll need to serve it from a web server to your browser. The Spring Boot CLI (Command Line Interface) includes an embedded Tomcat server, which offers a simple approach to serving web content. See Building an Application with Spring Boot for more information about installing and using the CLI.

In order to serve static content from Spring Boot’s embedded Tomcat server, you’ll also need to create a minimal amount of web application code so that Spring Boot knows to start Tomcat. The following app.groovy script is sufficient for letting Spring Boot know that you want to run Tomcat:


@Controller class JsApp { }

You can now run the app using the Spring Boot CLI:

spring run app.groovy

Once the app starts, open http://localhost:8080 in your browser, where you see:

Model data retrieved from the REST service is rendered into the DOM.

The ID value will increment each time you refresh the page.


Congratulations! You’ve just developed a rest.js client that consumes a Spring-based RESTful web service.