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Playing with Spring

Spring 3 on the Google App Engine: REST in Peace

Posted by ice09 on November 19, 2009

Note: The complete source and necessary jars are available in github here. For just downloading, unzipping and importing the project into Eclipse, press on the github site.
Important: this is a collection of projects, the relevant project for this post is gae-rest-sample and spring3-resttemplate.

Finally I succeeded in getting REST (with the new REST support in Spring 3) done in the Google App Engine.
It wouldn’t be an easy task, but thanks to one brilliant blog post, a forum post and a very helpful JIRA issue, it can be resolved just by searching.

  1. The brilliant blog post about Spring REST in general by Eyal Lupu.
    This post is just a rewrite of that one, just adding the GAE-related stuff.
    All details about REST content negotiation and how the Spring MVC works with REST is explained there.
  2. The forum post about problems with GAE and XStream.
    This helps to unterstand the reason for the sun.reflect.ReflectionFactory is a restricted class exception when using XStream on GAE.
  3. The JIRA issue 566, which investigates the problem in more detail and provides a solution which is valid for at least the usage in this context (note the last entry).

I finally took the snapshot jar attached to the JIRA issue, which works well for the samples in this post. Nevertheless, there might still be difficulties with XStream on the GAE, so be aware.

The client

Eyal Lupu also provides a JSON-Client in his post. The client itself is straightforward – it uses the Spring RestTemplate. The JsonHttpMessageConverter uses Spring’s FileCopyUtils for InputStream String conversion which is quite cool.

Spring RestTemplate:

    RestTemplate restTemplate = new RestTemplate();
    restTemplate.setMessageConverters(new HttpMessageConverter[]{new JsonHttpMessageConverter()});

    JSONObject result = restTemplate.getForObject("http://localhost:8080/users/.js", JSONObject.class);

    JSONArray aresult = result.getJSONArray("payload");
    for (int x=0; x<aresult.length(); ++x) {
        JSONObject currResult = (JSONObject) aresult.get(x);
        System.out.format("%-100s | %s%n", currResult.get("name"), currResult.get("lastLoggedInAt"));


	protected JSONObject readInternal(Class<JSONObject> clazz, HttpInputMessage inputMessage) throws IOException, HttpMessageNotReadableException {
                MediaType contentType = inputMessage.getHeaders().getContentType();
		Charset charset = contentType.getCharSet() != null ? contentType.getCharSet() : Charset.forName("utf-8");
		String stringResult =  FileCopyUtils.copyToString(new InputStreamReader(inputMessage.getBody(), charset));

		JSONObject jObject;
		try {
			jObject = new JSONObject(stringResult);
		} catch (JSONException e) {
			throw new IOException (e);
		return jObject;


Here are some things I don’t understand and I had to work around.
Please comment if you know more about the problem.

  1. In the web.xml, the url-pattern has to be / instead of /* (or /rest in the original sample) to get it working in the GAE
  2. Usually, I would prefer having the jsp-views in /WEB-INF/*. However, this does not work in GAE (doesn’t find WEB-INF or anything below WEB-INF)

4 Responses to “Spring 3 on the Google App Engine: REST in Peace”

  1. […] 3 and JPA May 25, 2009 — ice09 If you are interested in Spring 3 on the GAE, there is newer post about just this topic (and some REST!). UPDATE: The github repository for this post is here. An […]

  2. […] June 7, 2009 — ice09 If you are interested in Spring 3 on the GAE, there is a newer post about just this topic (and some […]

  3. vitamine d said

    Integrating GWT with your backend now is pretty straight forward for the most part. Restlet is a REST framework, they released a module called Restlet-GWT module. For more understanding about it and why use rest with GWT, here is a link to blog posting on release Restlet ported to GWT. I’ll be referring to the Greeting demo when you create a new application with the Google eclipse plugin. In what ever you named your Entry point class, look for the function.

  4. […] approach is illustrated by the new REST support in Spring 3 as described in the previous post about this topic. However, it can be even simpler. For some Android REST client, I wanted to choose the most […]

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