Building a simple RESTful API with Spring boot (2024)

Malindu Panchala



Published in

Nerd For Tech


9 min read


Mar 2, 2021


Hello guys! In this post, I will guide you to build a simple REST API using the Spring boot framework. Before look into the detailed guide, let’s see what the Spring boot framework is.

Building a simple RESTful API with Spring boot (3)

Spring is an open-source Java framework that you can build powerful applications. Frequently, this is used to build web applications and microservices. Spring boot is a spring-based framework that makes building spring applications very convenient.

Building a simple RESTful API with Spring boot (4)

Spring boot provides auto configurations for spring applications and it is used for building microservices. Spring boot helps developers to reduce time in the development and testing and lets developers focus on their business logic and other things. For more details about these frameworks, you can head to the following links and spend some time reading and get a better understanding.

Let’s see how to start your application.

You can start your spring application from the spring initializr. On this website, you can select preferred configurations and generate your template. Or you can start your project with your IDE too. (Continue if you want to start the project using IDE. I will give instructions for IntelliJ IDEA and Eclipse)

Building a simple RESTful API with Spring boot (5)

I’m using this same data to generate the project, but you can change the necessary information. Make sure that you are using the latest spring boot version (In this case, 2.4.3), not the snapshots. And also, here I have selected the maven project.

After this, you have to select the necessary dependencies. The following image will show you the dependencies that I am going to use in this project.

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You can select these dependencies by clicking the “Add dependencies” button (Or pressing CTRL + B).

Spring boot DevTools is used to deploy the project to test the application. As it is mentioned in the image, it provides fast restarts, live reloads, and configurations.

Spring Web is used to build our application and it uses the tomcat server to deploy the application.

Spring Data JPA helps us manage data with our database.

Since I am going to MySQL as my database (in the xampp server), I have also added the MySQL driver to connect with the database.

Before generating the project, you can preview it by clicking “Explore”(CTRL + SPACE).

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Here, the “pom.xml” file contains all the dependencies. So, if you need to add another dependency to your project later, you can do it here. For now, this file looks like this.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""xsi:schemaLocation=""><modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion><parent><groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId><artifactId>spring-boot-starter-parent</artifactId><version>2.4.3</version><relativePath/> <!-- lookup parent from repository --></parent><groupId>com.example</groupId><artifactId>demo</artifactId><version>0.0.1-SNAPSHOT</version><name>demo</name><description>Demo project for Spring Boot</description><properties><java.version>11</java.version></properties><dependencies><dependency><groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId><artifactId>spring-boot-starter-data-jpa</artifactId></dependency><dependency><groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId><artifactId>spring-boot-starter-web</artifactId></dependency><dependency><groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId><artifactId>spring-boot-devtools</artifactId><scope>runtime</scope><optional>true</optional></dependency><dependency><groupId>mysql</groupId><artifactId>mysql-connector-java</artifactId><scope>runtime</scope></dependency><dependency><groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId><artifactId>spring-boot-starter-test</artifactId><scope>test</scope></dependency></dependencies><build><plugins><plugin><groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId><artifactId>spring-boot-maven-plugin</artifactId></plugin></plugins></build></project>

After this, you can generate the project and open it with the preferred IDE. I will be using IntelliJ IDEA.

If you wish to use your IDE also to generate the project, then you can follow these steps. If have already done this, then you can skip these steps.

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In IntelliJ IDEA, you need to download a plugin to generate. I have used a plugin called “Spring Assistant”. To download this, Go to File > Settings > Plugins (CTRL + ALT + S > Plugins)and select the Marketplace tab. Then Search for Spring and it will show you all the plugins available. You can install any plugin but I recommend you to use the “Spring Assistant” plugin.

Then go to File > New > Project and you will see this window.

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Select Spring Assistant (Or installed the plugin) and click “Next” (Check whether Default is selected). Then you will get the form to fill out the project details like in the Spring initializr. Here also, I’m going to use the default data but you can change it as you want.

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By clicking “Next”, you will be redirected to another window to select dependencies. You can select all the dependencies that we did in Spring initializr. (If you skipped that part, scroll up and you can find an image with necessary dependencies).

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After clicking “Next” you will see a window to provide the location to save the files. Go ahead and give a location, and then click “Finish”. The project will be generated after this and maven will sync your project and download all the libraries. Let’s see how to do the same thing with Eclipse IDE.

Also in Ecplise, you need to have a plugin to generate a spring application. I am going to use Spring Tool Suit 4 (STS4), and it is available to install in the eclipse marketplace. You can go to the eclipse marketplace by following Help > Eclipse marketplace. Then search for “spring tool suite” and install STS 4.

Building a simple RESTful API with Spring boot (12)
Building a simple RESTful API with Spring boot (13)

Then you can go to File > New > Other and then select Spring boot starter project under spring boot. And by clicking “Next” after that, you can go to the “New Spring starter project” window. In there, you can change the details and click “Next”.

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After that, you will get a window to select dependencies. You can select the necessary dependencies.

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Then you can finish and the eclipse will download the libraries and let you start developing your application.

I think that would be enough about starting. Let’s start writing our code to build the API. Here I will be making an API to manage Users (create, update, delete, read).

After you have created a starter project successfully, you can see your main class ( in my case), and it should look like this.

You can see the “@SpringBootApplication” annotation above the class declaration. This defines your spring application and spring boot can identify this class as the main class. Let’s start writing our code.

First, we need to create our entity/model class, which is “User”. Let’s go and create a package named “com.example.demo.entity” to make our class inside it. Here, you can use your own package name that you used when you creating the starter project and adding “.entity” to the end. After that, you can see a folder named “entity” created inside your package.

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Inside the newly created package, let’s create a class named “”. Inside the class. write the relevant variables and create getters and setters for them. To make it work with JPA we need to add the annotations in the following class. Make your entity class according to this code.

This will define your user table in the database. But JPA won’t do anything if you don't create an interface extended from JpaRepository class. To do that create another package inside your working package (like entity package) named repository. Inside that create an interface and I named it as “UserRepository”.

Then, we need to write the database configurations in the file, which is inside the src > main > resources folder. Then write these configurations.

Here, I have not included the “spring.datasource.password” property because my database doesn’t have a password. But make sure you are writing this if your database has a password. You can edit the URL too. URL format should be “jdbc:mysql://{your database ip}:{port}/{database name}”. If you don't want any execution messages in your console, then you can remove “” line.

After this, let’s go create a service class to implement the necessary methods to use our UserRepository. To create this, you have to create another package named “services” inside the main package (mine is ).

Now we can implement a controller class to define our API URLs and use the service class to manage data. For that, create another package named “controller” inside the main package (com.example.demo.controller in my project). Inside the package, I created a UserController class to define my APIs.

In this class, you can define your API URLs as you like to. If you need to use custom URLs then you can use @RequestMapping annotation and pass the path as a string to the annotation as I have done before the declaration of the class.

Now we have done everything. Let’s start our database and run our application. Before running the application check whether your database has the table named after the given entity name(users). After running the application you can see these messages in your console

Now let’s go and check our database.

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If you have followed all the steps correctly, then you can see a table has been created automatically after running the database. Yaayy!!!!

We have to check whether our application working correctly. To do that I am using Postman. If you don't have postman then follow this link to download.

First I have tested adding a user from postman as the following image and it returned the added user successfully. And in there, you can see that JPA as automatically given the user an “id”.

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And In my database, a new record was created!

Building a simple RESTful API with Spring boot (19)

Then I tested my get methods after adding some more users. After testing /users API call. I got every user I have sent to the API.

Building a simple RESTful API with Spring boot (20)

It also returned the user by the id given in the URL.

Building a simple RESTful API with Spring boot (21)

After this, I have updated the second user and it returned the sent data. That means, API successfully updated the given record. But here, I have only sent the object and didn't include the id in the URL. But my function in the service class updated the record by getting the id from the passed object. But if you wish to pass the id by the URL, you can do that too. You just have to define the @PathVariable in the updateUser function in the controller class and add {id} to the string parameter of @PutMapping.

The Database now looks like,

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Finally, I have performed the delete request and this is the result of it.

Building a simple RESTful API with Spring boot (23)
Building a simple RESTful API with Spring boot (24)

You can see the record with id 4 is now deleted and it returned the response “OK”. You can change this to another HTTP response in the deleteUser method.

Now we have successfully created a RESTful API with CRUD operations using the Spring boot framework(phew….). After this, you can refer to other resources and practice to gain more skills with this framework. Good Luck and thank you for reading this guide. If you spot any mistakes or if you have a better way to do something in this post, please leave a comment. Thank you!❤

Resources for you:

Code in this post:

Building a simple RESTful API with Spring boot (2024)


How to create simple REST API with Spring Boot? ›

How to Create a REST API With Spring Boot
  1. Creating the Model. ...
  2. In the body of the request, you'll need to change the type to raw and insert your JSON. ...
  3. Sending the request will return the following response:
  4. You can see that the request was successful, and the new customer also has an id. ...
  5. Or each customer by id:
Jan 16, 2023

How to create REST API using Spring Boot Interview Questions? ›

REST API Basic Interview Questions
  1. What do you understand by RESTful Web Services? ...
  2. What is a REST Resource? ...
  3. What is URI? ...
  4. What are the features of RESTful Web Services? ...
  5. What is the concept of statelessness in REST? ...
  6. What do you understand by JAX-RS? ...
  7. What are HTTP Status codes? ...
  8. What are the HTTP Methods?
Dec 19, 2022

How do I create a simple REST API? ›

Security & authentication
  1. Use HTTPS. A secure REST API should only provide HTTPS endpoints. ...
  2. Add a timestamp to HTTP requests. Alongside other parameters, include a timestamp for your request. ...
  3. Restrict HTTP methods. ...
  4. Consider input validation. ...
  5. Use OAuth. ...
  6. Don't expose sensitive data in URLs. ...
  7. Perform security checks.

How to write a simple REST API in Java? ›

Creating a REST API quickly using pure Java
  1. Step 1 – set up Spark. ...
  2. Step 2 – Creating a RESTful endpoint. ...
  3. Step 3 – Persisting data. ...
  4. Step 4 – MySQL connection. ...
  5. Step 5 – Creating the table. ...
  6. Step 6 – RESTful POST request. ...
  7. Step 7 – DAO class. ...
  8. Step 8 – GET request.

How to build a REST API with spring Boot using MySQL and JPA? ›

Build a REST API With Spring Boot and MySQL
  1. The database structure of the task table.
  2. Generate a new Spring Boot project.
  3. Start the Spring Boot application.
  4. Test task creation from Postman.
  5. Test tasks list retrieval from Postman.
  6. Test task update from Postman.
Nov 6, 2022

What are the 3 ways to create Spring boot application? ›

To Start Opinionated Approach to create Spring Boot Applications, The Spring Team (The Pivotal Team) has provided the following three approaches.
  1. Using Spring Boot CLI Tool.
  2. Using Spring STS IDE.
  3. Using Spring Initializr Website.
Aug 3, 2022

How to create REST API microservices in Spring Boot? ›

Running Examples
  1. Download the zip or clone the Git repository.
  2. Unzip the zip file (if you downloaded one)
  3. Open Command Prompt and Change directory (cd) to folder containing pom.xml.
  4. Open Eclipse. ...
  5. Choose the Spring Boot Application file (search for @SpringBootApplication)
  6. Right Click on the file and Run as Java Application.

How to create REST API structure? ›

REST API Design Best Practices
  1. Use JSON as the Format for Sending and Receiving Data. ...
  2. Use Nouns Instead of Verbs in Endpoints. ...
  3. Name Collections with Plural Nouns. ...
  4. Use Status Codes in Error Handling. ...
  5. Use Nesting on Endpoints to Show Relationships. ...
  6. Use Filtering, Sorting, and Pagination to Retrieve the Data Requested.
Sep 16, 2021

Is making a REST API hard? ›

REST API development isn't as easy as writing a web app or an HTML document. You must follow specific rules and best practices to ensure that your API is secure, reliable, and scalable. If you take things one step at a time, however, you'll end up with an application that provides tremendous value to your users.

How to write POST REST API in spring boot? ›

Follow the below-mentioned steps to build a Spring Boot REST API using Java.
  1. Step 1: Initializing a Spring Boot Project.
  2. Step 2: Connecting Spring Boot to the Database.
  3. Step 3: Creating a User Model.
  4. Step 4: Creating Repository Classes.
  5. Step 5: Creating a Controller.
  6. Step 6: Compile, Build and Run.
Nov 2, 2021

What is the difference between REST API and RESTful API? ›

REST API uses web services and is based on request and response, whereas RESTful API works completely based on REST application and infrastructure. REST apps have strong protocols and pre-configured architecture layers as security measures, whereas RESTful apps have multi-layered transport protocols.

Which language is best for simple REST API? ›

Some languages ​​and frameworks used to write APIs are better and more efficient than others. From our experience in developing enterprise APIs, we have found that Python, Flask, Node, JS, and Express are the best languages ​​for building EFFICIENT web application APIs.

What is basic example of REST API? ›

For example, a REST API would use a GET request to retrieve a record, a POST request to create one, a PUT request to update a record, and a DELETE request to delete one. All HTTP methods can be used in API calls. A well-designed REST API is similar to a website running in a web browser with built-in HTTP functionality.

What is a good example of a REST API? ›

An application implementing a RESTful API will define one or more URL endpoints with a domain, port, path, and/or query string — for example, https://mydomain/user/123?format=json . Examples: a GET request to /user/ returns a list of registered users on a system.

Is spring Boot easy for beginners? ›

Spring Boot is one of the most popular and used frameworks of Java Programming Language. It is a framework based on microservice and making a production-ready application using Spring Boot takes very little time. It is very easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring-based Applications that you can “just run“.

Is spring Boot easy to learn? ›

Spring Boot requires knowledge of Java and a basic understanding of Spring applications. It's not a tool that anyone can use. However, Spring Boot has a much easier learning curve than the Spring Framework, making it an excellent option for many development teams.

How do you explain spring boot project in interview? ›

Spring Boot represents a fusion of the lightweight Spring application framework, configuration annotations, and embedded HTTP server. Made available with an auto-configuration feature, and support for Spring Initializer, Groovy, and Java, Spring Boot reduces Integration Test, Development, and Unit Test time.

How to create REST API in java using Maven? ›

xml) file to manage the project dependencies and project's build.
  1. Step 1: Create Spring Boot Project. ...
  2. Step 2: Import Maven Project into Eclipse. ...
  3. Step 3: Create Product Model. ...
  4. Step 4: Create Product Repository. ...
  5. Step 5: Create Product Controller. ...
  6. Step 5: Configuring MySQL. ...
  7. Step 6: Run Spring Boot. ...
  8. Step 7: Test API using Postman.

How to create CRUD operations in Spring Boot without database? ›

Note that we are going to use the latest version of Spring Boot which is Spring Boot 3.
  1. Creating a Spring Boot Application. ...
  2. Create Project Packaging Structure. ...
  3. Maven Dependencies. ...
  4. Create Model - Product. ...
  5. Create Repository - ProductRepository. ...
  6. Create Service - ProductService. ...
  7. Create Controller - ProductController.

What is the easiest option to deploy spring boot? ›

Spring Boot application can be easily started as Unix/Linux services by using either init. d or systemd .

What is the difference between microservices and REST API? ›

Microservices are the blocks of your application and perform different services, while REST APIs work as the glue or the bridge that integrates these separate microservices. APIs can be made up, wholly or partially, out of microservices. Developers can use Microservices for a lot more, though.

How to get all API endpoints Spring Boot? ›

In a Spring Boot application, we expose a REST API endpoint by using the @RequestMapping annotation in the controller class. For getting these endpoints, there are three options: an event listener, Spring Boot Actuator, or the SpringDoc library.

What is an example of a Microservice in REST API? ›

The Facebook Messenger Platform is an excellent example of RESTful APIs in action. Messenger is comprised of a variety of microservices – such as “Send” for sending messages and “Attachment” for attaching and sending files.

What are the layers of REST API? ›

The API architecture is made up of four different layers: the Interaction Layer, Integrational Layer, Application Layer, and Information Management Layer (databases).

How to build REST API endpoints? ›

Creating an API endpoint is simple with the following four steps, detailed below.
  1. Pick the Programming Language of Your Choice. ...
  2. Set Up Your Environment and Directory Structure. ...
  3. Get Started with Code. ...
  4. Test the API Endpoints Using Postman.
Aug 16, 2022

What design pattern is REST API? ›

Representational state transfer (REST) is an architectural design pattern for APIs. APIs that follow this pattern are called REST APIs or RESTful APIs. REST sets certain standards between computer systems on the web that make it easier for systems to communicate with each other.

How much time required to learn REST API? ›

Designing Restful APIs

This course is expected to take around three weeks to complete for someone who is interested in learning about APIs.

What is the weakness of REST API? ›

Documentation: One of the biggest drawbacks of REST APIs is that they are schema-less, which means client-side developers have no idea what data structure will be returned when querying an API.

How long does it take to build a REST API? ›

How long does it take to build an API app? An API app usually takes 69 hours to build. However, an API app can be built in as few as 35 hours, or in as many as 104 hours. The exact timeline mostly depends on how complicated your app is.

How to deploy Spring Boot REST API? ›

  1. Create a Spring Boot project. Navigate to ...
  2. Create a simple REST endpoint. You'll need an editor for this. ...
  3. Set up an AWS account. To get started, head to AWS and create an AWS account. ...
  4. Push a Docker image to ECR. ...
  5. Deploy the Docker image with ECS.
Jun 2, 2020

Why use Spring Boot for REST API? ›

Advantages of using Spring Boot

It allows you to create REST APIs with minimal configurations. A few benefits of using Spring Boot for your REST APIs include: No requirement for complex XML configurations. Embedded Tomcat server to run Spring Boot applications.

What is swagger in spring boot? ›

Swagger in Spring Boot is an open-source project that helps generate documents of REST APIs for RESTful web services via a web browser. It renders the documentation of an API visually using web services. Open API is the specification, and Swagger is a tool that helps implement the API specification.

What is a REST API for dummies? ›

A RESTful API is an architectural style for an application program interface (API) that uses HTTP requests to access and use data. That data can be used to GET, PUT, POST and DELETE data types, which refers to the reading, updating, creating and deleting of operations concerning resources.

Why is REST API called RESTful? ›

API developers can design APIs using several different architectures. APIs that follow the REST architectural style are called REST APIs. Web services that implement REST architecture are called RESTful web services. The term RESTful API generally refers to RESTful web APIs.

Are all APIs RESTful? ›

Not all HTTP APIs are REST APIs. The API needs to meet the following architectural requirements to be considered a REST API: Client-server: REST applications have a server that manages application data and state. The server communicates with a client that handles the user interactions.

What is better than REST API? ›

GraphQL is widely tagged as a better REST because it represents a better way of building APIs. Many developers believe that GraphQL will replace REST. Many more have already discovered that GraphQL helps solve some common challenges developers face while building REST APIs.

What is the most common language in REST API? ›

JavaScript is the go-to language for both front-end and back-end web development, and it has a wealth of frameworks and libraries for creating and consuming REST APIs.

What are the 4 main methods of REST API? ›

The most common are: GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE, but there are several others. There is no limit to the number of methods that can be defined and this allows for future methods to be specified without breaking existing infrastructure.

What are the 4 components of REST API? ›

REST Components
  • Resource Path.
  • HTTP Verb.
  • Body.
  • Header.

What is a real time example of restful web services? ›

Facebook, Twitter, and Google expose their functionality in the form of Restful web services. This allows any client application to call these web services via REST.

How to call REST API in spring Boot? ›

How to Call or Consume External API in Spring Boot?
  1. Procedure:
  2. Step 1: Creating Spring Boot project.
  3. Step 2: Create Rest Controllers and map API requests.
  4. Step 3: Build and run the Project.
  5. Step 4: Make a call to external API services and test it.
Sep 16, 2021

How to create REST API microservices in spring Boot? ›

Running Examples
  1. Download the zip or clone the Git repository.
  2. Unzip the zip file (if you downloaded one)
  3. Open Command Prompt and Change directory (cd) to folder containing pom.xml.
  4. Open Eclipse. ...
  5. Choose the Spring Boot Application file (search for @SpringBootApplication)
  6. Right Click on the file and Run as Java Application.

How to create REST API in spring Boot Hibernate? ›

Bootstrapping with Spring Initializr
  1. Launch Spring Initializr and choose the following. Choose as Group. Choose spring-boot-2-rest-service-basic as Artifact. Choose following dependencies. Web. JPA. ...
  2. Click Generate.
  3. Import the project into Eclipse. File > Import > Existing Maven Project.
Aug 19, 2022

How to create SOAP API in spring Boot? ›

We'll create a Spring Boot project where we'll define our SOAP WS server.
  1. 4.1. Maven Dependencies. ...
  2. 4.2. The XSD File. ...
  3. 4.3. Generate the Domain Java Classes. ...
  4. 4.4. Add the SOAP Web Service Endpoint. ...
  5. 4.5. The SOAP Web Service Configuration Beans.
May 4, 2023

How do I write a REST API call? ›

Calling REST APIs
  1. Add a Datasource with OpenAPI specification. Datasource for REST service without OpenAPI specification.
  2. Add a service. Define the methods that map to the operations.
  3. Add a Controller. Inject the Service in the constructor. Add the REST endpoints.
  4. More examples.
  5. Further reading.

Where to deploy spring Boot REST API? ›

1. Deploying to the Cloud
  1. 1.1. Cloud Foundry. Cloud Foundry provides default buildpacks that come into play if no other buildpack is specified. ...
  2. 1.2. Kubernetes. ...
  3. 1.3. Heroku. ...
  4. 1.4. OpenShift. ...
  5. 1.5. Amazon Web Services (AWS) ...
  6. 1.6. CloudCaptain and Amazon Web Services. ...
  7. 1.7. Azure. ...
  8. 1.8. Google Cloud.
May 18, 2023

How to call HTTP request in spring Boot? ›

Start the application with mvn springboot:run ; open an HTTP client like Postman and call the endpoint http://localhost:8080/create-task with a POST method. Execute the request to create a task. In this tutorial, we will see how to use Spring features to validate the request body and request parameters.

How to get all API endpoints spring Boot? ›

In a Spring Boot application, we expose a REST API endpoint by using the @RequestMapping annotation in the controller class. For getting these endpoints, there are three options: an event listener, Spring Boot Actuator, or the SpringDoc library.

How does REST API work in spring boot? ›

The REST application follows the REST architectural approach. We use the REST application for developing and designing networked applications. It generates the HTTP request that performs CRUD operations on the data. Usually, it returns data in JSON or XML format.

How to create REST API in JSON? ›

  1. First of all, ensure you have NodeJs and NPM installed.
  2. Create a folder name of your own choice on the desired location. For now, I have created with the name: Fake-APIs.
  3. Run npm init inside the folder. ...
  4. Run npm install — save json-server. ...
  5. We need to start our server now. ...
  6. You should see a file named db.
Jan 14, 2021

How to create REST API using Maven? ›

xml) file to manage the project dependencies and project's build.
  1. Step 1: Create Spring Boot Project. ...
  2. Step 2: Import Maven Project into Eclipse. ...
  3. Step 3: Create Product Model. ...
  4. Step 4: Create Product Repository. ...
  5. Step 5: Create Product Controller. ...
  6. Step 5: Configuring MySQL. ...
  7. Step 6: Run Spring Boot. ...
  8. Step 7: Test API using Postman.

What is the difference between SOAP and REST API in Spring Boot? ›

REST APIs uses multiple standards like HTTP, JSON, URL, and XML for data communication and transfer. SOAP APIs is largely based and uses only HTTP and XML. As REST API deploys and uses multiple standards as stated above, so it takes fewer resources and bandwidth as compared to SOAP API.

What is the difference between REST and SOAP? ›

SOAP and REST are two different approaches to API design. The SOAP approach is highly structured and uses XML data format. REST is more flexible and allows applications to exchange data in multiple formats.

What is SOAP vs REST API Spring Boot? ›


REST is an architectural style. SOAP is a message exchange format. Let's compare the popular implementations of REST and SOAP styles. At a high level, SOAP is about restrictions on your message structures while REST is an architectural approach focused on using HTTP Transport.


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