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Integrating Jersey and Spring

Posted by mhadley on September 14, 2007 at 9:18 AM PDT

To further test the new resource provider SPI I described earlier I thought I'd try building a new resource provider that defers to Spring for resource creation. Note that I've never used Spring before so if there are better ways to accomplish what I did please let me know. I also ran into a problem that limited the integration more than I'd prefer (details at the end of this post). The Jersey dev list would be a great place to post any suggestions on how to improve the integration.


The first task was to write a ResourceProvider implementation that uses Spring for resource creation. This is pretty straightforward and the getInstance method turned out to require only a few lines of code:

public Object getInstance(ResourceProviderContext context) {
  try {
    Object resource = springContext.getBean(beanName, resourceClass);
    return resource;
  } catch (Exception ex) {
    throw new ContainerException("Unable to create resource", ex);

The ResourceProvider interface only supplies a ResourceProviderContext to the getInstance method so I had to defer some initialization code to that method that would have fit better in the init method. I'll check if it makes sense to add a ResourceProviderContext to the init method but for this experiment I stuck with the SPI as is. The initSpringContext method uses the ResourceProviderContext to get the ServletContext which is then used to get the Spring ApplicationContext which has been initialized in the suggested way.

protected static synchronized void initSpringContext(
      ResourceProviderContext context) {
  if (springContext==null) {
    DummyResource r = new DummyResource();
    springContext = WebApplicationContextUtils.getRequiredWebApplicationContext(
DummyResource is a simple annotated static inner class that is used as an injection target:

public static class DummyResource {
  public ServletConfig servletConfig;

Jersey is based on annotated classes whereas Spring is based on named beans. The Spring ResourceProvider needs to map a class name to a Spring bean name which is accomplished with the initBeanName method:

protected synchronized void initBeanName() {
  if (beanName==null) {
    String names[] = springContext.getBeanNamesForType(resourceClass);
    if (names.length==0)
      throw new RuntimeException("No configured bean for "+resourceClass.getName());
    else if (names.length>1)
      throw new RuntimeException("Multiple configured beans for "+resourceClass.getName());

I couldn't see any straightforward way to determine which bean to use for a given resource class if there is more than one defined at the top level so the provider requires a single top-level bean for each resource class.

The final task was to define a new annotation that instructs the Jersey runtime to use the Spring resource provider:

public @interface SpringFactory {}


With the above implemented you can now write a resource class whose instantiation is controlled by Spring:

public class SpringResource {
  private String name;
  public SpringResource() {

  public String getName() {
    return name;
  public void setName(String name) { = name;
  public String getDescription() {
    return "Name: "+getName();

With the following applicationContext.xml in the WEB-INF directory the resource will report its name as "Mr. Bean" thus demonstrating Spring-provided resource injection.

<beans xmlns=""
  <bean id="bean1" scope="prototype" class="">
    <property name="name" value="Mr. Bean"/>

The complete code is available here. No libraries are included in the ZIP file so you'll have to patch up the references to the required Jersey and Spring libraries.

Integration Shortcoming

I couldn't see any way to add support for Jersey-defined resources as constructor parameters. In an earlier post I described the new support for non-empty constructors. When using the Spring resource provider, the constructor can only include resources defined within the Spring configuration, not values supplied by Jersey. Is there a Spring API I could use to programatically add support for Jersey-defined constructor parameters ?

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