Java Spring Boot and Angular 5 Tutorial Series: Building the REST API

Throughout this tutorial series we'll learn to build a Java web application (using Spring and JPA) with an Angular 4|5 front-end. For the back-end we'll build the REST API using the Spring Boot rapid development platform.

In this first tutorial of the series, you’ll learn step by step how to build a REST API back-end, using Java, Spring, Spring Boot, JPA (Java Persistence API), Hibernate (the ORM implementation for JPA) and MySQL, for a simple customer management application.

We'll first start by generating a zero-configuration project using Spring Initializr. Next we'll configure the MySQL database and create the Customer model (business domain class), finally we'll build the API endpoints to create, read, update and delete customers data.


This tutorial has the following sections:

  • Introduction to Spring Boot platform
  • Generating the project using Spring Initializer
  • Configuring the MySQL database
  • Creating the domain model (Customer)
  • Creating a repository for CRUD operations
  • Creating the controller

Let's get started with the introduction!

Introduction to Spring Boot

Spring Boot is a rapid application platform that helps you accelerate and facilitate application development. You can use Spring Initializr to generate a project by filling your project details, picking your options, and finally downloading either a Maven build file, or a bundled up project as a zip file. Before you can use Sprint Boot you need a few pre-requisites:

  • JDK 1.8 or later,
  • Gradle 2.3+
  • or Maven 3.0+

Using Spring Boot you can build applications rapidly. It works by looking at your classpath and at beans you have configured,and add all the configurations you are missing so you can work the particular requirements of your application instead of configuration.

Spring Boot makes bootstrapping Spring projects very quick and relieves you from the hassle of dealing with the configuration settings but in the same time doesn't get in the way if you need to manually add any configurations for more control of your project settings.

Generating the Project Using Spring Initializer

For quickly bootstrapping a project, you can use Spring Initializer, an online tool that can be used to quickly generate a zero-configuration project so simply to the website and follow the easy steps to create your project.

After filling the details, you need to click on Generate Project to generate your project and download the zip file containing all the files of the project. You can then un-zip the compressed file and import it in your IDE.

Now, make sure you have MySQL installed on your system and proceed to the next section.

Configuring the MySQL Database

After generating the project, the next thing you need to do is the configuration of the MySQL database. So open your project file and add the following properties.

## Spring  DATASOURCE (DataSourceAutoConfiguration & DataSourceProperties)

spring.datasource.url = jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/crm_app?useSSL=false
spring.datasource.username = YOUR_MYSQL_USERNAME
spring.datasource.password = YOUR_MYSQL_DATABASE

## Hibernate  Properties
# The  SQL dialect makes Hibernate generate better SQL  for the chosen database = org.hibernate.dialect.MySQL5Dialect

# Hibernate ddl auto (create, create-drop, validate, update)
spring.jpa.hibernate.ddl-auto = update

Create the Domain Model

For the sake of simplicity our application will only have one model. Create a new package called models inside your project and add a model named with the following contents:

package com.techiediaries.crm.model;

import org.hibernate.validator.constraints.NotBlank;
import com.fasterxml.jackson.annotation.JsonIgnoreProperties;

import javax.persistence.*;
import java.util.Date;

@Table(name = "customers")
@JsonIgnoreProperties(value = {"createdAt", "updatedAt"},
allowGetters = true)
public  class  Note  implements  Serializable {

@GeneratedValue(strategy = GenerationType.AUTO)
private  Long  id;

private  String  firstName;

private  String  lastName;

private  String  description;

@Column(nullable = false, updatable = false)
private  Date  createdAt;

@Column(nullable = false)
private  Date  updatedAt;

// Getters and Setters Omitted
  • The domain class or model is annotated with the @Entity annotation which's used to denote a persistent Java class or JPA class.
  • A JPA class is mapped to SQL table so the @Table annotation provides information about the table that will be created in the SQL database.
  • The @Id annotation defines the primary key of the table/class.
  • The @GeneratedValue annotation defines the generation method for the primary key. In this example it's an auto incremented primary key.
  • The @NotBlank annotation marks the field as not null or empty.
  • The @Column annotation defines the properties of the table column corresponding to the class field.

Creating a Repository for CRUD Operations

Now that we have defined our domain class that will be mapped to a database table in the MySQL database. Let's create a repository for implementing the CRUD operations on the domain class. Inside your project's main package, create a package that you can call repository.

Next, create a CustomerRepository (Java interface) that extends JpaRepository<Customer, Long>:

package com.techiediaries.crm.repository;
import com.techiediaries.crm.model.Customer;

public  interface  CustomerRepository  extends  JpaRepository<Customer, Long> {}

You can find more information about Spring JPA Repositories from the docs.

Creating the Controller

After creating the JPA Repository that implements the necessary CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) operations on the Customer model. We can now create the REST API of our simple application. This API will be used to create, update, delete and retrieve customers from the MySQL database.

Start by creating a package that you can name controller inside the main project's package (in our case it's com.techiediaries.crm).

Next create the controller class (you can name it and add the following code:

package com.techiediaries.crm.controller;
import com.techiediaries.crm.model.Customer;
import com.techiediaries.crm.repository.CustomerRepository;
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.http.ResponseEntity;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.*;
import javax.validation.Valid;
import java.util.List;

public  class  CustomerController {
    CustomerRepository  customerRepository;

Next let's add the API endpoints/methods

Get All Customers Endpoint

Let's start by the endpoint to retrieve all customers. Add the following method to the controller class:

public  List<Customer> getAllCustomers() {
    return  customerRepository.findAll();

The method is annotated with the @GetMapping() annotation which makes this method able to process GET requests then in the body the method simply uses the Spring JPA repository to query the database for available customers.

Create a New Customer

Now that we're able to send a GET request to retrieve a list of all customers. Let's create the API method for creating new customers using the POST request

public  Customer  createCustomer(@Valid  @RequestBody  Customer c) {



The @PostMapping is used to create a POST mapping between the API endpoint api/customers and the createCustomer() method so when a POST request is sent to this endpoint the createCustomer() method is called. The body of the method uses the .save() method to persist the provided customer data, via the request body, in the database.

Get a Single Customer

Now let's add the code to retrieve a single customer by id. We'll use the @GetMapping("/customers/{id}") annotation and the @PathVariable(value = "id") annotation to get the id of the customer from the path.

public  ResponseEntity<Customer> getCustomerById(@PathVariable(value = "id") Long cId) {

    Customer  c = customerRepository.findOne(cId);
    if(c == null) {
        return  ResponseEntity.notFound().build();
        return  ResponseEntity.ok().body(c);

In the method body we simply use .findOne(id) method of the CustomerRepository to retrieve a customer by its id from the database.

Update a Customer by Id

To update a customer by id we create the PUT API endpoint using the @PutMapping("/customers/{id}") annotation:

public  ResponseEntity<Customer> updateCustomer(@PathVariable(value = "id") Long cId,

@Valid  @RequestBody  Customer customerDetails) {

    Customer  customer = customerRepository.findOne(cId);

    if(customer == null) {

        return  customerRepository.notFound().build();


    Customer  updatedC =;

    return  ResponseEntity.ok(updatedC);


Delete a Customer by Id

To create a DELETE API endpoint, we use the @DeleteMapping("/customers/{id}"):

public  ResponseEntity<Customer> deleteCustomer(@PathVariable(value = "id") Long customerId) {

    Customer  customer = customerRepository.findOne(customerId);

        if(customer == null) {

            return  ResponseEntity.notFound().build();


        return  ResponseEntity.ok().build();


After implementing our API endpoints, we can now start our application. So head over to your project's root folder then run the following command from your terminal:

mvn spring-boot:run

Your REST API will be available at localhost:8080/api/customers.

In this tutorial, we've used Java, Spring, Spring Boot and JPA to create a REST API web application. In the next tutorial we'll learn to consume this API from an Angular front-end. Stay tunned!

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