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Web Methods in Java

In the world of web development, Java remains a powerhouse due to its versatility, robustness, and platform independence. When building web applications, Java developers often use web methods to handle HTTP requests and responses. These web methods are the backbone of RESTful web services and play a crucial role in connecting clients and servers over the web.

In this section, we will explore web methods in Java in detail, providing explanations, examples, and code snippets to help you understand how to use them effectively.

What are Web Methods?

Web methods are Java methods that are specifically designed to handle HTTP requests and produce HTTP responses. These methods are typically part of a class annotated with JAX-RS (Java API for RESTful Web Services) annotations. JAX-RS is a set of APIs that simplifies the creation of RESTful web services in Java.

Web methods are used to define the functionality of REST endpoints, allowing clients to perform various operations, such as creating, reading, updating, or deleting resources. The HTTP methods (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, etc.) correspond to specific actions on resources, and web methods are mapped to these HTTP methods.

Creating a Simple Web Method

To create a web method in Java, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Create a Java class.
  2. Annotate the class with @Path to specify the base URI for the resource.
  3. Define one or more methods in the class and annotate them with HTTP method annotations like @GET, @POST, @PUT, or @DELETE.

Here's a basic example of a JAX-RS resource class with a simple web method:


The @Path annotation specifies that this resource is accessible at the URI path "/hello."

The @GET annotation indicates that the sayHello() method should handle HTTP GET requests.

The sayHello() method returns a simple "Hello, world!" message as a response.

Handling Path Parameters

Web methods can also handle path parameters, which are dynamic values embedded in the URI. To capture path parameters, we can use the @Path annotation with placeholders and then access those values as method parameters.

Here's an example that demonstrates path parameters:


The @Path("/{id}") annotation defines a path parameter named "id."

The @PathParam("id") annotation is used to map the "id" path parameter to the userId method parameter.

When a client makes a request to "/user/123," the getUserById() method will be invoked with userId set to 123.

Handling Query Parameters

Query parameters are another common way to pass data to web methods. We can access query parameters using the @QueryParam annotation.

Here's an example of handling query parameters:


The @QueryParam("query") annotation maps the "query" query parameter to the query method parameter.

A client can make a request like "/search?query=java" to execute a search with the "java" query parameter.

Consuming and Producing Content

Web methods can consume and produce content in various formats, such as JSON, XML, or plain text. You can specify the desired media type using the @Consumes and @Produces annotations.

Here is an example of a web method that consumes JSON and produces XML:


The @Consumes annotation specifies that this method consumes JSON data. The @Produces annotation specifies that this method produces XML data. Clients can send a JSON request, and this method will respond with XML data.

Exception Handling

Handling exceptions in web methods is essential for providing meaningful error responses to clients. We can use the @Provider annotation along with custom exception classes to create exception mappers that convert exceptions into appropriate HTTP responses.

Here's an example of an exception mapper:


The @Provider annotation marks the class as an exception mapper.

The CustomExceptionMapper class handles exceptions of type CustomException and converts them into an HTTP 500 Internal Server Error response with a custom message.


Web methods in Java provide a powerful way to build RESTful web services that handle HTTP requests and produce responses. By using JAX-RS annotations and following best practices, we can create web methods that are efficient, maintainable, and easily deployable.

In this section, we have covered the basics of creating web methods, handling path and query parameters, consuming and producing content, and even handling exceptions. Armed with this knowledge, we can start building robust and feature-rich web services in Java.

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