Quick REST demo with Spark

What is Spark? If we take a look to the project’s web page, it says something like “Spark is a simple and lightweight Java web framework built for rapid development“. In other words, it proposes us a simple way to build web applications without dealing with XML or annotations.

I recognize I do not usually use it but I have found it very useful when I need to prepare some REST services for a quick demo. Do not missunderstanding me, I think that use the Java EE platform is amazing and you can develop with it very fast, but you need a server, a couple of classes with the JAX-RS configuration and a few annotations to make everything work. With Spark, you only need to add a dependency in you .pom file and write a few lines of code.

For the example, I am going to implement a little application offering REST services with the CRUD operations for a User. This entity is going to have:

  • id
  • name
  • surname

In first place, we should create a java application in our favorite IDE using maven.

In second place, we are going to add the correct maven dependency for the Spark library.


In third place, we should create our entity object.

public class User {
	private String id;
	private String name;
	private String surname;
	// Getters and setters

Now, we need to start to write our main class. In this main class we are going to add a couple of things:

  • A Map to simulate our data store.
  • A main method that it is going to contain our REST services.

The main class looks like:

public class Users {
	private static Map<String, User> users = new HashMap<String, User>();

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		final Random random = new Random();
		// Services here

Now, we are going to start with the services.

/users?name=Foo&surname=Bar (POST)

Spark.post("/users", (request, response) -> {
	String name = request.queryParams("name");
	String surname = request.queryParams("surname");

	User user = new User(name, surname);
	int id = random.nextInt(Integer.MAX_VALUE);
	users.put(String.valueOf(id), user);

	response.status(201); // 201 Created
	return id;

/users/:id (GET)

Spark.get("/users/:id", (request, response) -> {
	User user = users.get(request.params(":id"));
	if (user != null) {
		return "Name: " + user.getName() + ", Surname: " + user.getSurname();
	} else {
		response.status(404); // 404 Not found
		return "User not found.";

/users/:id (PUT)

Spark.put("/users/:id", (request, response) -> {
	String id = request.params(":id");
	User user = users.get(id);
	if (user != null) {
		String newName = request.queryParams("name");
		String newSurname = request.queryParams("surname");
		if (newName != null) {
		if (newSurname != null) {
		return "User with id '" + id + "' has been updated.";
	} else {
		response.status(404); // 404 Not found
		return "User not found.";

/users/:id (DELETE)

Spark.delete("/users/:id", (request, response) -> {
	String id = request.params(":id");

	User user = users.remove(id);

	if (user != null) {
		return "User with id '" + id + "'has been deleted";
	} else {
		response.status(404); // 404 Not found
		return "User not found.";

/users (GET)

Spark.get("/users", (request, response) -> {
	String ids = "";

	for (String id : users.keySet()) {
		ids += id + " ";
	return ids;

Now, we only need to execute our application and check if everything is working correctly. To do this, we can use cURL or our browser with the URL:


The next steps are on you. Implement a front-end with Javascript or consuming the services with a mobile app or… whatever you prefer.

See you.

Quick REST demo with Spark

One thought on “Quick REST demo with Spark

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s