Simple Asynchronous REST Service using Jersey


Here I am going to give an example on how Asynchronous REST webservice works. This is a simple asynchronous REST service using Jersey API.

The most important concept in REST is resources, which are identified by global IDs — typically using URIs. Client applications use HTTP methods (GET/ POST/ PUT/ DELETE) to manipulate the resource or collection of resources. A RESTful Web service is implemented using HTTP and the principles of REST. Typically, a RESTful Web service should define the following aspects:

  • The base/root URI for the Web service such as http://<host>/<appcontext/contextpath>/<url pattern>/<resources>.
  • The MIME type of the response data supported, which are JSON/XML/TEXT/HTML etc.
  • The set of operations supported by the service. (for example, POST, GET, PUT or DELETE).

HTTP Methods

HTTP methods are mapped to CRUD (create, read, update and delete) actions for a resource. Although you can make slight modifications such as making the PUT method to be create or update, the basic patterns are listed as follows.

  • HTTP GET: Get/List/Retrieve an individual resource or a collection of resources.
  • HTTP POST: Create a new resource or resources.
  • HTTP PUT: Update an existing resource or collection of resources.
  • HTTP DELETE: Delete a resource or collection of resources.

Asynchronous Server API

By default client connection of a request is processed in a synchronous mode in server in a single I/O container thread. After processing the client request, the thread returns to the I/O container and I/O container safely assumes that the request process is finished. Thus all resources associated with the client connection are released. This kind of synchronous mechanism is sufficient for requests which take relatively short execution time. But for requests which take relatively longer execution time, the association between a request processing thread and client connection is broken. Thus server-side asynchronous processing model should be used to facilitate explicitly suspend, resume and close the client connections.

For more information on Asynchronous Service, you can go through


Eclipse, JDK 1.8, Jersey 2.6, Maven 3.6.0

Example with Source Code

Now I will go to the coding part and below steps to be followed to create an asynchronous REST service. We will use grizlly web server for running the service.

Creating Project

Create maven based webapp project in Eclipse with the below information

Group Id: com.roytuts
Artifact Id: asynchronous-rest

Updating pom.xml

Modify the pom.xml file to add required dependencies. We are using Jersey version 2.6. We are going to use Grizlly server to test our Asynchronous REST service. So we added the required dependencies for this server.

<project xmlns=""

Updating web.xml

Modify web.xml file to use the jersey servlet. We also specify the REST service package location to let the server know about the REST services.

<web-app xmlns=""
	<display-name>Asynchronous REST</display-name>
	<!-- Map /rest/* to Jersey -->

Creating REST Service

Create a REST resource class as shown below.

public class AsyncResource {
	public void asyncGet(@Suspended final AsyncResponse asyncResponse) {
		new Thread(new Runnable() {
			public void run() {
				String result = veryExpensiveOperation();
			private String veryExpensiveOperation() {
				return "Very Expensive Operation";

Creating Junit Class

Create JUnit test class for testing the service.

import java.util.concurrent.ExecutionException;
import java.util.concurrent.Future;
import org.glassfish.grizzly.http.server.HttpServer;
import org.glassfish.jersey.grizzly2.httpserver.GrizzlyHttpServerFactory;
import org.glassfish.jersey.server.ResourceConfig;
import org.junit.After;
import org.junit.Before;
import org.junit.Test;
public class AsyncResourceTest {
	private HttpServer httpServer;
	private WebTarget webTarget;
	private static final URI baseUri = URI.create("http://localhost:9090/rest/");
	public void setup() throws Exception {
		// create ResourceConfig from Resource class
		ResourceConfig rc = new ResourceConfig(AsyncResource.class);
		// create the Grizzly server instance
		httpServer = GrizzlyHttpServerFactory.createHttpServer(baseUri, rc);
		// start the server
		// configure client with the base URI path
		Client client = ClientBuilder.newClient();
		webTarget =;
	public void tearDown() throws Exception {
		// if you want to stop the server from the input through keyboard then uncomment
		// below two lines
		// System.out.println(String.format("Application started.%nHit enter to stop it..."));
		// stop the server
	public void testAsyncGet() throws InterruptedException, ExecutionException {
		final AsyncInvoker asyncInvoker = webTarget.path("resource/simpleAsync").request().async();
		final Future<Response> responseFuture = asyncInvoker.get();
		System.out.println("Request is being processed asynchronously.");
		final Response response = responseFuture.get();
		// get() waits for the response to be ready
		System.out.println("Response received : " + response);
		System.out.println("Response from GET method : " + response.readEntity(String.class));

Testing the Application

Console Output

Request is being processed asynchronously.
Response received : InboundJaxrsResponse{ClientResponse{method=GET, uri=http://localhost:9090/rest/resource/simpleAsync, status=200, reason=OK}}
Response from GET method : Very Expensive Operation

Source Code

download source code

That’s all. Thanks for reading.

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