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Creating a Reactive RESTful Web Service Using Spring WebFlux, Spring Data, and MongoDB

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Creating a Reactive RESTful Web Service Using Spring WebFlux, Spring Data, and MongoDB

Learn how to create a reactive RESTful web service step-by-step in this tutorial for Spring WebFlux, Spring Data, and MongoDB.

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This article is based on the book Getting Started With Spring Framework, 4th Edition. The source code for this article can be found in the ch19-reactor3-webservice project (http://bit.ly/2zTuD0Y). To run the project, deploy the ch19-reactor3-webservice project on Tomcat 9 and execute the ReactiveWebClient 's main method (located in the src/test/java   folder).

To create a reactive RESTful web service, you need to ensure that each layer (data access, service and web) of the web service are reactive in nature.

Developing the Data Access Layer Using Spring Data

As reactive database driver is available for MongoDB, you can use Spring Data (Kay release) to reactively interact with MongoDB database. The following listing shows the BankAccountReactorRepository  (a Spring Data repository) that defines methods that return reactive types (defined by Reactor):

public interface BankAccountReactorRepository extends ReactiveMongoRepository<BankAccountDetails, String>, BankAccountReactorRepositoryCustom {
    Mono<Long> countByBalance(int balance);
    Flux<BankAccountDetails> findByBalance(int balance);

NOTE – Instead of returning reactive types ( Flux and Mono ) from the repository methods, you can return reactive types defined by RxJava 2.

Configure Spring Data MongoDB

import org.springframework.data.mongodb.ReactiveMongoDatabaseFactory;
import org.springframework.data.mongodb.core.ReactiveMongoTemplate;
import org.springframework.data.mongodb.core.SimpleReactiveMongoDatabaseFactory;
import org.springframework.data.mongodb.repository.config.EnableReactiveMongoRepositories;
@EnableReactiveMongoRepositories(basePackages = "sample.spring.chapter19.bankapp.repository")
public class DatabaseConfig {
    public MongoClient mongoClient() throws UnknownHostException {
        return MongoClients.create("mongodb://localhost");

    public ReactiveMongoDatabaseFactory mongoDbFactory() .. {
        return new SimpleReactiveMongoDatabaseFactory(mongoClient(), 

    public ReactiveMongoTemplate reactiveMongoTemplate() .. {
        return new ReactiveMongoTemplate(mongoDbFactory());

The @EnableReactiveMongoRepositories  annotation enables the use of reactive MongoDB repositories. The basePackages  attribute specifies the packages to scan for reactive MongoDB repositories.

The @Bean -annotated mongoDbFactory  method creates and returns an instance of  SimpleReactiveMongoDatabaseFactory .  SimpleReactiveMongoDatabaseFactory ’s constructor accepts an instance of  MongoClient  and the name of the database (which is the test in our case). 

The @Bean -annotated reactiveMongoTemplate  method configures an instance of Spring Data MongoDB’s ReactiveMongoTemplate  that is used by repositories for performing reactive operations on MongoDB.

Developing the Service Layer

As we don’t want the methods in the service layer to block, the service methods return reactive types. The following listing shows BankAccountService  interface that defines service methods:

public interface BankAccountService {
    Mono<BankAccountDetails> saveBankAccount(BankAccountDetails bankAccountDetails);
    Flux<BankAccountDetails> findByBalance(int balance);
    Mono<Void> addFixedDeposit(String bankAccountId, int amount);

The following listing shows the BankAccountServiceImpl class that implements the BankAccountService  interface:

public class BankAccountServiceImpl implements BankAccountService {
    private BankAccountReactorRepository bankAccountRepository;
    public Mono<Long> countByBalance(int balance) {
        return bankAccountRepository.countByBalance(balance);

    public Flux<BankAccountDetails> findByBalance(int balance) {
        return bankAccountRepository.findByBalance(balance);

The countByBalance  and findByBalance  methods invoke the corresponding methods defined in the BankAccountReactorRepository .

Developing the Web Layer Using Spring WebFlux

Spring WebFlux module (introduced in Spring 5) supports developing reactive web applications and RESTful web services. As in the case of Spring Web MVC, you can use @Controller @GetMapping  , and so on, annotations to write reactive web controllers.

The following listing shows the BankAccountController   class (a reactive web controller) that calls BankAccountService’s methods:

import reactor.core.publisher.Flux;
import reactor.core.publisher.Mono;
public class BankAccountController {
    private BankAccountService bankAccountService;
    public Mono<Long> countByBalance(@PathVariable("balance") int balance) {
        return bankAccountService.countByBalance(balance);

    public Flux<BankAccountDetails> findByBalance(@PathVariable("balance") int balance) {
        return bankAccountService.findByBalance(balance);

Configure Spring WebFlux

The following listing shows the WebConfig class that configures WebFlux:

import org.springframework.web.reactive.config.EnableWebFlux;
@ComponentScan(basePackages = "sample.spring.chapter19.bankapp.controller")
public class WebConfig { }

In the above listing, @EnableWebFlux   annotation configures WebFlux for the project. @ComponentScan   specifies the packages that contain the classes specific to the web layer. As controllers are defined in the sample.spring.chapter19.bankapp.controller   package, it is specified as the value of basePackages   attribute of @ComponentScan   annotation.

Configuring the ServletContext

You can programmatically configure the ServletContext   of a WebFlux-based web application (or RESTful web service) by using Spring’s AbstractAnnotationConfigDispatcherHandlerInitializer class, as shown in the following listing:

import .....web.reactive.support.AbstractAnnotationConfigDispatcherHandlerInitializer;
public class BankAppInitializer extends
         AbstractAnnotationConfigDispatcherHandlerInitializer {
    protected Class<?>[] getConfigClasses() {
        return new Class[] { WebConfig.class,
             DatabaseConfig.class, BankAccountServiceImpl.class };

 getConfigClasses  method returns @Configuration   (or @Component  ) classes that we want to register with the application context. WebConfig.class   registers beans in the web layer and DatabaseConfig.class   registers beans in the data access layer.

Testing the Reactive RESTful Web Service

Spring’s WebClient   class (unlike RestTemplate) allows you to reactively interact with a reactive RESTful web service. The following listing shows the ReactiveWebClient class that accesses methods defined by BankAccountController:

import org.springframework.web.reactive.function.BodyInserters;
import org.springframework.web.reactive.function.client.WebClient;
public class ReactiveWebClient {
    private static Logger logger =  
    private static WebClient webClient = 
    public static void main(String args[]) throws InterruptedException {
        // --find BankAccountDetails entities with balance 1000
                .subscribe(account -> logger.info("account with balance 1000 -> " + account.getAccountId()));

 WebClient ’s create method creates an instance of WebClient with base URL, host, and port information. As ch19-reactor3-webservice   is deployed locally on port 8080 and the BankAccountController is mapped to the /bankaccount request path, the following URL is passed to the create the method http://localhost:8080/ch19-reactor3-webservice/bankaccount .

The retrieve method sends the HTTP request and retrieves the response body.

The bodyToFlux method extracts the response body to a Flux . As BankAccountController  ’s findByBalance method returns  Flux<BankAccountDetails>  type, the bodyToFlux (BankAccountDetails.classmethod is called to convert the response body to Flux<BankAccountDetails>.

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