Java HTTP Adapter

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Java adapters provide free reign over connectivity to a backend system. It is therefore the developer’s responsibility to ensure best practices regarding performance and other implementation details. This tutorial covers an example of a Java adapter that connects to an RSS feed by using a Java HttpClient.

Prerequisite: Make sure to read the Java Adapters tutorial first.

Important: When you use static references to classes from* or javax.servlet.*, within your adapter implementation, then you should ensure to configure the RuntimeDelegate using one of the options below:

  • Set in Liberty jvm.options OR
  • Set the system property or JVM custom property

Initializing the adapter

In the supplied sample adapter, the JavaHTTPApplication class is used to extend MFPJAXRSApplication and is a good place to trigger any initialization required by your application.

protected void init() throws Exception {
    JavaHTTPResource.init();"Adapter initialized!");

Implementing the adapter Resource class

The adapter Resource class is where requests to the server are handled.
In the supplied sample adapter, the class name is JavaHTTPResource.

public class JavaHTTPResource {


@Path("/") means that the resources will be available at the URL http(s)://host:port/ProjectName/adapters/AdapterName/.

HTTP Client

private static CloseableHttpClient client;
private static HttpHost host;

public static void init() {
  client = HttpClientBuilder.create().build();
  host = new HttpHost("");

Because every request to your resource will create a new instance of JavaHTTPResource, it is important to reuse objects that may impact performance. In this example we made the Http client a static object and initialized it in a static init() method, which gets called by the init() of JavaHTTPApplication as described above.

Procedure resource

public void get(@Context HttpServletResponse response, @QueryParam("tag") String tag)
    throws IOException, IllegalStateException, SAXException {
  if(tag!=null && !tag.isEmpty()){
    execute(new HttpGet("/blog/atom/"+ tag +".xml"), response);
    execute(new HttpGet("/feed.xml"), response);


The sample adapter exposes just one resource URL which allows to retrieve the RSS feed from the backend service.

  • @GET means that this procedure only responds to HTTP GET requests.
  • @Produces("application/json") specifies the Content Type of the response to send back. We chose to send the response as a JSON object to make it easier on the client-side.
  • @Context HttpServletResponse response will be used to write to the response output stream. This enables us more granularity than returning a simple string.
  • @QueryParam("tag") String tag enables the procedure to receive a parameter. The choice of QueryParam means the parameter is to be passed in the query (/JavaHTTP/?tag=MobileFirst_Platform). Other options include @PathParam, @HeaderParam, @CookieParam, @FormParam, etc.
  • throws IOException, ... means we are forwarding any exception back to the client. The client code is responsible for handling potential exceptions which will be received as HTTP 500 errors. Another solution (more likely in production code) is to handle exceptions in your server Java code and decide what to send to the client based on the exact error.
  • execute(new HttpGet("/feed.xml"), response). The actual HTTP request to the backend service is handled by another method defined later.

Depending if you pass a tag parameter, execute will retrieve a different build a different path and retrieve a different RSS file.


public void execute(HttpUriRequest req, HttpServletResponse resultResponse)
        throws IOException,
        IllegalStateException, SAXException {
    HttpResponse RSSResponse = client.execute(host, req);
    ServletOutputStream os = resultResponse.getOutputStream();
    if (RSSResponse.getStatusLine().getStatusCode() == HttpStatus.SC_OK){  
        resultResponse.addHeader("Content-Type", "application/json");
        String json = XML.toJson(RSSResponse.getEntity().getContent());

  • HttpResponse RSSResponse = client.execute(host, req). We use our static HTTP client to execute the HTTP request and store the response.
  • ServletOutputStream os = resultResponse.getOutputStream(). This is the output stream to write a response to the client.
  • resultResponse.addHeader("Content-Type", "application/json"). As mentioned before, we chose to send the response as JSON.
  • String json = XML.toJson(RSSResponse.getEntity().getContent()). We used org.apache.wink.json4j.utils.XML to convert the XML RSS to a JSON string.
  • os.write(json.getBytes(Charset.forName("UTF-8"))) the resulting JSON string is written to the output stream.

The output stream is then flushed and closed.

If RSSResponse is not 200 OK, we write the status code and reason in the response instead.

Sample adapter

Click to download the Adapters Maven project.

The Adapters Maven project includes the JavaHTTP adapter described above.

Sample usage

Inclusive terminology note: The Mobile First Platform team is making changes to support the IBM® initiative to replace racially biased and other discriminatory language in our code and content with more inclusive language. While IBM values the use of inclusive language, terms that are outside of IBM's direct influence are sometimes required for the sake of maintaining user understanding. As other industry leaders join IBM in embracing the use of inclusive language, IBM will continue to update the documentation to reflect those changes.
Last modified on April 05, 2017