Spring REST XML and JSON Example

Filed Under: Spring

Welcome to Spring Restful Web Services XML and JSON example. Sometime back I wrote an article about Spring REST JSON and I got a lot of comments asking how to change the program to support XML. I got some emails also asking how to make application supports both XML as well as JSON.

Spring REST XML and JSON

I thought to write an article about Spring REST XML and JSON application where I will show you how easily we can extend the existing application to support XML. Since I will be making changes to the existing project, make sure you first download it from below link.

Now do following changes to spring bean configuration file.

  1. Define a bean of type Jaxb2RootElementHttpMessageConverter.
    <beans:bean id="xmlMessageConverter" class="org.springframework.http.converter.xml.Jaxb2RootElementHttpMessageConverter">
  2. Add above configured bean to RequestMappingHandlerAdapter property messageConverters.
    <beans:bean class="org.springframework.web.servlet.mvc.method.annotation.RequestMappingHandlerAdapter">
    <beans:property name="messageConverters">
    		<beans:ref bean="jsonMessageConverter"/>
    		<beans:ref bean="xmlMessageConverter"/>

After above changes, our final spring bean configuration file will look like below.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans:beans xmlns="https://www.springframework.org/schema/mvc"
	xsi:schemaLocation="https://www.springframework.org/schema/mvc https://www.springframework.org/schema/mvc/spring-mvc.xsd
		https://www.springframework.org/schema/beans https://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans.xsd
		https://www.springframework.org/schema/context https://www.springframework.org/schema/context/spring-context.xsd">

	<!-- DispatcherServlet Context: defines this servlet's request-processing infrastructure -->
	<!-- Enables the Spring MVC @Controller programming model -->
	<annotation-driven />

	<!-- Handles HTTP GET requests for /resources/** by efficiently serving up static resources in the ${webappRoot}/resources directory -->
	<resources mapping="/resources/**" location="/resources/" />

	<!-- Resolves views selected for rendering by @Controllers to .jsp resources in the /WEB-INF/views directory -->
	<beans:bean class="org.springframework.web.servlet.view.InternalResourceViewResolver">
		<beans:property name="prefix" value="/WEB-INF/views/" />
		<beans:property name="suffix" value=".jsp" />
	<!-- Configure to plugin JSON as request and response in method handler -->
	<beans:bean class="org.springframework.web.servlet.mvc.method.annotation.RequestMappingHandlerAdapter">
		<beans:property name="messageConverters">
				<beans:ref bean="jsonMessageConverter"/>
				<beans:ref bean="xmlMessageConverter"/>
	<!-- Configure bean to convert JSON to POJO and vice versa -->
	<beans:bean id="jsonMessageConverter" class="org.springframework.http.converter.json.MappingJackson2HttpMessageConverter">
	<beans:bean id="xmlMessageConverter" class="org.springframework.http.converter.xml.Jaxb2RootElementHttpMessageConverter">
	<context:component-scan base-package="com.journaldev.spring.controller" />

We know that for working with JAXB marshalling for a class, we need to annotate it with @XmlRootElement annotation. So add this to our Employee model class.


public class Employee implements Serializable{

//no change in code

That’s it, we are DONE. Our Spring application will support both JSON as well as XML. It will even support XML request with JSON response and vice versa. Below are some of the screenshots showing this in action.

NOTE: I am using Postman Chrome application for this, you can use any rest client for this testing.

1. XML Response: Make sure you pass Accept header as “application/xml”.

spring xml, spring rest xml

2. JSON Response: Make sure you pass Accept header as “application/json”.

spring json, spring rest json

3. XML Request with JSON Response: Make sure Accept header is “application/json” and Content-Type header is “text/xml” as shown in below images.

spring rest xml json, spring restful web services

spring restful web services

That’s all for Spring Restful web services example for supporting both XML and JSON. You can see how easy it is to extend Spring framework, this is one of the major reason of spring framework popularity.


  1. jk says:

    my 404 issue reslove form web.xml following changes


  2. sumit says:

    2018-08-28 10:00:48,330 [localhost-startStop-1] ERROR org.springframework.web.servlet.DispatcherServlet – Context initialization failed
    what is that error???

  3. Priyanka says:

    Hi Pankaj,

    How to write Rest Client Program for the same like your previous example for all combination like xml to xml, xml to json, json to xml?

    Thanks in advance!

  4. arun singh says:


  5. J Manas Kumar says:

    Hello Pankaj
    I have tried your its fantastic .
    its very useful when have hardcoded data,but if we want this same thing with service and dao how can we achieve this??
    because when ever we bring data from db , we must have to bring from employee class or table.
    but for xml we have to make another class EmployeeList class in which we contain employee as list.
    but how can I return list from employee class if I put EmployeeList as method return type.
    everytime m doing that in service its showing that unable convert from Employee to EmployeeList,,hopw can I resolve this? how can I put that list of employees to EmployeeList and return EmployeeList..

  6. J Manas Kumar says:

    Hello Pankaj as u referred me this i have check this, but the thing is that when i am going to create an employee its throwing error in postman and i am unable to see any specific error in console , so there are no eror in console.

    Can you help me to resolve this issue??


    1. J Manas Kumar says:

      and it also not giving any xml response when i get the dummy data as xml format..??
      Can give some guidance to resolve this?

  7. Badr C says:

    Thanks for ALL 🙂

    All your article are simple and easy to understand, to me they very structured et well done.

    You’re the best 🙂

  8. sachin sarwadnya says:

    Sir thanks for the posting this working example but . I am getting only json string as response not the xml reesponse

    1. Jesudasan M says:

      Returning List object will be an issue (Error 406) for XML format. you have to implement separate class to add list object as below code snapshot.

      I have created another class EmployeeService which defined employeelist as method with List object return type.

      import java.util.List;

      import javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlElement;
      import javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlRootElement;

      @XmlRootElement(name = “Employeelist”)
      public class EmployeeService {

      List employeeList;

      @XmlElement(name = “Employee”)
      public List getEmployeeList() {
      return employeeList;

      public void setEmployeeList(List employeeList) {
      this.employeeList = employeeList;


      Bean added in servlet-context.xml

      In EmployeeController, Autowired EmployeeServices
      EmployeeService objServices;

      And did small update in getAllEmployees() mothed,


      // mothod like

      @RequestMapping(value = EmpRestURIConstants.GET_ALL_EMP, method = RequestMethod.GET)
      public @ResponseBody EmployeeService getAllEmployees() {
      logger.debug(“Start getAllEmployees.”);

      List emps = new ArrayList();
      Set empIdKeys = empData.keySet();
      for(Integer i : empIdKeys){


      return this.objServices;

      Now its works for both xml and Json requests

  9. rahul says:

    I want list of employees in xml while it comes in JSON list

  10. sandeep says:

    I am also getting only xml form of response only. how could I get in both the formats.

  11. michael Somers says:

    I get the application to build and run but not matter what I do even when i add the content “application/json” I always get xml, why is that please.
    The tutorial was good !!!


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