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Bootlace is a fully-functional reference application demonstrating the integration of various contemporary technologies that comprise a modern web development stack.

The purpose of Bootlace is to demonstrate how to integrate, in a robust manner, at least these technologies together in a single-page web application:

  • AngularJS;
  • Restangular;
  • Bootstrap;
  • Spring MVC;
  • Spring Security;
  • Spring Data;
  • MongoDB;
  • WebSockets;
  • Jetty.

A primary goal of the project is to have a fully working single page web application with reliable authentication and authorisation implemented using AngularJS on the front-end and Spring Security the middle-tier.

The provided code and other resources are all intended to be clean, well structured and documented to a reasonable degree rather than being just a splat of seemingly random code dumped in a repository.

It is also very important to demonstrate how to structure the project Javascript code, specifically being organised into modules using "require".

A further important goal of the project is to make the development workflow as convenient as possible.

AngularJS 1.x vs AngularJS 2.x

This project is currently implemented around AngularJS 1.x, since AngularJS 2.0 is still some time away - since AngularJS 2.x is the future, a goal of this project is to stay current and apply the changes necessary to move to AngularJS 2.x in the future (but not yet!).

Jetty vs Tomcat

Jetty is a modern implementation of a slick, lean servlet container. It has also has leading edge support for various modern technologies.

By default Spring Boot uses Tomcat so using Jetty requires extra configuration. It would be quite simple to drop Jetty for Tomcat, but Jetty is preferred.

Additional Components

For convenience, some other popular and useful technologies are also integrated.

Additional front-end libraries include:

  • angular-toastr;
  • bootswatch;
  • blueimp-gallery;
  • font-awesome;
  • moment.js

Some of these libraries are chosen because they require special handling when integrating (e.g. Browserify shims).

Additional middle-tier libraries include:

  • BCrypt;
  • Google Guava;
  • OWASP Java HTML Sanitizer

Additional front-end build tools include:

  • jshint;
  • npm;
  • Browserify;
  • Stylus.

Additional project build tools include:

  • Cobertura;
  • FindBugs;
  • JUnit;
  • PMD.

Bootlace uses as much as possible the latest versions of the various libraries and frameworks.

Project Status

This project is a work-in-progress.

What has been provided works, and demonstrates a working implementation of many of the project goals.

However, there is still more to be done.

The intent is to create a canonical implementation to serve as fully working reference material when developing new projects using the same (or very similar) software stack.

Discussion, contributions, patches and pull-requests are all welcome.


The following is the minimum list of prerequisites:

  • You must have a MongoDB database installed.
  • You must have Java 1.8 installed.
  • You must have Maven 3.x installed.
  • You must have Node.js installed, at least for "npm".

As is the case with a lot of modern web development, a Linux or Linux-like environment is preferred - this is especially the case for the Javascript and CSS development tools and anything else related to NodeJS (like the "npm" tool).


Maven is used to build the project.

Since the project is a Spring Boot project, Maven can also be used to start the application in a local HTTP server using standard Spring Boot goals.

The project Maven pom.xml is configured to generate "site" documentation, including Javadoc, test and static analysis results.

Rebuilding Assets

The Javascript and CSS assets are structured as many separate files in various modules. Part of the project build process requires that those separate files be combined into a single file. This can become pretty tedious if it becomes necessary to drop to the command-line and execute shell commands every time a file is changed.

Consequently, the "npm" tools is used to automate this.

Open a terminal window, and once in the project directory only one command is needed:

npm run watch

This starts a process that monitors (separately) Javascript and CSS files for changes and rebuilds them accordingly.

If the server is running, the new files should be automatically deployed and start being used immediately (perhaps requiring a browser refresh, unless browser caching is disabled e.g. with Chrome Developer Tools).


A goal of this project is to provide for a convenient development workflow, as part of that when using Eclipse it is recommended that automatic workspace refreshes are enabled.

This can have a detrimental performance impact, but since project assets like CSS files and Javascript files are processed (combined into a single file and minified) outside of Eclipse then automatic workspace refreshes are highly desirable.

To enable this, in Eclipse:

Window -> Preferences -> General -> Workspace -> Refresh using native hooks or polling

Running the Application

You simply need to execute the maven "spring-boot:run" goal, either on the command-line or via an Eclipse "Run" configuration.

When the application is started, point a web browser at:


The home page should appear.

During application startup a default "admin" user and a non-admin "user" are created in the database - the passwords are "admin" and "user" respectively (the same as the username). You can use these user accounts to login to the application.

Browser Support

The supported environments for this project are the the so-called "evergreen" browsers, primarily Chrome and Safari, followed by Firefox.

Other browsers should work if they are compliant with modern standards.

License and Copyright

Bootlace is distributed according to the terms of the Apache License, Version 2.0

Copyright (C) 2015 Caprica Software Limited

If this project was useful to you, we kindly ask that you give some credit back to us with a link somewhere in your project documentation or credits.


This project was based in part on material published as below:

Pulling everything together was not easy, most material out there explains only 80% of what is needed and eschews many tricksy but vital things.

Other Recommended Links

TODO (Application)

  • WebSockets integration
  • Form validation errors on client
  • Server side validation for forms, e.g. use of @Valid and BindingResult
  • Full set of responsive styles
  • Check use of replace() when changing route state, e.g. in the error cases it is not quite right in all cases
  • External module configuration
  • Create account (e.g. with an email validation workflow)
  • Delete account
  • Custom Spring Data repository methods, also custom MongoDB queries using the builder pattern
  • File upload
  • Javascript image gallery
  • Javascript unit tests
  • Java unit tests
  • Launch npm watch process via maven command?
  • Custom methods in MongoDB repository;
  • Full editing of an example resource, CRUD, showing normal usage of Restangular;

TODO (Technical)


A complete AngularJS, Spring MVC, Spring Security and MongoDB reference web application







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