A simple Rest helper for groovy scripts that uses Jersey
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src/main/groovy instance can have onFailure closure Jan 9, 2014
README.md Update readme May 9, 2012


Groovy Rest

A simple Groovy script wrapping the Jersey REST client library.

Provides an easy way of using RESTful APIs with Groovy, using either static method calls or objects.


Uses Grape to grab the Jersey-client and Jersey-core libraries.


Drop Rest.groovy next to your groovy script, and use it like so:

Basic Usage

Statically import the HTTP primitive operations (GET,POST,PUT,DELETE), or use them directly:

import static Rest.GET
import static Rest.POST

def response = GET 'http://example.com/api/sometthing/resource'
def response2 = POST 'http://example.com/api/sometthing/resource', 'Text content'

You can pass Headers and query parameters as arguments to the operations.

response = GET 'http://example.com/api/sometthing/resource', ['X-My-Header':'abc'], [q:'searchterm']

PUT and POST also accept either string content, or a closure that will build XML. If using a closure, specify it last.

response2 = POST 'http://example.com/api/sometthing/resource', 'Text content', ['X-My-Header':'abc'], [q:'searchterm']

//use a closure to build xml

response2 = POST('http://example.com/api/sometthing/resource', ['X-My-Header':'abc'], [q:'searchterm']){
        myelement(someattribute: 'hello'){
            this('contains text')

Object Usage

You can treat RESTful endpoints more like objects by instantiating the Rest class, and the "get","post","put", "delete" methods:

def rest = 'http://example.com/api/base' as Rest
def response= rest.post("content",[header:'value'],[query:'value'])
response= rest.get([header:'value'],[query:'value'])

Create a new Rest object by appending a subpath of the original, or the overridden "+" plus operator:

def sub = rest + '/sub/path'
sub = rest.path('/sub/path')

Overridden operators allow some groovy stuff.

GET a resource using the "getAt" operator ("[]"):

def dom = rest["/sub"].XML 

POST XML using left shift with a closure:

response = rest << {

PUT XML or other content by using "putAt" ("[]=") operator with a closure or a string:

 response = rest['/sub/path']={
 response = rest['/sub/path']="content"


The result of all requests is the Jersey ClientResponse object.

Some sugar for ClientResponse has been added:

def dom = response.XML //parse XML response with Groovy XmlParser.
def text = response.text //return content as a String
response.hasContentType 'text/xml' //returns true/false
response.hasCompatibleType '*/xml' //returns true/false, will match wildcards
response.requireContentType 'text/xml' //throws an exception, or calls a handler if the content type doesn't match, otherwise returns the ClientResponse
response.requireCompatibleType '*/xml' //throws an exception, or calls a handler if the content type doesn't match, otherwise returns the ClientResponse
response.requireStatus 201 //throws an exception, or calls a handler if the response status doesn't match, otherwise returns the ClientResponse

We can use this to chain our request and response checks:

def dom = POST('http://example.com/api/sometthing/resource','data')

Defaults for requests

Set static defaults to apply to all method calls.

Rest.xmlDeclaration=true //include <?xml..> declaration in generated XML requests

Setting the static baseUrl value means you can operate on sub-paths of this URL easily with static methods or objects:

def dom = GET('/sub/path').XML
def sub = '/sub/path' as Rest

Error handling

You can define default handlers for certain failure types, such as generic failure (HTTP status), or unexpected content type.

By default, any HTTP status outside of the 20x range is considered a failure.

Here is our API handler for handling our fictional API's error responses within a script:

def apiErrorHandler(response){
    def err = response.XML
    throw new RuntimeException("API Error: ${err.'@apiErrorCode'}: ${err.'@errorMessage'}")

We assign a generic failure handler for HTTP status codes that are not succesful, and use our custom API error handler if the content type matches:

        throw new RuntimeException("Request failed: ${response}")

We can also assign a failure handler for unexpected content type, which also defers to the API error handler for the appropriate content type:

        throw new RuntimeException("Expected ${type}, but response was ${response.type}: ${response}")

Now we can perform our requests, and calls to requireContentType and requireStatus end up calling these handlers on failure.


All requests/responses can be printed by calling Rest.debug(PrintStream):



Some enhancements that could be made:

  • support JSON requests in builder, and responses via a "getJSON" method on ClientResponse
  • support more features of Jersey client, like custom response types