Java File Upload REST service

In this tutorial I will explain how to build Java REST web-service to upload files from any client over HTTP.

Uploading files to web-apps is a common task nowadays. A lot of services support uploading pictures or documents on their sites. With Java web services this is easy accomplished. What we need aside form the java web container (provided by your application server like Tomcat, GlassFish or JBoss) is the jersey framework to make it run. First I will show you how to implement the web-service and than give you two examples of clients to use the service.

Java file upload form

Java file upload form




Building the File Upload REST Service

The file is pushed over HTTP POST with encoding type “multipart/form-data” from the client to our web-service. This way you can add multiple parameters to the POST request in addition to the file. Lets start with the requirements. You will need an web/application server like Tomcat, GlassFish or JBoss to deploy the service. In addition we will use jersey framework to build our service endpoint. Please note, GlassFish 4.x version requires jersey version 2 libraries, so if you are using GlassFish 4 use jersey 2.x dependencies in your POM file instead.

For quick reference you can find the entire project in our GitHub repository under https://github.com/JavaTutorialNetwork/Tutorials/tree/master/FileUploaderRESTService

I will post the entire POM file here, but what you need to take into account are the jersey dependencies

<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 http://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
	<modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>

	<groupId>net.javatutorial.tutorials</groupId>
	<artifactId>FileUploaderRESTService</artifactId>
	<version>1</version>
	<packaging>war</packaging>

	<name>File Uploader Rest Service</name>
	<url>https://javatutorial.net</url>

	<properties>
		<project.build.sourceEncoding>UTF-8</project.build.sourceEncoding>
	</properties>

	<dependencies>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>com.sun.jersey</groupId>
			<artifactId>jersey-server</artifactId>
			<version>1.8</version>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>com.sun.jersey</groupId>
			<artifactId>jersey-servlet</artifactId>
			<version>1.17.1</version>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>com.sun.jersey</groupId>
			<artifactId>jersey-json</artifactId>
			<version>1.8</version>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>com.sun.jersey.contribs</groupId>
			<artifactId>jersey-multipart</artifactId>
			<version>1.8</version>
		</dependency>
	</dependencies>

	<build>
		<plugins>
			<plugin>
				<groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId>
				<artifactId>maven-compiler-plugin</artifactId>
				<version>3.1</version>
				<inherited>true</inherited>
				<configuration>
					<source>1.7</source>
					<target>1.7</target>
				</configuration>
			</plugin>
			<plugin>
				<artifactId>maven-war-plugin</artifactId>
				<version>2.3</version>
				<configuration>
					<webXml>src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/web.xml</webXml>
					<webResources>
						<resource>
							<!-- this is relative to the pom.xml directory -->
							<directory>${project.basedir}/src/main/resources
							</directory>
						</resource>
					</webResources>
				</configuration>
			</plugin>
		</plugins>
	</build>

</project>

Having all necessary libraries now, lets go ahead and implement the REST service. There are several places in the code below I want to point your attention to. First note the usage of @Consumes(MediaType.MULTIPART_FORM_DATA) as requested encoding type. Second you may want to add additional parameters to the method if you like. For example you may want to pass some description or another text data with your upload. Finally Java will throw an Exception if you try to upload a file into a directory which not exists.  To avoid this issue I created the method createFolderIfNotExists(String dirName).

package net.javatutorial.tutorials.services;

import java.io.File;
import java.io.FileOutputStream;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.io.OutputStream;

import javax.ws.rs.Consumes;
import javax.ws.rs.POST;
import javax.ws.rs.Path;
import javax.ws.rs.core.Context;
import javax.ws.rs.core.MediaType;
import javax.ws.rs.core.Response;
import javax.ws.rs.core.UriInfo;

import com.sun.jersey.core.header.FormDataContentDisposition;
import com.sun.jersey.multipart.FormDataParam;

/**
 * This example shows how to build Java REST web-service to upload files
 * accepting POST requests with encoding type "multipart/form-data". For more
 * details please read the full tutorial on
 * https://javatutorial.net/java-file-upload-rest-service
 * 
 * @author javatutorial.net
 */
@Path("/upload")
public class FileUploadService {

	/** The path to the folder where we want to store the uploaded files */
	private static final String UPLOAD_FOLDER = "c:/uploadedFiles/";

	public FileUploadService() {
	}

	@Context
	private UriInfo context;

	/**
	 * Returns text response to caller containing uploaded file location
	 * 
	 * @return error response in case of missing parameters an internal
	 *         exception or success response if file has been stored
	 *         successfully
	 */
	@POST
	@Consumes(MediaType.MULTIPART_FORM_DATA)
	public Response uploadFile(
			@FormDataParam("file") InputStream uploadedInputStream,
			@FormDataParam("file") FormDataContentDisposition fileDetail) {

		// check if all form parameters are provided
		if (uploadedInputStream == null || fileDetail == null)
			return Response.status(400).entity("Invalid form data").build();

		// create our destination folder, if it not exists
		try {
			createFolderIfNotExists(UPLOAD_FOLDER);
		} catch (SecurityException se) {
			return Response.status(500)
					.entity("Can not create destination folder on server")
					.build();
		}

		String uploadedFileLocation = UPLOAD_FOLDER + fileDetail.getFileName();
		try {
			saveToFile(uploadedInputStream, uploadedFileLocation);
		} catch (IOException e) {
			return Response.status(500).entity("Can not save file").build();
		}

		return Response.status(200)
				.entity("File saved to " + uploadedFileLocation).build();
	}

	/**
	 * Utility method to save InputStream data to target location/file
	 * 
	 * @param inStream
	 *            - InputStream to be saved
	 * @param target
	 *            - full path to destination file
	 */
	private void saveToFile(InputStream inStream, String target)
			throws IOException {
		OutputStream out = null;
		int read = 0;
		byte[] bytes = new byte[1024];

		out = new FileOutputStream(new File(target));
		while ((read = inStream.read(bytes)) != -1) {
			out.write(bytes, 0, read);
		}
		out.flush();
		out.close();
	}

	/**
	 * Creates a folder to desired location if it not already exists
	 * 
	 * @param dirName
	 *            - full path to the folder
	 * @throws SecurityException
	 *             - in case you don't have permission to create the folder
	 */
	private void createFolderIfNotExists(String dirName)
			throws SecurityException {
		File theDir = new File(dirName);
		if (!theDir.exists()) {
			theDir.mkdir();
		}
	}

}

Finally we need to configure our web.xml to register our class as web-service and make it run on startup.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<web-app xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xmlns="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee" xmlns:web="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee/web-app_2_5.xsd"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee/web-app_2_5.xsd"
	id="WebApp_ID" version="2.5">
	<display-name>net.javatutorial.tutorials.services</display-name>
	<servlet>
		<servlet-name>Jersey REST Service</servlet-name>
		<servlet-class>com.sun.jersey.spi.container.servlet.ServletContainer</servlet-class>
		<init-param>
			<param-name>com.sun.jersey.config.property.packages</param-name>
			<param-value>net.javatutorial.tutorials.services</param-value>
		</init-param>
		<load-on-startup>1</load-on-startup>
	</servlet>
	<servlet-mapping>
		<servlet-name>Jersey REST Service</servlet-name>
		<url-pattern>/rest/*</url-pattern>
	</servlet-mapping>
</web-app>

That’s it! Now you can build and deploy the WAR file. If you use the exact same names provided in the code above, your service URL (given you run on localhost) will be: http://localhost:8080/FileUploaderRESTService-1/rest/upload

File Upload HTML Form

You can use a very simple HTML post form as client to send files to the server.

Please note the usage of “multipart/form-data” as encoding type. You also need to add an <input> of type file with the name “file”

Choose file to upload<br>
<form action="http://localhost:8080/FileUploaderRESTService-1/rest/upload" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data">
	<input name="file" id="filename" type="file" /><br><br>
	<button name="submit" type="submit">Upload</button>
</form>

As I already mentioned you can add additional data to your request. In this case just don’t forget to handle it in the web-service 🙂

Java File Upload Client

You can create a file upload client for you Android or stand-alone programs in java. I the example below I will use Apache http libraries, you will need this five:

  • commons-logging
  • httpclient
  • httpclient-cache
  • httpcore
  • httpmime
package net.javatutorial.tutorials.clienst;

import java.io.File;
import java.io.FileInputStream;
import java.io.IOException;

import org.apache.http.HttpEntity;
import org.apache.http.HttpResponse;
import org.apache.http.client.ClientProtocolException;
import org.apache.http.client.methods.HttpPost;
import org.apache.http.entity.mime.MultipartEntity;
import org.apache.http.entity.mime.content.InputStreamBody;
import org.apache.http.impl.client.DefaultHttpClient;
import org.apache.http.params.BasicHttpParams;
import org.apache.http.util.EntityUtils;

/**
 * This example shows how to upload files using POST requests 
 * with encoding type "multipart/form-data".
 * For more details please read the full tutorial
 * on https://javatutorial.net/java-file-upload-rest-service
 * @author javatutorial.net
 */
public class FileUploaderClient {
	
	public static void main(String[] args) {
		
		// the file we want to upload
		File inFile = new File("C:\\Users\\admin\\Desktop\\Yana-make-up.jpg");
		FileInputStream fis = null;
		try {
			fis = new FileInputStream(inFile);
			DefaultHttpClient httpclient = new DefaultHttpClient(new BasicHttpParams());
			
			// server back-end URL
			HttpPost httppost = new HttpPost("http://localhost:8080/FileUploaderRESTService-1/rest/upload");
			MultipartEntity entity = new MultipartEntity();

			// set the file input stream and file name as arguments
			entity.addPart("file", new InputStreamBody(fis, inFile.getName()));
			httppost.setEntity(entity);

			// execute the request
			HttpResponse response = httpclient.execute(httppost);
			
			int statusCode = response.getStatusLine().getStatusCode();
			HttpEntity responseEntity = response.getEntity();
			String responseString = EntityUtils.toString(responseEntity, "UTF-8");
			
			System.out.println("[" + statusCode + "] " + responseString);
			
		} catch (ClientProtocolException e) {
			System.err.println("Unable to make connection");
			e.printStackTrace();
		} catch (IOException e) {
			System.err.println("Unable to read file");
			e.printStackTrace();
		} finally {
			try {
				if (fis != null) fis.close();
			} catch (IOException e) {}
		}
	}
	
}

You will find the project files in our GitHub repository https://github.com/JavaTutorialNetwork/Tutorials/tree/master/FileUploaderJavaClient

Thanks for reading. As always comments are welcome 🙂

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sandstones
Member
sandstones

Two things:

First, if I use I the URL
“http://localhost:8080/FileUploaderRESTService-1/rest/upload”
that is in the form and the text of the example I get a 404 error. That was from the github version of this.

If I take out the “-1” at the end of the service name and use
“http://localhost:8080/FileUploaderRESTService/rest/upload”
then I got an upload. Is the “-1” just a typo or was it supposed to mean something?

Secondly, I started looking at this tutorial because of the use of multipart, as I want to add parameters as part of the upload. Is there somewhere I could find an example of that usage?

Thanks

Sarith NOB
Member
Sarith NOB

Thank you for you useful code!

And I have another problem, it’s about pom file because I am in use of Glassfish which have no pom file as a rest web service.

How can I add dependency in Glassfish web service?

I hope you have solution for me!

Many thank!

ishaukat
Member
ishaukat

Hi Flipp,
The article is amazing. I have few questions. I have already created a Rest web service(URL). Now I only want to call that Api using java. Can I use just the chunck of code you have mentioned above to call that Web service and upload file to a web service?
My requirement is to call a Post method web service and upload entire file to a web service. What code of chunck will be used for that?

ishaukat
Member
ishaukat

Thankyou Flipp.
Does that work for JSON data as well.
I am creating a JSON file from Informatica (ETL) and the file store in ETL server. Now I need to call the web service to upload file from ETL server to an API (web service) using Java.
The issue is I don’t have same format of request when creating JSON file from ETL so do I need a string manipulation and read file from that server when writing code in Java?

ishaukat
Member
ishaukat

Hi Filip, So this is the modification of code I am using (JavaClient). I am getting this error: [401] This request is not authorized. Even thou I put username & pass of URL: http://localhost:8001/customer (because it had basic authentication). This is my code: package net.javatutorial.tutorials.clienst; import java.io.File; import java.io.FileInputStream; import java.io.IOException; import org.apache.http.HttpEntity; import org.apache.http.HttpResponse; import org.apache.http.client.ClientProtocolException; import org.apache.http.client.methods.HttpPost; import org.apache.http.entity.mime.MultipartEntity; import org.apache.http.entity.mime.content.ContentBody; import org.apache.http.entity.mime.content.InputStreamBody; import org.apache.http.entity.mime.content.StringBody; import org.apache.http.impl.client.DefaultHttpClient; import org.apache.http.message.BasicNameValuePair; import org.apache.http.params.BasicHttpParams; import org.apache.http.util.EntityUtils; /** * This example shows how to upload files using POST requests * with encryption type "multipart/form-data". * For more details please read the full… Read more »

IvanE
Guest
IvanE

when running the client or server of the downloaded project I get error 404 and that the resource is not available

Petr Šponer
Guest
Petr Šponer

There is an error in your method saveToFile in git (it is ok here in the article). The while loop belong to the try block.
However, thank you for the example.

ofer
Guest
ofer

hello
i’m trying this code on my code but i have this exception:
נוב 26, 2017 4:33:46 PM com.sun.jersey.spi.container.ContainerRequest getEntity
SEVERE: A message body reader for Java class com.sun.jersey.core.header.FormDataContentDisposition, and Java type class com.sun.jersey.core.header.FormDataContentDisposition, and MIME media type multipart/form-data; boundary=—-WebKitFormBoundarykzdzsKUpAFNpL25b was not found.
The registered message body readers compatible with the MIME media type are:
*/* ->
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.FormProvider
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.MimeMultipartProvider
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.StringProvider
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.ByteArrayProvider
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.FileProvider
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.InputStreamProvider
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.DataSourceProvider
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.XMLJAXBElementProvider$General
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.ReaderProvider
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.DocumentProvider
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.SourceProvider$StreamSourceReader
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.SourceProvider$SAXSourceReader
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.SourceProvider$DOMSourceReader
com.sun.jersey.json.impl.provider.entity.JSONJAXBElementProvider$General
com.sun.jersey.json.impl.provider.entity.JSONArrayProvider$General
com.sun.jersey.json.impl.provider.entity.JSONObjectProvider$General
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.XMLRootElementProvider$General
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.XMLListElementProvider$General
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.XMLRootObjectProvider$General
com.sun.jersey.core.impl.provider.entity.EntityHolderReader
com.sun.jersey.json.impl.provider.entity.JSONRootElementProvider$General
com.sun.jersey.json.impl.provider.entity.JSONListElementProvider$General
com.sun.jersey.json.impl.provider.entity.JacksonProviderProxy

please help

Gary
Guest
Gary

Thank you! I’m just getting started with Restful web services and this is absolutely the best illustration and example I’ve seen. This covers everything essentually. I need to write data files to the cloud and this is the best. thank you Filip

Gary
Guest
Gary

Filip, thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge, I am truly grateful. beginners … I wish there was a way to thank you! Filip, I have a pending question I am struggling with. How do you authenticate on an Cloud env, given UUID and such? like Amazon, Azure, or … what is the magic here? it seems the auth method may be different? again, thank you very much!

Saurabh
Guest
Saurabh

Thanks a lot man, was able to solve this multipart form data problem using your sample code. Already spent 2 hours on it.

Zeus
Guest
Zeus

Hi Filip, Great article.

However I’m getting “405 Method Not Allowed” as an error. When I ran the Firefox RESTCleint I see that the only methods allowed are GET,OPTIONS.

Any input on how to go about fixing this.

Thanks

SodomA
Guest
SodomA

Hi HttpClient have been abandoned and what is its solution

Johny
Guest
Johny

Good morning

Thanks for the excellent guide, it is really very helpful!

I have one question:

How do I handle the additional info that I want to be sent along with the image?

For instance I want to send input field ‘name’ along with the image.

How do I handle that in the web service?

Thank you in advance!

Best
J.

harshil
Guest
harshil

Hi, filip

This tutorials is so useful!
i am using apache tomcat 8 with your uploaded code. but, i hava a problem with jersey dependency.
when i run JavaHttpClient i get this exception: HTTP Status 500 – Servlet.init() for servlet Jersey REST Service threw exception. it takes a lot more of my time but i can’t. So, please help me, to solve this issue. Thank you!

harshil
Guest
harshil

Now no problem. i have solved my problem. I just forgot to add path above my HttpRestServer class name. hurrrrey! what a complicated problem. that i have spended a day for the solution.