Auto generate hal links for in spring boot

July 02, 2022, at 05:20 AM

Is it possible to have Spring Boot automatically generate hal links for rest controller just like it does for repository?

Lets assume that I have @Entity class named MyEntity.

If I create rest repository for this class, it automatically adds self link and all the other links to all kinds of related entities:

public interface MyEntityRepository extends PagingAndSortingRepository<MyEntity, Long> {
  Optional<MyEntity> findById(Long aLong);

Now if I want to return MyEntity from @RestController instead, is there way to tell Spring Boot that I want exactly the same links as it automatically generates me when I use repository?

Here is my rest service:

@RequestMapping(value = "/api/some/path/MyEntitys", produces = HAL_JSON_VALUE)
public class MyEntityRestController {
  // ...
  public ResponseEntity<EntityModel<MyEntity>> findById(@PathVariable Long id) {
    Optional<MyEntity> myEntityOptional = myEntityService.findById(id);
    MyEntity MyEntity = myEntityOptional.get();
    return ResponseEntity.ok(EntityModel.of(MyEntity));

When I visit repository endpoint /api/MyEntitys/123 directly I get response that has _links that looks something like:

"_links" : {
  "self" : {
    "href" : ...
  "relatedEntity1" : {
    "href" : "...{?projection}",
    "templated" : true
  "relatedEntity2" : {
    "href" : "...{?projection}",
    "templated" : true

But when I visit /api/some/path/MyEntitys/123 then I dont have any links.

From here I can learn about links.

I learn that I can do something like this:

public class MyEntityRepresentationModelProcessor implements RepresentationModelProcessor<EntityModel<MyEntity>> {
  public EntityModel<MyEntity> process(EntityModel<MyEntity> em) {
    return em;

to get similar results.

Question: is manually building and adding those links one by one the only way or does Spring Boot offer anything to automatically generate exactly the same links for rest controller as it generates for repository?

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