Hello, Coherence — Bootiful Spring

The simplest way to build stateful and scalable Spring Boot apps

Gunnar Hillert
Oracle Coherence
Published in
7 min readNov 2, 2021


Last year, we published a series of articles on building a simple task management system using Oracle Coherence with Helidon MP, to showcase the Coherence integration with Eclipse MicroProfile. Since then we have added support for two additional popular Java application frameworks: Micronaut and Spring.

Kiholo Bay, Hawai‘i Island

In fact, this article follows right on the heels of an article published by my colleague Ryan Lubke covering the Micronaut integration. Now it’s show time to add the Spring perspective of creating a Spring Boot-based To Do application using the open-source Oracle Coherence CE as the backend.

Spring Boot makes it easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring based Applications that you can “just run”.

Let’s get started with Initializr

A great starting point for Spring Boot applications is Spring Initializr at https://start.spring.io/. It allows you to create fully functioning Spring Boot starter applications with only the dependencies you need.

For the To Do app, we will add the Spring Web dependency as we need to provide a REST API.

Creating a Spring Boot Starter Application

Generate the application and unzip it on your computer. At this point the application will start up but not do anything, yet. Nonetheless, this skeleton application is already doing a lot of heavy lifting for us.

When you look at the initial pom.xml file, you will notice that it specifies the spring-boot-starter-parent as the parent project. This provides default configurations for our project, as well as default Maven plugin configurations. It also inherits dependency management via spring-boot-dependencies and thus manages dependency versions that work and are tested as part of the specified Spring Boot version, which in this case is 2.5.6.

Besides the section that defines versions for dependencies not controlled by Spring Boot, we also use the spring-boot-maven-plugin which allows you to package the executable JAR file and even to execute the application without building it first.

The main entry point into the To Do List application is the class com.oracle.coherence.examples.todo.server.
which is annotated with @SpringBootApplication. This Spring Boot-specific annotation will trigger component scanning and automatically discover defined REST controllers, services and Coherence repository classes.

Add Coherence Spring Dependencies

Before adding the business logic, we need to add three more dependencies:

  • Coherence Spring Boot Starter
  • Coherence Spring Data
  • Coherence CE
Additional Coherence Dependencies

By just adding these dependencies, the application will be auto-configured when the Spring Boot application starts and you will see an embedded Coherence instance being started as well.

Das Modell

Before we can interact with Coherence, we need to define the domain model, which for this application is super-simple. All we need is a Task class comprised of just a few properties:

The Task domain class

The instances of the Task will be persisted to Coherence using our Spring Data repository support. As you can see, the Task class is quite basic, just defining a few properties. In fact, the only requirement when persisting data via Coherence is that the class needs to be serializable using one of the supported serialization formats, and, when using Coherence Spring Data, we must define a primary key. For this we annotate the primary key property id using the org.springframework.data.annotation.Id annotation.

Tip: You may want to also check out the recently published article on the release of Coherence Spring 3.0.0 to learn more about the specifics of its features and how Coherence Spring can make your life as a Spring developer easier when using Oracle Coherence.

The Spring Data Repository

In order to interact with Coherence, we will take advantage of Coherence Spring Data and the pixie dust it provides. All we have to create is an interface SpringDataTaskRepository, which extends CoherenceRepository. The interface is also annotated with @CoherenceMap(“tasks”) allowing us to customize the name of the Coherence NamedMap we are going to use, which in this case is tasks:

The Spring Data Task Repository

This simple interface will provide all CRUD operations needed for the To Do application.

Give me Services

As good citizens we will add the SpringDataTaskService which sits between the TaskRepository and the (not-yet-created) REST controller. We certainly could have just used the TaskRepository directly from within the REST controller, considering that this is such a simple example. However, the separation allows us to keep any complicated “business logic” out of the REST controller itself.

The TaskService interface:

TaskService Interface

With the corresponding implementation SpringDataTaskService:


The SpringDataTaskService will use the SpringDataTaskRepository to interact with Coherence. We will also add a simple TaskNotFoundException class, which is thrown by the service in case where the requested Task does not exist.


The REST Controller

And finally we expose the REST API. The application has a single RestController class called ToDoController containing all relevant methods to retrieve, update and delete Tasks. As you may notice, there is absolutely no reference to the underlying Coherence infrastructure whatsoever in this class. It is all tidily stowed away via the service layer.

We are almost done at this point but there is one more little thing we like to add.

Global Exception Handler

In case you try to retrieve a Task that does not exist, we throw the TaskNotFoundException. We should handle it as to not cause a pesky 500 error blowing up into the face of your users. Therefore, we add a ControllerAdvice, which basically tells Spring to return a 404 status code instead, which is the much nicer thing to do.

Handling the TaskNotFoundException

We are finally done. But…

¡Look, no configuración!

That’s right, we now have a working Spring Boot application, powered by Coherence with absolutely ZERO configuration in application.properties. How cool is that?

Boot me up, Scotty

The simplest way to run our To Do application is to use the aforementioned spring-boot-maven-plugin:

mvn spring-boot:run

Of course, you can also build the project first and run the application as an executable jar:

mvn clean package
java -jar target/todo-list-spring-server-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.jar

Or if you’re more of a Docker aficionado, Spring Boot has built-in Docker support (Docker daemon must be running):

mvn spring-boot:build-image
docker run -p 8080:8080 todo-list-spring-server:0.0.1-SNAPSHOT
Starting the To Do application

Once executed, we can see the Spring Boot and the Oracle Coherence banners being printed and the REST endpoints will be exposed on port 8080.


We can execute the REST calls to see if everything works as expected. Using thecurl tool, we will execute a series of commands. As there is no data in the application yet, we will first create 2 tasks using HTTP POST requests:

curl -i -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-d '{"description": "Learn Coherence"}' \
HTTP/1.1 200

As we get a 200 HTTP status response back, the first To Do task was created successfully. For good measure, let’s create a second task:

curl -i -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-d '{"description": "Write an article"}' \
HTTP/1.1 200

Now that we have created the second To Do as well, we will query for all currently existing tasks:

curl -i -X GET -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
HTTP/1.1 200
Vary: Origin
Vary: Access-Control-Request-Method
Vary: Access-Control-Request-Headers
Content-Type: application/json
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2021 21:37:02 GMT
[{"createdAt":1632346354650,"completed":false,"id":"b769e4","description":"Write an article","createdAtDate":"2021-09-22T11:32:34.65"},{"createdAt":1632346614513,"completed":false,"id":"290d27","description":"Learn Coherence","createdAtDate":"2021-09-22T11:36:54.513"}]%

Lastly, lets mark a task as completed, just make sure you use a valid task id:

curl -i -X PUT -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-d '{"completed": true}' \
HTTP/1.1 200
Vary: Origin
Vary: Access-Control-Request-Method
Vary: Access-Control-Request-Headers
Content-Type: application/json
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2021 21:38:37 GMT
{"createdAt":1632346614513,"completed":true,"id":"290d27","description":"Learn Coherence","createdAtDate":"2021-09-22T11:36:54.513"}%

What’s Next?

With very little code, we were able to quickly put together a fully functional Coherence-powered Spring Boot app. But wait, that’s not all yet!

Please take a look at our more fully-featured To Do List Application located at https://github.com/coherence-community/todo-list-example.

REACT-based UI

It adds several more features. E.g. if you’re into graphical user interfaces (GUI), it provides a REACT-based UI.


Server-Sent Events (SSE)

In the full To Do application, the ToDoController class will not only handle the REST calls but will also subscribe to Coherence Events using the @CoherenceEventListener annotation, broadcasting any changes to connected clients using Server-Sent Events (SSE) via the SseService.

GraphQL Support

The expanded To Do List application also provides an alternative API (besides REST) using GraphQL. Under the covers we use the GraphQL Spring Boot Starter. Please refer to the repository’s README file for additional information on how to interact with the GraphQL endpoint.

Further Reading

Furthermore, we invite you to compare the Spring code with the other articles in this series:

Source Code

The source code for the full To Do List application is available on GitHub. The repository contains all three Java implementations, as well as a Node.js server implementation, so you have to go to the java/spring-server directory for the Spring Boot implementation.

The source for the simple To Do List application we built as part of this article is available in a separate Git repository. Each commit lines up with the steps in this article.


The Oracle Coherence team provides first-class support for Spring Developers, substantially simplifying the user experience when using Oracle Coherence as part of Spring projects. At the same time, we maintain a similar developer experience across the various supported Java application frameworks, as shown by this article series.

Please feel free dig deeper into the To Do List application and by extension Coherence Spring. As always, if you have questions, please join our Slack channel or ask questions on Stack Overflow. If you see missing features or if you have any other suggestions for improvement please contact us, e.g. via Twitter @OracleCoherence or feel free to file a GitHub issue.



Gunnar Hillert
Oracle Coherence

Consulting Member of Technical Staff at Oracle for the Coherence team. Java Champion, former Spring team member, OSS committer, DevNexus co-founder.

Recommended from Medium


See more recommendations