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Create a Data Access Object for REST Data using JDBI

A brief overview of creating a SQL Object API for REST data in JDBI.

JDBI is a SQL convenience library for Java that exposes two different style APIs, a fluent style and a SQL object style. The CData JDBC Driver for REST integrates connectivity to live REST data in Java applications. By pairing these technologies, you gain simple, programmatic access to REST data. This article walks through building a basic Data Access Object (DAO) and the accompanying code to read and write REST data.

Create a DAO for the REST people Entity

The interface below declares the desired behavior for the SQL object to create a single method for each SQL statement to be implemented.

public interface MypeopleDAO { //insert new data into REST @SqlUpdate("INSERT INTO people ([ ], [ ]) values (:[ ], :[ ])") void insert(@Bind("[ ]") String [ ], @Bind("[ ]") String [ ]); //request specific data from REST (String type is used for simplicity) @SqlQuery("SELECT [ ] FROM people WHERE [ ] = :[ ]") String find[ ]By[ ](@Bind("[ ]") String [ ]); /* * close with no args is used to close the connection */ void close(); }

Open a Connection to REST

Collect the necessary connection properties and construct the appropriate JDBC URL for connecting to REST.

See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models REST APIs as bidirectional database tables and XML/JSON files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set Format to "XML" or "JSON" and set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

  • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your REST data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
  • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
  • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

See the Modeling REST Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

Built-in Connection String Designer

For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the REST JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

java -jar

Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

A connection string for REST will typically look like the following:


Use the configured JDBC URL to obtain an instance of the DAO interface. The particular method shown below will open a handle bound to the instance, so the instance needs to be closed explicitly to release the handle and the bound JDBC connection.

DBI dbi = new DBI("jdbc:rest:DataModel=Relational;URI=C:/people.xml;Format=XML;"); MypeopleDAO dao =; //do stuff with the DAO dao.close();

Read REST Data

With the connection open to REST, simply call the previously defined method to retrieve data from the people entity in REST.

//disply the result of our 'find' method String [ ] = dao.find[ ]By[ ]("Roberts"); System.out.println([ ]);

Write REST Data

It is also simple to write data to REST, using the previously defined method.

//add a new entry to the people entity dao.insert(new[ ], new[ ]);

Since the JDBI library is able to work with JDBC connections, you can easily produce a SQL Object API for REST by integrating with the CData JDBC Driver for REST. Download a free trial and work with live REST data in custom Java applications today.