controller, restcontroller, spring boot

Difference Between the @Controller and @RestController

Spring Framework introduced @Controller and @RestController annotations to create a controller. Basically, the controller is used to handling the client requests for a particular resource.

For example

This request goes to dispatcher servlet then it will be forwarded to controller corresponding methods with that URL mapping

If you create your controller using @Controller annotation then your controller class methods must be resolve mapping URL with a view if they are not returning response.

Here home() method will resolve the respective view for URL and welcome() method return model data which will be available on respective view home.jsp

@Controller is used to add a model object(which holds data) in your view but it can also be used as return only response( return data in JSON format).
for returning only response from controller class you have to write one more annotation @ResponseBody which basically convert your object to response.
you have to write @ResponseBody on your method to product only response.

But if you want to create Restful API then you have to annotate each method with @ResponseBody
That’s why spring 4.o introduced another annotation @RestController to create a controller.
if you create your controller using @RestController annotation then all methods of this controller class by default return response and you don’t need any more @ResponseBody annotation to return response from methods.

@Controller is a specialization of the @Component class and @RestController is a specialization of the @Controller


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