RESTfu­­l Jav­a­ wit­h ­JAX­-­­RS 2.­0­ (Second Edition)

Example ex12_2: Implementing a WriterInterceptor

In this example, we implement support for generating the Content-MD5 header. This header is defined in the HTTP 1.1 specification. Its purpose is to provide an additional end-to-end message integrity check of the HTTP message body. While not proof against malicious attacks, it’s a good way to detect accidental modification of the message body in transit just in case it was transformed by a proxy, cache, or some other intermediary. Well, OK, I admit it’s a pretty lame header, but let’s show how we can implement support for it using a WriterInterceptor:

public class ContentMD5Writer implements WriterInterceptor
   public void aroundWriteTo(WriterInterceptorContext context)
                      throws IOException, WebApplicationException
      MessageDigest digest = null;
         digest = MessageDigest.getInstance("MD5");
      catch (NoSuchAlgorithmException e)
         throw new IllegalArgumentException(e);

To implement a WriterInterceptor, we must define an aroundWriteTo() method. We start off in this method by creating a We’ll use this class to create an MD5 hash of the entity we’re marshalling.

      ByteArrayOutputStream buffer = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
      DigestOutputStream digestStream = new DigestOutputStream(buffer, digest);

      OutputStream old = context.getOutputStream();

Next we create a and wrap it with a The MD5 hash is created from the marshalled bytes of the entity. We need to buffer this marshalling in memory, as we need to set the Content-MD5 before the entity is sent across the wire. We override the OutputStream of the ContainerRequestContext so that the MessageBodyWriter that performs the marshalling uses the DigestOutputStream.


         byte[] hash = digest.digest();
         String encodedHash = Base64.encodeBytes(hash);
         context.getHeaders().putSingle("Content-MD5", encodedHash);

Next, context.proceed() is invoked. This continues with the interceptor chain and until the underlying MessageBodyWriter is invoked. After proceed() finishes, we obtain the hash from the MessageDigest and Base-64–encode it using a RESTEasy utility class. We then set the Content-MD5 header value with this encoded string.

         byte[] content = buffer.toByteArray();

After the header is set, we write the buffered content to the real OutputStream.


Finally, if you override the context’s OutputStream it is always best practice to revert it after you finish intercepting. We do this in the finally block.

We enable this interceptor for all requests that return an entity by registering it within our Application class. I won’t go over this code, as you should be familiar with how to do this by now.

The Client Code

The client code is basically the same as ex12_1 except we are viewing the returned Content-MD5 header:


   public void testCustomerResource() throws Exception
      System.out.println("*** GET Created Customer **");
      response =;
      String md5 = response.getHeaderString("Content-MD5");
      System.out.println("Content-MD5: " + md5);

Build and Run the Example Program

Perform the following steps:

  1. Open a command prompt or shell terminal and change to the ex12_2 directory of the workbook example code.
  2. Make sure your PATH is set up to include both the JDK and Maven, as described in Chapter 17.
  3. Perform the build and run the example by typing maven install.