Configuring Spring RestTemplate with HttpClient

In Spring RestTemplate example, we learned to access REST APIs inside Spring application. In this tutorial, we are extending the RestTemplate configuration to use Apache HttpClient 4.

The purpose of this tutorial is to give you pre-cooked recipe for little head-start, and save you from writing all bits and pieces, which really takes lots of time.

1. HttpClient Configuration

In HttpClientConfig class, we are configuring mainly two things –

  1. PoolingHttpClientConnectionManager – As name suggest, its connection pool manager. Here, connections are pooled on a per route basis. A request for a route which already the manager has persistent connections for available in the pool will be services by leasing a connection from the pool rather than creating a brand new connection.

    ConnectionKeepAliveStrategy helps in setting time which decide how long a connection can remain idle before being reused.

  2. And set a idleConnectionMonitor thread, which periodically check all connections and free up which have not been used and idle time has elapsed.

The real http client to use is CloseableHttpClient bean. It is what RestTemplate will use to get the connection to API endpoints.

package com.howtodoinjava.config;

import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit;

import org.apache.http.HeaderElement;
import org.apache.http.HeaderElementIterator;
import org.apache.http.HttpResponse;
import org.apache.http.client.config.RequestConfig;
import org.apache.http.config.Registry;
import org.apache.http.config.RegistryBuilder;
import org.apache.http.conn.ConnectionKeepAliveStrategy;
import org.apache.http.conn.socket.ConnectionSocketFactory;
import org.apache.http.conn.socket.PlainConnectionSocketFactory;
import org.apache.http.conn.ssl.SSLConnectionSocketFactory;

import org.apache.http.conn.ssl.TrustSelfSignedStrategy;
import org.apache.http.impl.client.CloseableHttpClient;
import org.apache.http.impl.client.HttpClients;
import org.apache.http.impl.conn.PoolingHttpClientConnectionManager;
import org.apache.http.message.BasicHeaderElementIterator;
import org.apache.http.protocol.HTTP;
import org.apache.http.protocol.HttpContext;
import org.apache.http.ssl.SSLContextBuilder;
import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;
import org.springframework.scheduling.annotation.EnableScheduling;
import org.springframework.scheduling.annotation.Scheduled;

 * - Supports both HTTP and HTTPS
 * - Uses a connection pool to re-use connections and save overhead of creating connections.
 * - Has a custom connection keep-alive strategy (to apply a default keep-alive if one isn't specified)
 * - Starts an idle connection monitor to continuously clean up stale connections.
public class HttpClientConfig {

    private static final Logger LOGGER = LoggerFactory.getLogger(HttpClientConfig.class);

    // Determines the timeout in milliseconds until a connection is established.
    private static final int CONNECT_TIMEOUT = 30000;
    // The timeout when requesting a connection from the connection manager.
    private static final int REQUEST_TIMEOUT = 30000;
    // The timeout for waiting for data
    private static final int SOCKET_TIMEOUT = 60000;

    private static final int MAX_TOTAL_CONNECTIONS = 50;
    private static final int DEFAULT_KEEP_ALIVE_TIME_MILLIS = 20 * 1000;
    private static final int CLOSE_IDLE_CONNECTION_WAIT_TIME_SECS = 30;

    public PoolingHttpClientConnectionManager poolingConnectionManager() {
        SSLContextBuilder builder = new SSLContextBuilder();
        try {
            builder.loadTrustMaterial(null, new TrustSelfSignedStrategy());
        } catch (NoSuchAlgorithmException | KeyStoreException e) {
            LOGGER.error("Pooling Connection Manager Initialisation failure because of " + e.getMessage(), e);

        SSLConnectionSocketFactory sslsf = null;
        try {
            sslsf = new SSLConnectionSocketFactory(;
        } catch (KeyManagementException | NoSuchAlgorithmException e) {
            LOGGER.error("Pooling Connection Manager Initialisation failure because of " + e.getMessage(), e);

        Registry<ConnectionSocketFactory> socketFactoryRegistry = RegistryBuilder
                .<ConnectionSocketFactory>create().register("https", sslsf)
                .register("http", new PlainConnectionSocketFactory())

        PoolingHttpClientConnectionManager poolingConnectionManager = new PoolingHttpClientConnectionManager(socketFactoryRegistry);
        return poolingConnectionManager;

    public ConnectionKeepAliveStrategy connectionKeepAliveStrategy() {
        return new ConnectionKeepAliveStrategy() {
            public long getKeepAliveDuration(HttpResponse response, HttpContext context) {
                HeaderElementIterator it = new BasicHeaderElementIterator
                while (it.hasNext()) {
                    HeaderElement he = it.nextElement();
                    String param = he.getName();
                    String value = he.getValue();

                    if (value != null && param.equalsIgnoreCase("timeout")) {
                        return Long.parseLong(value) * 1000;
                return DEFAULT_KEEP_ALIVE_TIME_MILLIS;

    public CloseableHttpClient httpClient() {
        RequestConfig requestConfig = RequestConfig.custom()

        return HttpClients.custom()
    public Runnable idleConnectionMonitor(final PoolingHttpClientConnectionManager connectionManager) {
        return new Runnable() {
            @Scheduled(fixedDelay = 10000)
            public void run() {
                try {
                    if (connectionManager != null) {
                        LOGGER.trace("run IdleConnectionMonitor - Closing expired and idle connections...");
                        connectionManager.closeIdleConnections(CLOSE_IDLE_CONNECTION_WAIT_TIME_SECS, TimeUnit.SECONDS);
                    } else {
                        LOGGER.trace("run IdleConnectionMonitor - Http Client Connection manager is not initialised");
                } catch (Exception e) {
                    LOGGER.error("run IdleConnectionMonitor - Exception occurred. msg={}, e={}", e.getMessage(), e);

2. Spring RestTemplate Configuration

Here we are configuring RestTemplate bean which we will finally use to invoke REST APIs. As mentioned above, it uses CloseableHttpClient bean instance to build ClientHttpRequestFactory, which is used to create RestTemplate.

  1. HttpComponentsClientHttpRequestFactory is ClientHttpRequestFactory implementation that uses Apache HttpComponents HttpClient to create requests.
  2. We have used @Scheduled annotation in httpClient configuration. To support this, we have to add support of scheduled execution of thread. For that, we have used bean ThreadPoolTaskScheduler which internally utilizes ScheduledThreadPoolExecutor to schedule commands to run after a given delay, or to execute periodically.
package com.howtodoinjava.config;

import org.apache.http.impl.client.CloseableHttpClient;
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;
import org.springframework.http.client.HttpComponentsClientHttpRequestFactory;
import org.springframework.scheduling.TaskScheduler;
import org.springframework.scheduling.concurrent.ThreadPoolTaskScheduler;
import org.springframework.web.client.RestTemplate;

public class RestTemplateConfig {

	CloseableHttpClient httpClient;

	public RestTemplate restTemplate() {
		RestTemplate restTemplate = new RestTemplate(clientHttpRequestFactory());
		return restTemplate;

	public HttpComponentsClientHttpRequestFactory clientHttpRequestFactory() {
		HttpComponentsClientHttpRequestFactory clientHttpRequestFactory = new HttpComponentsClientHttpRequestFactory();
		return clientHttpRequestFactory;

	public TaskScheduler taskScheduler() {
		ThreadPoolTaskScheduler scheduler = new ThreadPoolTaskScheduler();
		return scheduler;

3. How to use Spring RestTemplate

To use above configured RestTemplate, simply inject it to controller or test class.

package com.howtodoinjava;

import org.junit.Assert;
import org.junit.Test;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.test.context.ContextConfiguration;
import org.springframework.test.context.junit4.SpringJUnit4ClassRunner;
import org.springframework.web.client.RestTemplate;

import com.howtodoinjava.config.HttpClientConfig;
import com.howtodoinjava.config.RestTemplateConfig;

@ContextConfiguration(classes = { RestTemplateConfig.class, HttpClientConfig.class })
public class TestApplication {

	RestTemplate restTemplate;

	public void getEmployees() {
		final String uri = "http://localhost:8080/employees";

		String result = restTemplate.getForObject(uri, String.class);

		Assert.assertEquals(true, result.indexOf("Lokesh") > 0);

4. Maven Dependencies

Primarily, you will be required to have two dependencies i.e. httpclient and spring-web. I am using spring boot application, so the pom file looks like this:

<project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""









Happy Learning !!


HttpClient Docs
Spring RestTemplate Java Doc

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10 thoughts on “Configuring Spring RestTemplate with HttpClient”

  1. How would you externalize the value for fixedDelay. @Scheduled(fixedDelay = 10000) ?

    Since it requires compile time constant… does spring have alternative schedules that will pass the value from external config at run time ?

    Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. Hi Lokesh,

    Wen i configured same i got 404 while calling https rest call but when i post using postman the same url its working. I dont know the reason ?


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