Spring 3 MVC ContentNegotiatingViewResolver example

Spring 3, ContentNegotiatingViewResolver, is an interesting view resolver, which allow you to output a same resource (content or data) to different type of views like JSP, XML, RSS, JSON and etc. Put it simple, see following web requested URL, which will return in different views.

  1. http://www.mkyong.com/fruit/banana.rss , returned as RSS file.
  2. http://www.mkyong.com/fruit/banana.xml , returned as XML file.
  3. http://www.mkyong.com/fruit/banana.json , returned as JSON file.
  4. http://www.mkyong.com/fruit/banana, returned to your default view resolver.
This ContentNegotiatingViewResolver first determine “which view resolver should return by file extension”, if no view is match, then use the default view resolver. Read this Spring documentation to study how it works.

In this tutorial, we show you how to use ContentNegotiatingViewResolver. At the end of this tutorial, a same model will be returned in different views – XML, JSON, RSS and JSP, based on it’s requested file extension.

Technologies used :

  1. Spring 3.0.5.RELEASE
  2. Jackson 1.7.1
  3. Rome 1.0.0
  4. JDK 1.6
  5. Maven 3
  6. Eclipse 3.6
JAXB is bundled in JDK1.6, so, you don’t need to include it manually.

1. Project Dependency

Declares following dependencies in your Maven pom.xml file.

		<!-- Spring 3 dependencies -->
		<!-- Jackson JSON Mapper -->
		<!-- RSS -->

2. Model

A Pojo, annotated with JAXB annotation, so that it can output in XML file. Besides, later we use this model to display in different views.

package com.mkyong.common.model;
import javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlElement;
import javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlRootElement;
@XmlRootElement(name = "fruit")
public class Fruit {
	String name;
	int quality;
	public String getName() {
		return name;
	public void setName(String name) {
		this.name = name;
	public int getQuality() {
		return quality;
	public void setQuality(int quality) {
		this.quality = quality;
	public Fruit(String name, int quality) {
		this.name = name;
		this.quality = quality;
	public Fruit() {

3. JSON and XML View

To output JSON and XML views, you don’t need to do any extra works, Spring MVC will handle the conversion automatically. Read this Spring MVC and XML, and Spring MVC and JSON examples.

4. RSS View

To output RSS View, you need to extend AbstractRssFeedView. Read this Spring 3 MVC and RSS example to know how it works.

package com.mkyong.common.rss;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.Map;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.view.feed.AbstractRssFeedView;
import com.mkyong.common.model.Fruit;
import com.sun.syndication.feed.rss.Channel;
import com.sun.syndication.feed.rss.Content;
import com.sun.syndication.feed.rss.Item;
public class RssFeedView extends AbstractRssFeedView {
	protected void buildFeedMetadata(Map<String, Object> model, Channel feed,
		HttpServletRequest request) {
		feed.setTitle("Sample Title");
		feed.setDescription("Sample Description");
		super.buildFeedMetadata(model, feed, request);
	protected List<Item> buildFeedItems(Map<String, Object> model,
			HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
			throws Exception {
		Fruit fruit = (Fruit) model.get("model");
		String msg = fruit.getName() + fruit.getQuality();
		List<Item> items = new ArrayList<Item>(1);
		Item item = new Item();
		Content content = new Content();
		return items;

5. JSP View

A JSP page to display the model data.

File : list.jsp

	<h1>Spring @MVC ContentNegotiatingViewResolver</h1>
	Fruit Name : ${model.name} <br />
	Fruit Quality : ${model.quality}

6. Controller

Spring controller, to generate a “fruit” model and return it.

package com.mkyong.common.controller;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Controller;
import org.springframework.ui.ModelMap;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.PathVariable;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMethod;
import com.mkyong.common.model.Fruit;
public class FruitController {
	@RequestMapping(value="{fruitName}", method = RequestMethod.GET)
	public String getFruit(@PathVariable String fruitName, ModelMap model) {
		Fruit fruit = new Fruit(fruitName, 1000);
		model.addAttribute("model", fruit);
		return "list";

7. ContentNegotiatingViewResolver example

The code should be self-explanatory. However, you have to define the “order” property, where lower value get higher priority. In this case, when a URL is requested, Spring MVC will use “ContentNegotiatingViewResolver” (order=1) to return a suitable view (based on file extension declared in “mediaTypes” property), if not match, then use “InternalResourceViewResolver” (order=2) to return a default JSP page.

<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
	<context:component-scan base-package="com.mkyong.common.controller" />
	<mvc:annotation-driven />
	<bean class="org.springframework.web.servlet.view.ContentNegotiatingViewResolver">
	  <property name="order" value="1" />
	  <property name="mediaTypes">
		   <entry key="json" value="application/json" />
		   <entry key="xml" value="application/xml" />
		   <entry key="rss" value="application/rss+xml" />
	  <property name="defaultViews">
		  <!-- JSON View -->
		  <!-- RSS View -->
		  <bean class="com.mkyong.common.rss.RssFeedView" />
		  <!-- JAXB XML View -->
		  <bean class="org.springframework.web.servlet.view.xml.MarshallingView">
				<bean class="org.springframework.oxm.jaxb.Jaxb2Marshaller">
				   <property name="classesToBeBound">
	  <property name="ignoreAcceptHeader" value="true" />
	<!-- If no extension matched, use JSP view -->
		<property name="order" value="2" />
		<property name="prefix">
		<property name="suffix">

8. Demo

Same model and display in different views, via ContentNegotiatingViewResolver.

http://localhost:8080/SpringMVC/fruit/banana.xml , display as XML file.

spring mvc and xml demo

http://localhost:8080/SpringMVC/fruit/banana.json , display as JSON file.

spring mvc and json demo

http://localhost:8080/SpringMVC/fruit/banana.rss , display as RSS file.

spring mvc and RSS demo

http://localhost:8080/SpringMVC/fruit/banana , display as JSP page.

spring mvc and JSP demo

Download Source Code


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About the Author

Founder of Mkyong.com and HostingCompass.com, love Java and open source stuff. Follow him on Twitter, or befriend him on Facebook or Google Plus. If you like my tutorials, consider make a donation to these charities.


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  • lee

    I use @Configuration config
    source code
    public ViewResolver viewResolver() throws JAXBException {
    Jaxb2Marshaller marshaller = new Jaxb2Marshaller();
    marshaller.setClassesToBeBound(XMLClass1.class, XMLClass2.class);
    MarshallingView marshallingView = new MarshallingView(marshaller);
    Collections.singletonMap(javax.xml.bind.Marshaller.JAXB_ENCODING, “GBK”));

    //but xml delecaration always ” xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″ standalone=”yes”

    how to do change others encoding

  • http://none prasad

    I want to use the above example with tiles view. Please let me know how can i use tiles view along with all other views

  • Abhishek

    Hello MKYong,
    Thanks for the example,Very Helpful.

    I’ve created a clientApp for your “spring-3-mvc-contentnegotiationviewresolver-example”, here i’ve created a same class as your example class “Banana.java”.
    I want to map the response of this “http://localhost:8080/SpringMVC/fruit/banana.json” to my Banana class.
    The exception i’m facing with this is getting an Unrecognized property named “model” in your response. Please help me to resolve this.

    String url = “http://localhost:8080/SpringMVC/fruit/banana.json”;
    Banana banana = restTemplate.getForObject(url,Banana.class);

    spring-config.xml is having MappingJacksonHttpMessageConverter configured with RestTemplate.

    Problem:- Response is having an Extra Element named “model” that is not in our Banana class.

    please assist.

  • jnh1983

    It seems not work in my local.
    Due miss the spring-oxm dependency


    I use spring => 3.2.2.RELEASE.

    • jnh1983


  • Fei

    Hi all

    I am just change property name=”packagesToScan” instead of “classesToBeBound”
    for org.springframework.oxm.jaxb.Jaxb2Marshaller
    however it’s not working. error shows bellow javax.servlet.ServletException: Unable to locate object to be marshalled in model:

    any suggestion?
    Thanks all

  • Aleksander


    Let’s say that we have also vegetable controller, and for vegetable controller we would like use a different implementation of AbstractRssFeedView. Is it possible to tell the ContentNegotiatingViewResolver to use different implementation for different controllers

    IF fruit USE com.mkyong.common.rss.RssFeedView
    IF vegetable USE com.mkyong.common.rss.SpecialVegetableRssFeedView

    I cannot find an example

    Thank You

  • Vinnie

    The article was very good, but I have a couple of quick questions if you would be kind enough to answer

    1. what is the function or ‘return “list”;’ in the controller? It seems that the view resolver takes its direction from the url extension or the default phrase. What does it do here?

    2. If I try to parse the json in a client, I receive an error parsing

    If in my client, I do this
    ObjectMapper mapper = new ObjectMapper();
    Fruit fruit = mapper.readValue(entity.getContent(), Fruit.class);
    or even
    Fruit[] fruit = mapper.readValue(entity.getContent(), Fruit[].class);

    I get an exception “Caused by: org.codehaus.jackson.JsonParseException: Unexpected character (‘<' (code 60)): expected a valid value (number, String, array, object, 'true', 'false' or 'null')

    Any ideas on this?


  • Vinnie

    This was a very good article, and really helped me out.
    There are two things that might be obvious, but not to me:

    1. What is the value of the ‘return “list”;’ in the controller? It seems like the view resolver bases all information on the Accept header or default.

    2. I wrote a client to consume the services, but it really doesn’t like the json format

    If I try to read this even as a simple junit test, it can’t parse the json
    ObjectMapper mapper = new ObjectMapper();
    Fruit fruit = mapper.readValue(entity.getContent(), Fruit.class);

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  • Ab

    Hi Mkyong,
    This is really a great post and very helpful. Is it possible to do everything in one method. For example:
    i have one end point which serves as XML, json or html.


  • Satya Prakash

    Can any one tell me the reason why we are invoking with http://localhost:8080/SpringMVC/fruit/banana.xml
    http://localhost:8080/SpringMVC/fruit/banana.json {.xml,.rss,.json } extensions..after all banana is the value as the input..

    I would like to get response as XML with http://localhost:8080/SpringMVC/fruit/banana this URL what should i do? Please help me out……

  • Vishal

    Hi I am getting following error when hit the url ‘http://localhost:8080/SpringMVC/fruit/banana.xml’.

    Unable to locate object to be marshalled in model {org.springframework.validation.BindingResult.model=org.springframework.validation.BeanPropertyBindingResult: 0 errors, model=com.mkyong.common.model.Fruit@169f57e}

    Pls Help.

    • Naveen

      You can use public @ResponseBody Banana getFruit(){}
      and must be incluided in your xml file(dispatche-servlet)

      • Naveen

        must be included in your dispatcher servlet

        • Naveen
  • sHaKeR


    To get rid of model you just need to create a new class which will extend MappingJacksonJsonView and override filterModel method.

    Then, in you dispatcher.xml you need to update your bean class “org.springframework.web.servlet.view.json.MappingJacksonJsonView” to the new one you just created.

    Hope it will help.

  • ommys

    I cant run this application.
    when i type url “http://localhost:8080/SpringMVC/fruit/mango.xml”
    i got error Handler processing failed; nested exception is java.lang.NoSuchMethodError: org.springframework.oxm.Marshaller.supports(Ljava/lang/Class;)Z
    please help me out..

    • sHaKeR


      Do you have this in your pom.xml:



      Did you do “mvn install”? Did it work?

  • sHaKeR

    Hi Mkyong,

    First I would like to thank you for your posts on your website! You did a great job!

    About this ContentNegotiatingViewResolver, I’d like to know if it’s possible to put a list of object in the modelMap instead of a simple Object. If yes, what sould be the code to iterate on list on JSP side.

    Fro example, something like this:

    public class FruitController {
    	@RequestMapping(value=&quot;{id}&quot;, method = RequestMethod.GET)
    	public String getFruitById(@PathVariable BigDecimal id, ModelMap model) {
    		final ApplicationContext appContext = new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext(&quot;SpringBeans.xml&quot;);
    		FruitBo fruitBo = (FruitBo) appContext.getBean(&quot;fruitBo&quot;);
    		Fruit f = fruitBo.findById(id);
    		return &quot;fruit&quot;;
    	@RequestMapping(method = RequestMethod.GET)
    	public String getFruitAll(ModelMap model) {
    		final ApplicationContext appContext = new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext(&quot;SpringBeans.xml&quot;);
    		FruitBo fruitBo = (FruitBo) appContext.getBean(&quot;fruitBo&quot;);
    		List&lt;Fruit&gt; fruit = fruitBo.findAll();
    		return &quot;fruits&quot;;

    Thanks a lot,

  • James

    Is there anyone who find the solution to get rid of “model” in json result?

    • Deepak

      @James: Just try to return the resultant data in a List.

      • James

        Thanks Deepak but I don’t understand your explanation.
        Do you means that return the data itself rather than “list”?
        But the method getFruit returns String type, how can I return Fruit type which is variable fruit .

        public class FruitController {

        @RequestMapping(value=”{fruitName}”, method = RequestMethod.GET)
        public String getFruit(@PathVariable String fruitName, ModelMap model) {

        Fruit fruit = new Fruit(fruitName, 1000);
        model.addAttribute(“model”, fruit);

        return “list”;


        Please let me know if I understood wrong.

    • hunterXue

      I have the same question.Does anyone know how to do get ride of the annoying {‘model’

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  • Graeme Dougal


    Great post, exactly what I was looking for :-)

    However, it all works except for the jsp view… just get a 404 and a message in the log saying..

    WARNING: No mapping found for HTTP request with URI [/view-resolver/WEB-INF/pages/list.jsp] in DispatcherServlet with name ‘view-resolver’

    Any ideas ?


    • Graeme Dougal

      Ooops My bad…. created my own version of the project and had /* in the servlet mapping instead of /

      Interesting though that it only causes the jsp view to fail

  • Aza


    Don’t work for post method.I wan’t post method example.Help me.

  • Sebastian Rajo

    Hi. Very nice post. Now, I have a question: there is a way of avoid to display the attribute name on the JSON view? I mean, in this example, I don’t want to see ‘{“model”:’


    • James

      Is there anyone who find the solution to get rid of “model”?

  • Deepak


    It works great when executed in Springs 2.7.1 toolkit but fails with the below error when executed in Springs toolkit 2.9 –

    SEVERE: Context initialization failed
    org.springframework.beans.factory.BeanCreationException: Error creating bean with name ‘org.springframework.web.servlet.view.ContentNegotiatingViewResolver#0′

  • Thirumal

    servlet file here again

    		&lt;bean class=&quot;org.springframework.web.servlet.view.ContentNegotiatingViewResolver&quot;&gt;
    		  &lt;property name=&quot;order&quot; value=&quot;1&quot; /&gt;
    		  &lt;property name=&quot;mediaTypes&quot;&gt;
    			   &lt;entry key=&quot;xml&quot; value=&quot;application/xml&quot; /&gt;
    			   &lt;entry key=&quot;json&quot; value=&quot;application/json&quot; /&gt;
    		  &lt;property name=&quot;defaultViews&quot;&gt;
    			  &lt;!-- JSON View --&gt;
    			  &lt;!-- XStream XML View --&gt;
    			  &lt;bean class=&quot;org.springframework.web.servlet.view.xml.MarshallingView&quot;&gt;
    					&lt;bean class=&quot;org.springframework.oxm.xstream.XStreamMarshaller&quot;&gt;
    					   &lt;property name=&quot;aliases&quot;&gt;
    					   			&lt;prop key=&quot;VPNSMessage&quot;&gt;com.twc.vpns.model.messenger.VPNSMessage&lt;/prop&gt;
    		  &lt;property name=&quot;ignoreAcceptHeader&quot; value=&quot;true&quot; /&gt;
  • Thirumal

    First, it is a great article, I appreciate your efforts and passion. I am trying exactly similar to your post, but xstream parser. Even with json portion commented, I always get json content only no matter what extension is specified at the end (.xml/.json). I was wondering should I move using JAXB instead xstream

    Here is the servlet.xml file








    @RequestMapping(value = “/publishMessage”, method = RequestMethod.POST)
    public XYZMessage publishMessage(@RequestBody String xml) {
    //System.out.println(“Message Received–>” + xml);
    log.debug(“Publish Message Received\n” + xml);
    XYZMessage XYZMessage = XStreamParser.convertToXYZMessage(xml);

    }catch(Exception e){


    return XYZMessage ;

    I apreciate your help

  • Jeff

    Great article, one of the best I have found. One question – what if I want to restrict the content type for a particular controller. For example I want a controller to only respond only to json request. I edited the mvc-dispatcher-servlet.xml to respect headers: and created a controller:

    public class ApiController {
    @RequestMapping(value=&quot;{aName}&quot;, method = RequestMethod.GET, headers = {&quot;Accept=application/json&quot;})
    	public String doApi(@PathVariable String aName,	ModelMap model) {
    		Fruit fruit = new Fruit(aName, 1000);
    		model.addAttribute(&quot;model&quot;, fruit);
    		return &quot;list&quot;;

    but a call to …/api/test.json yields
    HTTP Status 404, The requested resource () is not available.

    Is this a possible tasks?


    • Nagaraj

      If i change RequestMethod.GET to RequestMethod.Post rss feed opening as new file in browser . Can anypone help me. I need to pass 3 RSS feed url from UI to backend using post method. Here I am getting problem.