Restful resources do not always have a one-to-one mapping with your jpa entities. As I see it there are a few problems that I am trying to figure out how to handle:
With a combination of JAX_RS 1.1 and Jackson/GSON you can expose JPA entities directly as REST resources, but you will run into a myriad of problems.
DTOs i.e. projections onto the JPA entities are the way to go. It would allow you to separate the resource representation concerns of REST from the transactional concerns of JPA. You get to explicitly define the nature of the representations. You can control the amount of data that appears in the representation, including the depth of the object graph to be traversed, if you design your DTOs/projections carefully. You may need to create multiple DTOs/projections for the same JPA entity for the different resources in which the entity may need to be represented differently.
Besides, in my experience using annotations like
@JsonidentityInfo annotation, due to the lack of standardization here.
There are other additional aspects that would be possible through DTOs/projections. JPA
@EmbeddedIds do not fit naturally into REST resource representations. Some advocate using the JAX-RS
@MatrixParam annotation to identify the resource uniquely in the resource URIs, but this does not work out of the box for most clients. Matrix parameters are after all only a design note, and not a standard (yet). With a DTO/projection, you can serve out the resource representation against a computed Id (could be a combination of the constituent keys).
Note: I currently work on the JBoss Forge plugin for REST where some or all of these issues exist and would be fixed in some future release via the generation of DTOs.