Jonik Jonik - 3 months ago 37x
Java Question

How to respond with HTTP 400 error in a Spring MVC @ResponseBody method returning String?

I'm using Spring MVC for a simple JSON API, with

based approach like the following. (I already have a service layer producing JSON directly.)

@RequestMapping(value = "/matches/{matchId}", produces = "application/json")
public String match(@PathVariable String matchId) {
String json = matchService.getMatchJson(matchId);
if (json == null) {
// TODO: how to respond with e.g. 400 "bad request"?
return json;

Question is, in the given scenario, what is the simplest, cleanest way to respond with a HTTP 400 error?

I did come across approaches like:

return new ResponseEntity(HttpStatus.BAD_REQUEST);

...but I can't use it here since my method's return type is String, not ResponseEntity.


change your return type to ResponseEntity<String>, then you can use below for 400

return new ResponseEntity<String>(HttpStatus.BAD_REQUEST);

and for correct request

return new ResponseEntity<String>(json,HttpStatus.OK);


after spring 4.1 there are helper methods in ResponseEntity could be used as

return ResponseEntity.status(HttpStatus.BAD_REQUEST).body(null);


return ResponseEntity.ok(json);