[java] Downloading a file from spring controllers


Answers

I was able to stream line this by using the built in support in Spring with it's ResourceHttpMessageConverter. This will set the content-length and content-type if it can determine the mime-type

@RequestMapping(value = "/files/{file_name}", method = RequestMethod.GET)
@ResponseBody
public FileSystemResource getFile(@PathVariable("file_name") String fileName) {
    return new FileSystemResource(myService.getFileFor(fileName)); 
}
Question

I have a requirement where I need to download a PDF from the website. The PDF needs to be generated within the code, which I thought would be a combination of freemarker and a PDF generation framework like iText. Any better way?

However, my main problem is how do I allow the user to download a file through a Spring Controller?




What I can quickly think of is, generate the pdf and store it in webapp/downloads/< RANDOM-FILENAME>.pdf from the code and send a forward to this file using HttpServletRequest

request.getRequestDispatcher("/downloads/<RANDOM-FILENAME>.pdf").forward(request, response);

or if you can configure your view resolver something like,

  <bean id="pdfViewResolver"
        class="org.springframework.web.servlet.view.InternalResourceViewResolver">
    <property name="viewClass"
              value="org.springframework.web.servlet.view.JstlView" />
    <property name="order" value=”2″/>
    <property name="prefix" value="/downloads/" />
    <property name="suffix" value=".pdf" />
  </bean>

then just return

return "RANDOM-FILENAME";



This code is working fine to download a file automatically from spring controller on clicking a link on jsp.

@RequestMapping(value="/downloadLogFile")
public void getLogFile(HttpSession session,HttpServletResponse response) throws Exception {
    try {
        String filePathToBeServed = //complete file name with path;
        File fileToDownload = new File(filePathToBeServed);
        InputStream inputStream = new FileInputStream(fileToDownload);
        response.setContentType("application/force-download");
        response.setHeader("Content-Disposition", "attachment; filename="+fileName+".txt"); 
        IOUtils.copy(inputStream, response.getOutputStream());
        response.flushBuffer();
        inputStream.close();
    } catch (Exception e){
        LOGGER.debug("Request could not be completed at this moment. Please try again.");
        e.printStackTrace();
    }

}



With Spring 3.0 you can use the HttpEntity return object. If you use this, then your controller does not need a HttpServletResponse object, and therefore it is easier to test. Except this, this answer is relative equals to the one of Infeligo.

If the return value of your pdf framework is an byte array (read the second part of my answer for other return values) :

@RequestMapping(value = "/files/{fileName}", method = RequestMethod.GET)
public HttpEntity<byte[]> createPdf(
                 @PathVariable("fileName") String fileName) throws IOException {

    byte[] documentBody = this.pdfFramework.createPdf(filename);

    HttpHeaders header = new HttpHeaders();
    header.setContentType(MediaType.APPLICATION_PDF);
    header.set(HttpHeaders.CONTENT_DISPOSITION,
                   "attachment; filename=" + fileName.replace(" ", "_"));
    header.setContentLength(documentBody.length);

    return new HttpEntity<byte[]>(documentBody, header);
}

If the return type of your PDF Framework (documentBbody) is not already a byte array (and also no ByteArrayInputStream) then it would been wise NOT to make it a byte array first. Instead it is better to use:

example with FileSystemResource:

@RequestMapping(value = "/files/{fileName}", method = RequestMethod.GET)
public HttpEntity<byte[]> createPdf(
                 @PathVariable("fileName") String fileName) throws IOException {

    File document = this.pdfFramework.createPdf(filename);

    HttpHeaders header = new HttpHeaders();
    header.setContentType(MediaType.APPLICATION_PDF);
    header.set(HttpHeaders.CONTENT_DISPOSITION,
                   "attachment; filename=" + fileName.replace(" ", "_"));
    header.setContentLength(document.length());

    return new HttpEntity<byte[]>(new FileSystemResource(document),
                                  header);
}





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