Images in JAX-RS

Sending and receiving images in a webservice

Originally posted on April 30, 2013
Updated on January 20, 2015


One of the first problems I ran into when I started building RESTful webservices was figuring out how to handle image uploads and downloads. It turned out it was harder to find good information than to actually do it, so I decided to build an example application and share it with others.

Update: the more recent Reminders example includes this functionality in a full application.


The source code is available on GitHub.


  • Edit the class ImageService as follows:
    • Change the constant BASE_DIR to point to an existing directory on your server (or localhost) where you want to store the images.
    • Change the constant MAX_SIZE_IN_MB to the maximum allowed size you want to use. You will not be able to upload or download images larger than this size.
  • Deploy the application.
  • Drop some images (with extension .jpg or .png and not larger than the maximum allowed size) into the BASE_DIR folder you configured or use upload.html to upload some images (see below).

Using the webservice

The webservice uses the following URLs:


GET this URL to get a list of available images (filenames wrapped in a JSON array). POST to this URL to upload an image. The server will store this image and pick a random filename for it.


GET this URL to download the image with the given filename.

If you change any of these URLs, make sure you update the BASE_URL variables in upload.js and download.js as well.

Using the front-end

The front-end consists of the following pages:


Use this page to upload an image via an HTML form.


Use this page to get a list of available images and to download them.

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