Using Generic Types in Java to create a method that will handle any API call

In a project I'm working on we are making a lot of call to the same API. This API has a custom way to handle errors, it always return a JSON object with the error code and a message explaining the problem (with correct HTTP status of course).

So we were constantly copying and pasting the code fragment that handle checking for HTTP Status and parsing the return JSON in the ErrorMessage object or in the expected return format.

I decided to create a new class that would handle this for us.

What we were doing

Any of our API calls consisted in this kind of method:

public List<MyReturnObject> getEcheanceJambe(PostedObject postedObject) throws ApiException {
Response response;
String apiMethodPath = "method/path";
try {
Client client = new HttpClientBuilder().createHttpClientWithProxy();
response = client.target(URL_API)
.path(apiMethodPath)
.request()
.header(HttpHeaders.AUTHORIZATION, AUTHENTIFICATION_SCHEME + " " + user.getToken())
.post(Entity.entity(postedObject, MediaType.APPLICATION_JSON_TYPE));
}
catch (Exception t) {
ApiExceptionNetwork apiException = new ApiExceptionNetwork(t, URL_API + "/" + apiMethodPath);
logger.error(apiException);
throw apiException;
}
try {
response.bufferEntity();
List<Integer> successStatuses = ImmutableList.of(Response.Status.OK.getStatusCode(), Response.Status.ACCEPTED.getStatusCode());
if (successStatuses.contains(response.getStatus())) {
return response.readEntity(new GenericType<ArrayList<MyReturnObject>>() {});
}
else {
ErrorMessage errorMessage = response.readEntity(ErrorMessage.class);
throw new ApiException(errorMessage);
}
} catch (ApiException e) {
throw e;
}
catch (Exception t) {
ApiException apiException = new ApiExceptionUncaught(t, response.getStatus(), URL_API + "/" + apiMethodPath);
logger.error(apiException);
throw apiException;
}
}

As you can see:

  1. first we handle the call to the API surrounded by try/catch because it can generate an error if parameters are incompatible for instance.

  2. then we read the response of the API and parse it with the expected MyReturnObject class or the error ErrorMessage class.

    It's a lot of code just to handle an API call correctly.

    ApiService class

    The same code has been encapsulated in a new class where it accepts any kind of input parameter: Object entity and any kind of return type thank's to the GenericType<T> returnType.

public class ApiService<T> {
private final GenericType<T> returnType;
public ApiService(GenericType<T> returnType) {
this.returnType = returnType;
}
public T makePost(String apiPath, String apiMethodPath, String token, Object entity) throws ApiException {
Response response;
try {
Client client = ClientBuilder.newClient();
response = client
.target(apiPath)
.path(apiMethodPath)
.request()
.header(HttpHeaders.AUTHORIZATION, AUTHENTICATION_SCHEME + " " + token)
.post(Entity.entity(entity, MediaType.APPLICATION_JSON_TYPE));
} catch (Exception t) {
ApiExceptionNetwork apiException = new ApiExceptionNetwork(t, apiPath + "/" + apiMethodPath);
logger.error(apiException);
throw apiException;
}
String jsonReceived = null;
try {
response.bufferEntity();
List<Integer> successStatuses = ImmutableList.of(Response.Status.OK.getStatusCode(), Response.Status.ACCEPTED.getStatusCode());
if (successStatuses.contains(response.getStatus())) {
return response.readEntity(returnType);
} else {
logApiError(apiPath, apiMethodPath, response);
ErrorMessage errorMessage = response.readEntity(ErrorMessage.class);
jsonReceived = response.readEntity(String.class);
throw new ApiException(errorMessage);
}
} catch (ApiException e) {
throw e;
} catch (Exception t) {
ApiException apiException = new ApiExceptionUncaught(t, response.getStatus(), apiPath + "/" + apiMethodPath, jsonReceived);
logger.error("API returned : " + response.getStatus() + " with URL " + apiPath + "/" + apiMethodPath, apiException);
throw apiException;
}
}
...
}

It can then be used like this in our codebase:

GenericType<ArrayList<MyReturnObject>> myReturnObjectGenericType = new GenericType<ArrayList<MyReturnObject>>() {};
return new ApiService<>(myReturnObjectGenericType).makePost(
URL_API,
"method/path",
user.getToken(),
message
);

You can find the full gist on my GitHub: https://gist.github.com/m4nu56/6bf0362be98550fd5806043eb22684af

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