boot-react 0,0,0

A starter application with spring boot and react

Spring boot and react hot starter

image:[“Build Status”, link=””] image:[“Windows build Status”, link=””]

Be more productive with this simple project that uses the[spring dev tools] and[react transform] for hot reloading.

Everything: backend, frontend and styles will be hot reloaded automatically.

See[my article] for an in-depth explanation.

This project also sets up spring security and[spring-sessions], which will automatically store your sessions in Redis, allowing you to scale on multiple servers.

Both the frontend and the backend are fully tested.


The Java code is available in the backend sub-project. The frontend sub-project contains the javascript code.

In development you will have access to the awesome[redux-dev-tools], which will allow you keep track of your application state and undo/redo every action at will.

But… I love Groovy :‘(

Me too pal…

The project used to be coded in Groovy but since most of us use Java at work, I figured it would be more useful for a lot of people if the backend code was written in Java.

There is a[groovy branch] that should be up to date.

The tests are still[written in groovy].

Running the backend (recommended)

The recommended way to launch the server is to use your favorite java IDE. The main method of the application is in the BootReactApplication class.

Running the frontend (recommended)

For the frontend, a small wrapper script for UNIX systems can be found at the root of the project. It will ensure that you use the same version of npm as the gradle build.

Simply run ./npmw start to start the frontend.

It will automatically run npm install on the first run.

If you change the node dependencies in package.json, delete the node_modules dir or run ./gradlew frontend:npmInstall

Alternatives for running the projects

There is also a gradle task to run the spring server: ./gradlew bootRun.

The node version used by the gradle build is specified[here]. If you have an equivalent version of npm installed on your system, you can use it to start the frontend.

Go in the frontend directory and type npm install to install the dependencies. Then, use npm start to start the dev server.

You will need node 5.0+ and npm 3 to run the dev server and build the project

If you do not have the required binaries on your machine, you can use ./gradlew frontend:npmInstall and ./gradlew frontend:start. Those two command will download the required node/npm versions automatically and use them to run the node tasks.

Hot reloading

With the dev server running, saving your javascript files or stylus assets will automatically trigger the hot reloading (without browser refresh) of the application.

For the backend, recompiling the project in your IDE will trigger the reloading of the application’s class loader.


Sessions are stored in Redis with spring-sessions. Spring-sessions allows you to transparently persist the HttpSession on Redis. This allows to distribute the load on multiple servers if you choose to.

The application relies on a stateless REST api. When they authenticate, clients will be given a token. They will save this token in their local storage and send it as an HTTP header (x-auth-token). This allows the retrieval of the session data in Redis.

If you want to use a real redis, you can run the application with the redis profile.

If the redis profile is not active, your session will be stored in a map. See:[EmbeddedSessionConfig]. This is great in development but you should avoid it in production.

Summary: |=== | Profile | description | uses x-auth-token header?

| redis | Use a real redis connecting on localhost by default. | Yes | (!redis) | Uses a map to store sessions | Yes |===

Active profiles

If your run your project with gradle, the system properties won’t be passed on to Spring. See[this issue] for workarounds.

The simplest way to go is to specify active profiles in your IDE.[Check out the doc] to learn more about profiles in Spring Boot.

To run the jar in production mode use the following command:

java -jar boot-react-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.jar                                                       16:57:01


The application is configured to work with Spring Security. It uses an in-memory authentication but you are free use[other implementations] or to[roll your own].


This project uses[Redux] to handle state and actions. It is a simple library with very powerful dev tools.

Dan Abramov, the author of Redux, published a[great Redux video tutorial].

I also suggest reading the[redux quick start] to understand how to architecture you application and the difference between containers and components.

Components are simple display elements that receive everything they need (state and actions) via props.

Containers are connected to Redux and as such, they can pull whatever properties they are interested in from the state and bind actions to dispatch. Those containers are only connecting simple components to Redux.

Small components are written using the[stateless functional components syntax], i.e, those component are pure render components and only their props will have an impact on the DOM.

Beware, hot reloading is not supported on functional components yet (see[this issue]) unless they are wrapped in a real Component.

We can[write tests] on connected components, but it is more effective to test them in isolation from Redux.

Router push state

The project uses[react-router] to handle routes. You can choose several modes to handles the router history. By default, the project uses the browser history, which creates the nicest URLs (/login, /private, etc.).

In development, we use a dev server that[proxies] requests to the index.

In production, we have to use a special[resource handler] to redirect all non-asset requests to the index.

You can remove it if you choose to use memory history (no URL change) or hash history (/#/login, /#/private).


We use[stylus] as a css preprocessor. We also leverage two stylus modules:

See examples of jeet[here].

In development, the styles are included by webpack, which enables hot reloading. In production, we use the[Extract Text Plugin] to extract the css to a separate file.

Static assets

If you want to include static assets like images in the project, please see[this issue], which explains how to use the URL loader.

I’m real bad at creating logos but if you have time, I would be happy to include this by default in the project.

Running the tests

The check tasks will run the tests in both the frontend and the backend:

./gradlew check

You can run the backend/frontend tests only with:

./gradlew backend/frontend:test

To test the backend, we use a simple[library] that wraps spring mvc tests and makes them a bit nicer to read. See the[auth-spec] for an example.

To test the frontend, we use[enzyme].


This command will generate an optimized bundle and include it in the jar.

./gradlew clean assemble

You can then launch it with:

java -jar build/libs/boot-react-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.jar

With spring boot 1.3, you can install the application[as a linux service]

NB: each application can be assembled with the assemble task so you can use frontend:assemble or backend:assemble. The backend task depends on the frontend task.


The project can create a docker container.

Just run:

./gradlew backend:buildDocker

And it will create a docker image named boot-react/boot-react.

> docker images
REPOSITORY                               TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED              VIRTUAL SIZE
boot-react/boot-react                    latest              5280d39f660f        About a minute ago   138.9 MB

You can then run it with:

docker run -p 8080:8080 boot-react/boot-react

You can also pass arguments to the application like this:

docker run -p 8080:8080 boot-react/boot-react


There is a simple docker-compose.yml in the root directory of the project. Once you have built the application image with ./gradlew backend:buildDocker, you can run:

docker-compose up -d

This will run the application together with a redis server.

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