Getting Http Headers from Request(@HeaderParam,HttpHeaders) in JAX-RS

This tutorial shows how to extract header parameters from http request in JAX-RS.

Example Scenario :

We have to create a REST web service which returns some or all the header fields of an http request to the caller.

Project artifacts:

1. Technologies used –

a. Eclipse IDE for Java EE developer (Mars)
b. Preinstalled Maven with Eclipse Mars
c. Tomcat 7.0.64
d. RESTEasy 3.0.4.Final
e. Java 1.8

Jars used –

2. Eclipse project folder structure:


Header Param DirectoryStructure

3. Web Project

Create a standard web project in Eclipse by following the below link.

Create a Maven Web Project

4. Maven Dependencies

file:pom.xml. Maven unit of work to declare project dependencies, compile code and build war file for deployment in Tomcat.

<project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation="">
    <name>Restful Maven Webapp</name>


5. Application class

file: The Class that registers the resource class OrderReceiver with JAX-RS runtime. It has two sets.
Our resource class should be added to the singleton set.


package com.javanbeyond.service;

import java.util.HashSet;
import java.util.Set;

public class MyApplication extends Application {
    private Set<Object> singletons = new HashSet<Object>();
    private Set<Class<?>> empty = new HashSet<Class<?>>();

    public MyApplication() {
        singletons.add(new OrderReceiver());

    public Set<Class<?>> getClasses() {
        return empty;

    public Set<Object> getSingletons() {
        return singletons;


6. Resource class

file: . In JAX-RS, we use @HeaderParam annotation to extract specific header fields and HttpHeaders class to get all the header values in Resource methods.

Case 1 : Getting specific header values.

In the method getHeader, we inject two header fields with the help of @HeaderParam annotation. ‘customValue” header is set by us in our client code and “user-agent” is set by browser. It returns the extracted header field values to the client.


    // This method extracts two header values.
    // "customValue" is set up by us and "user-agent" is standard header
    // parameter set up by browser
    // @HeaderParam gets both these values and pass it to method parameters.
    public Response getHeader(@HeaderParam("customValue"String customValue,
            @HeaderParam("user-agent"String userAgent) {
        System.out.println("inside getHeader");
        return Response.status(200).entity(
                "customValue:" + customValue + "\nuser-agent:" + userAgent)


Case 2: Getting all header fields from http request

In the method getAllHeaders, we are using @Context annotation with class HttpHeaders to inject all the header fields to the method parameter. It returns all the header values to the client.

    // Get all the headers of the request injected by Context
    public Response getAllHeaders(@Context HttpHeaders headers) {
        System.out.println("inside getAllHeaders");
        StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
        for (String header : headers.getRequestHeaders().keySet()) {
            sb.append(header + ":" + headers.getRequestHeader(header"\n");
        return Response.status(200).entity(sb.toString()).build();

7. Deployment descriptor

file: web.xml . Deployment descriptor file for mapping URIs to servlet. Application class is registered by setting as init param to the servlet.

<web-app xmlns:xsi="" xmlns="" xmlns:web="" xsi:schemaLocation="" id="WebApp_ID" version="3.0">
    <display-name>Archetype Created Web Application</display-name>


Example Execution:

  1. Deploy the application in Tomcat and type the URI “http://localhost:8080/WorkingWithHeaderParam/” on your browser. You should get a client as below:

Header Param Client

2. Click on “getHeader” button to get our custom header which is set by us and the header “user-agent” which is set by browser.


JAX-RS HeaderParam

3. Click on “getAllHeaders” button to get all the header fields of Http request from client.


JAX-RS HttpHeaders




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