Exception Handling: Spring 6 and Problem Details


In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, the Spring Framework consistently stands out as a leading choice for constructing resilient, enterprise-level applications. Its enduring success is a testament to its commitment to innovation, providing better, more efficient methods for application development with every new release. Now, the recently unveiled Spring Framework 6 is raising the bar yet again with an innovative feature that enhances the way we handle and present exceptions in RESTful APIs: the ProblemDetails class. In this deep-dive article, we'll explore how this groundbreaking class works in harmony with the @ControllerAdvice annotation to completely transform the way we approach exception handling in Spring. Buckle up as we journey into this revolutionary aspect of Spring Framework 6!

Introducing ProblemDetails

With Spring Framework 6, we now have a powerful tool in our arsenal: the ProblemDetails class. This class creates a standard structure for error responses, which aligns with RFC 7807 - a standard for providing machine-readable problem details in HTTP APIs. ProblemDetails can systematically generate structured error messages that include a title, type, status, detail, and even a specific instance URI related to the problem occurrence.

The introduction of the ProblemDetails class marks a shift in exception handling for RESTful APIs. It ensures that our APIs provide meaningful, consistent, and developer-friendly exceptions to consumers.

Synergy of @ControllerAdvice and ProblemDetails

The true power of ProblemDetails becomes evident when it works in conjunction with @ControllerAdvice. We can now use @ControllerAdvice to centrally handle exceptions and use ProblemDetails to generate structured and informative responses. Here's an example of how this synergy works:

public class RestExceptionHandler {

    public ResponseEntity<ProblemDetail> handleDomainModelNotFound(DomainModelNotFoundException e) {

        ProblemDetail problemDetail = ProblemDetail.forStatusAndDetail(HttpStatus.NOT_FOUND, e.getMessage());
        problemDetail.setTitle("Domain model could not be found...");

        return new ResponseEntity<>(problemDetail, HttpStatus.NOT_FOUND);

In the above example, @ControllerAdvice ensures that any DomainModelNotFoundException thrown anywhere in your application is handled by the handleDomainModelNotFound method. The method then uses the ProblemDetails class to return a detailed, structured error message back to the API consumer.


The integration of ProblemDetails with @ControllerAdvice offers us an efficient, clean, and consumer-friendly approach to handle exceptions in our APIs. With these tools, we can provide better insights into our exceptions and enhance the debugging experience for API consumers.

Spring Framework 6 continues to innovate and enhance the way we build and manage applications. Embrace the power of @ControllerAdvice and ProblemDetails to create a richer and more intuitive exception handling strategy in your APIs.

Stay tuned for more insights into the world of Spring Framework and happy coding!

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