Spring Cloud Gateway: Getting Started

Brian McClain

Spring Cloud Gateway provides a library for building API gateways on top of Spring and Java. It provides a flexible way of routing requests based on a number of criteria, as well as focuses on cross-cutting concerns such as security, resiliency, and monitoring. For more information, make sure to check out What is Spring Cloud Gateway?

In this guide, you’ll stand up a bare-bones gateway using Spring Cloud Gateway, which will do some light request modification. You’ll see the basics of Spring Cloud Gateway, which will serve as a great foundation for those just starting out.

Before You Begin

There are a few things you need to do before getting started with Spring Cloud Gateway:

Using Spring Cloud Gateway

Since Spring Cloud Gateway is a library built for Spring, there’s no infrastructure to set up and no networking to configure. Instead, this guide will be looking at the code that goes around defining your gateway.

Generating a New Spring Application

The easiest way to get started with a new Spring application is at start.spring.io. There are a few personal choices here—such as if you’d like to use Maven or Gradle—but for the sake of consistency, here are the settings used in this guide:

Project: Maven Project
Language: Java
Spring Boot: 2.2.5
Project Group: com.vmware
Project Artifact: scg-getting-started

Finally, you’ll just need one dependency for our application:

  • Gateway

Click “Generate” and you’ll download a zip file of the generated code.

Building Your Gateway

You can configure a basic route by creating a method that takes in a RouteLocatorBuilder and returns a RouteLocator. Here’s an example of src/main/java/com/vmware/scgettingstarted/ScgGettingStartedApplication.java complete with a custom route:

package com.vmware.scggettingstarted;

import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.cloud.gateway.route.RouteLocator;
import org.springframework.cloud.gateway.route.builder.RouteLocatorBuilder;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;

public class ScgGettingStartedApplication {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		SpringApplication.run(ScgGettingStartedApplication.class, args);

	public RouteLocator myRoutes(RouteLocatorBuilder builder) {
		return builder.routes()
			.route(p -> p
				.filters(f -> f.addRequestHeader("Hello", "World"))

Take note of the myRoutes method. This code will create a route that will take any GET request, add a header named Hello and a value of World, then forward your request to httpbin.org.

Run Your Gateway

You can run this as a normal Spring Boot application:

./mvnw spring-boot:run

Once running, you can send a request to your application to ensure it’s running at http://localhost:8080/get. Say your request looks like the following:

> GET /get HTTP/1.1
> Host: localhost:8080
> User-Agent: curl/7.65.3
> Accept: */*
> MyHeader: MyValue

You’ve sent a GET request to your application, adding a custom header of MyHeader with a value of MyValue. Spring Cloud Gateway will return the following response (note that the body of the response is from httpbin.org, which is providing a breakdown of the request that it received):

< HTTP/1.1 200 OK
< Date: Fri, 06 Mar 2020 14:22:54 GMT
< Content-Type: application/json
< Content-Length: 471
< Server: gunicorn/19.9.0
< Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *
< Access-Control-Allow-Credentials: true

  "args": {}, 
  "headers": {
    "Accept": "*/*", 
    "Content-Length": "0", 
    "Forwarded": "proto=http;host=\"localhost:8080\";for=\"\"", 
    "Hello": "World", 
    "Host": "httpbin.org", 
    "Myheader": "MyValue", 
    "User-Agent": "curl/7.65.3", 
    "X-Forwarded-Host": "localhost:8080"
  "origin": "", 
  "url": "http://localhost:8080/get"

Here you can see the response from httpbin.org, including the MyHeader header that you sent in your request, as well as the Hello header that Spring Cloud Gateway added to your request.

Keep Learning

Check out some of the great guides on the Spring website to learn how you can leverage the amazing Spring ecosystem to accomplish things like hiding your backend services as well as how you can secure your services using Spring Cloud Security.