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Spring REST controller redirection

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I have 2 spring apps say call them clientApp (web client) and serviceApp (REST web service taking in JSON parameter).

These apps are on separate machines: clientApp is in a DMZ and serviceApp is in the company internal network.

In the clientApp, I have a class that calls the REST web services according. However, this clientApp also acts as a interface/wrapper for third parties/ vendors to call.

Let say there is the "search" function. In the serviceApp it looks like:

In the clientApp, instead of doing this:

From the above, the JSON conversion code is done twice, once in client and again in server.

How to set up the client code to redirect to the serviceApp directly?

I did try the "redirect:...." approach but that works only for views, which mine isn't. If redirect approach, not sure how that json string will get through? using @ResponseBody, but I think it's for objects not for json-ed strings.

Any ideas or examples are welcome.

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