How to parse JSON in Java? [Answered]

Problem:

I have the following JSON text. How can I parse it to get the values of pageNamepagePicpost_id, etc.?

    {
       "pageInfo": {
             "pageName": "abc",
             "pagePic": "http://example.com/content.jpg"
        },
        "posts": [
             {
                  "post_id": "123456789012_123456789012",
                  "actor_id": "1234567890",
                  "picOfPersonWhoPosted": "http://example.com/photo.jpg",
                  "nameOfPersonWhoPosted": "Jane Doe",
                  "message": "Sounds cool. Can't wait to see it!",
                  "likesCount": "2",
                  "comments": [],
                  "timeOfPost": "1234567890"
             }
        ]
    }

How to parse JSON in Java? Answer #1:

The org.json library is easy to use and this is one of the best ways to parse JSON in Java.

Just remember (while casting or using methods like getJSONObject and getJSONArray) that in JSON notation

  • [ … ] represents an array, so library will parse it to JSONArray
  • { … } represents an object, so library will parse it to JSONObject

Example code below:

import org.json.*;

String jsonString = ... ; //assign your JSON String here
JSONObject obj = new JSONObject(jsonString);
String pageName = obj.getJSONObject("pageInfo").getString("pageName");

JSONArray arr = obj.getJSONArray("posts"); // notice that `"posts": [...]`
for (int i = 0; i < arr.length(); i++)
{
    String post_id = arr.getJSONObject(i).getString("post_id");
    ......
}

How to parse JSON in Java? Answer #2:

For the sake of the example lets assume you have a class Person with just a name.

private class Person {
    public String name;

    public Person(String name) {
        this.name = name;
    }
}

Google GSON (Maven)

My personal favourite as to the great JSON serialisation / de-serialisation of objects.

Gson g = new Gson();

Person person = g.fromJson("{\"name\": \"John\"}", Person.class);
System.out.println(person.name); //John

System.out.println(g.toJson(person)); // {"name":"John"}

Update

If you want to get a single attribute out you can do it easily with the Google library as well:

JsonObject jsonObject = new JsonParser().parse("{\"name\": \"John\"}").getAsJsonObject();

System.out.println(jsonObject.get("name").getAsString()); //John

Org.JSON (Maven)

If you don’t need object de-serialisation but to simply get an attribute, you can try org.json (or look GSON example above!)

JSONObject obj = new JSONObject("{\"name\": \"John\"}");

System.out.println(obj.getString("name")); //John

Jackson (Maven)

ObjectMapper mapper = new ObjectMapper();
Person user = mapper.readValue("{\"name\": \"John\"}", Person.class);

System.out.println(user.name); //John

How to parse JSON in Java? Answer #3:

  1. If one wants to create Java object from JSON and vice versa, use GSON or JACKSON third party jars etc.//from object to JSON Gson gson = new Gson(); gson.toJson(yourObject); // from JSON to object yourObject o = gson.fromJson(JSONString,yourObject.class);
  2. But if one just want to parse a JSON string and get some values, (OR create a JSON string from scratch to send over wire) just use JaveEE jar which contains JsonReader, JsonArray, JsonObject etc. You may want to download the implementation of that spec like javax.json. With these two jars I am able to parse the json and use the values.These APIs actually follow the DOM/SAX parsing model of XML.Response response = request.get(); // REST call JsonReader jsonReader = Json.createReader(new StringReader(response.readEntity(String.class))); JsonArray jsonArray = jsonReader.readArray(); ListIterator l = jsonArray.listIterator(); while ( l.hasNext() ) { JsonObject j = (JsonObject)l.next(); JsonObject ciAttr = j.getJsonObject("ciAttributes");

How to parse JSON in Java? Answer #4:

quick-json parser is very straightforward, flexible, very fast and customizable. Try it

Features:

  • Compliant with JSON specification (RFC4627)
  • High-Performance JSON parser
  • Supports Flexible/Configurable parsing approach
  • Configurable validation of key/value pairs of any JSON Hierarchy
  • Easy to use # Very small footprint
  • Raises developer friendly and easy to trace exceptions
  • Pluggable Custom Validation support – Keys/Values can be validated by configuring custom validators as and when encountered
  • Validating and Non-Validating parser support
  • Support for two types of configuration (JSON/XML) for using quick-JSON validating parser
  • Requires JDK 1.5
  • No dependency on external libraries
  • Support for JSON Generation through object serialisation
  • Support for collection type selection during parsing process

It can be used like this:

JsonParserFactory factory=JsonParserFactory.getInstance();
JSONParser parser=factory.newJsonParser();
Map jsonMap=parser.parseJson(jsonString);

How to parse JSON in Java? Answer #5:

You could use Google Gson.

Using this library you only need to create a model with the same JSON structure. Then the model is automatically filled in. You have to call your variables as your JSON keys, or use @SerializedName if you want to use different names.

JSON

From your example:

{
    "pageInfo": {
        "pageName": "abc",
        "pagePic": "http://example.com/content.jpg"
    }
    "posts": [
        {
            "post_id": "123456789012_123456789012",
            "actor_id": "1234567890",
            "picOfPersonWhoPosted": "http://example.com/photo.jpg",
            "nameOfPersonWhoPosted": "Jane Doe",
            "message": "Sounds cool. Can't wait to see it!",
            "likesCount": "2",
            "comments": [],
            "timeOfPost": "1234567890"
        }
    ]
}

Model

class MyModel {

    private PageInfo pageInfo;
    private ArrayList<Post> posts = new ArrayList<>();
}

class PageInfo {

    private String pageName;
    private String pagePic;
}

class Post {

    private String post_id;

    @SerializedName("actor_id") // <- example SerializedName
    private String actorId;

    private String picOfPersonWhoPosted;
    private String nameOfPersonWhoPosted;
    private String message;
    private String likesCount;
    private ArrayList<String> comments;
    private String timeOfPost;
}

Parsing

Now you can parse using Gson library:

MyModel model = gson.fromJson(jsonString, MyModel.class);

Gradle import

Remember to import the library in the app Gradle file

implementation 'com.google.code.gson:gson:2.8.6' // or earlier versions

How to parse JSON in Java? Answer #6:

A – Explanation

You can use Jackson libraries, for binding JSON String into POJO (Plain Old Java Object) instances. POJO is simply a class with only private fields and public getter/setter methods. Jackson is going to traverse the methods (using reflection), and maps the JSON object into the POJO instance as the field names of the class fits to the field names of the JSON object.

In your JSON object, which is actually a composite object, the main object consists o two sub-objects. So, our POJO classes should have the same hierarchy. I’ll call the whole JSON Object as Page object. Page object consist of a PageInfo object, and a Post object array.

So we have to create three different POJO classes;

  • Page Class, a composite of PageInfo Class and array of Post Instances
  • PageInfo Class
  • Posts Class

The only package I’ve used is Jackson ObjectMapper, what we do is binding data;

com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.ObjectMapper

The required dependencies, the jar files is listed below;

  • jackson-core-2.5.1.jar
  • jackson-databind-2.5.1.jar
  • jackson-annotations-2.5.0.jar

Here is the required code;

B – Main POJO Class : Page

package com.levo.jsonex.model;

public class Page {
    
    private PageInfo pageInfo;
    private Post[] posts;

    public PageInfo getPageInfo() {
        return pageInfo;
    }

    public void setPageInfo(PageInfo pageInfo) {
        this.pageInfo = pageInfo;
    }

    public Post[] getPosts() {
        return posts;
    }

    public void setPosts(Post[] posts) {
        this.posts = posts;
    }
    
}

C – Child POJO Class : PageInfo

package com.levo.jsonex.model;

public class PageInfo {
    
    private String pageName;
    private String pagePic;
    
    public String getPageName() {
        return pageName;
    }
    
    public void setPageName(String pageName) {
        this.pageName = pageName;
    }
    
    public String getPagePic() {
        return pagePic;
    }
    
    public void setPagePic(String pagePic) {
        this.pagePic = pagePic;
    }
    
}

D – Child POJO Class : Post

package com.levo.jsonex.model;

public class Post {
    
    private String post_id;
    private String actor_id;
    private String picOfPersonWhoPosted;
    private String nameOfPersonWhoPosted;
    private String message;
    private int likesCount;
    private String[] comments;
    private int timeOfPost;

    public String getPost_id() {
        return post_id;
    }

    public void setPost_id(String post_id) {
        this.post_id = post_id;
    }

    public String getActor_id() {
        return actor_id;
    }

    public void setActor_id(String actor_id) {
        this.actor_id = actor_id;
    }

    public String getPicOfPersonWhoPosted() {
        return picOfPersonWhoPosted;
    }
    
    public void setPicOfPersonWhoPosted(String picOfPersonWhoPosted) {
        this.picOfPersonWhoPosted = picOfPersonWhoPosted;
    }

    public String getNameOfPersonWhoPosted() {
        return nameOfPersonWhoPosted;
    }

    public void setNameOfPersonWhoPosted(String nameOfPersonWhoPosted) {
        this.nameOfPersonWhoPosted = nameOfPersonWhoPosted;
    }

    public String getMessage() {
        return message;
    }

    public void setMessage(String message) {
        this.message = message;
    }

    public int getLikesCount() {
        return likesCount;
    }

    public void setLikesCount(int likesCount) {
        this.likesCount = likesCount;
    }

    public String[] getComments() {
        return comments;
    }

    public void setComments(String[] comments) {
        this.comments = comments;
    }

    public int getTimeOfPost() {
        return timeOfPost;
    }

    public void setTimeOfPost(int timeOfPost) {
        this.timeOfPost = timeOfPost;
    }
    
}

E – Sample JSON File : sampleJSONFile.json

I’ve just copied your JSON sample into this file and put it under the project folder.

{
   "pageInfo": {
         "pageName": "abc",
         "pagePic": "http://example.com/content.jpg"
    },
    "posts": [
         {
              "post_id": "123456789012_123456789012",
              "actor_id": "1234567890",
              "picOfPersonWhoPosted": "http://example.com/photo.jpg",
              "nameOfPersonWhoPosted": "Jane Doe",
              "message": "Sounds cool. Can't wait to see it!",
              "likesCount": "2",
              "comments": [],
              "timeOfPost": "1234567890"
         }
    ]
}

F – Demo Code

package com.levo.jsonex;

import java.io.File;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.util.Arrays;

import com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.ObjectMapper;
import com.levo.jsonex.model.Page;
import com.levo.jsonex.model.PageInfo;
import com.levo.jsonex.model.Post;

public class JSONDemo {
    
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        ObjectMapper objectMapper = new ObjectMapper();
        
        try {
            Page page = objectMapper.readValue(new File("sampleJSONFile.json"), Page.class);
            
            printParsedObject(page);
        } catch (IOException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
        
    }
    
    private static void printParsedObject(Page page) {
        printPageInfo(page.getPageInfo());
        System.out.println();
        printPosts(page.getPosts());
    }

    private static void printPageInfo(PageInfo pageInfo) {
        System.out.println("Page Info;");
        System.out.println("**********");
        System.out.println("\tPage Name : " + pageInfo.getPageName());
        System.out.println("\tPage Pic  : " + pageInfo.getPagePic());
    }
    
    private static void printPosts(Post[] posts) {
        System.out.println("Page Posts;");
        System.out.println("**********");
        for(Post post : posts) {
            printPost(post);
        }
    }
    
    private static void printPost(Post post) {
        System.out.println("\tPost Id                   : " + post.getPost_id());
        System.out.println("\tActor Id                  : " + post.getActor_id());
        System.out.println("\tPic Of Person Who Posted  : " + post.getPicOfPersonWhoPosted());
        System.out.println("\tName Of Person Who Posted : " + post.getNameOfPersonWhoPosted());
        System.out.println("\tMessage                   : " + post.getMessage());
        System.out.println("\tLikes Count               : " + post.getLikesCount());
        System.out.println("\tComments                  : " + Arrays.toString(post.getComments()));
        System.out.println("\tTime Of Post              : " + post.getTimeOfPost());
    }
    
}

G – Demo Output

Page Info;
****(*****
    Page Name : abc
    Page Pic  : 
Page Posts;
**********
    Post Id                   : 123456789012_123456789012
    Actor Id                  : 1234567890
    Pic Of Person Who Posted  : 
    Name Of Person Who Posted : Jane Doe
    Message                   : Sounds cool. Can't wait to see it!
    Likes Count               : 2
    Comments                  : []
    Time Of Post              : 1234567890

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Linux and Python enthusiast, in love with open source since 2014, Writer at programming-articles.com, India.

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