How to parse JSON in Java?

The org.json library is easy to use.

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?

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) { = 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(; //John

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


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-serialization but 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(; //John

Working with JSON in Java:

  • 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();

// from JSON to object 
yourObject o = gson.fromJson(JSONString,yourObject.class);
  • 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);
          JsonObject ciAttr = j.getJsonObject("ciAttributes");

JSON parser for Java:

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


  • 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);

Method #3: Parsing JSON in Java

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.


From your example:

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


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;


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 '' // or earlier versions

How to parse JSON in Java?

Use minimal-JSON which is very fast and easy to use. You can parse from String obj and Stream.

Sample data:

  "order": 4711,
  "items": [
      "name": "NE555 Timer IC",
      "cat-id": "645723",
      "quantity": 10,
      "name": "LM358N OpAmp IC",
      "cat-id": "764525",
      "quantity": 2


JsonObject object = Json.parse(input).asObject();
int orders = object.get("order").asInt();
JsonArray items = object.get("items").asArray();

Creating JSON:

JsonObject user = Json.object().add("name", "Sakib").add("age", 23);



Alternative approach to parse JSON in Java:

The below example shows how to read the text in the question, represented as the “jsonText” variable. This solution uses the Java EE7 javax.json API (which is mentioned in some of the other answers). The reason I’ve added it as a separate answer is that the following code shows how to actually access some of the values shown in the question. An implementation of the javax.json API would be required to make this code run. The full package for each of the classes required was included as I didn’t want to declare “import” statements.


javax.json.JsonReader jr = 
    javax.json.Json.createReader(new StringReader(jsonText));
javax.json.JsonObject jo = jr.readObject();

//Read the page info.
javax.json.JsonObject pageInfo = jo.getJsonObject("pageInfo");

//Read the posts.
javax.json.JsonArray posts = jo.getJsonArray("posts");
//Read the first post.
javax.json.JsonObject post = posts.getJsonObject(0);
//Read the post_id field.
String postId = post.getString("post_id");

Simple and final solution:

This blew my mind with how easy it was. You can just pass a String holding your JSON to the constructor of a JSONObject in the default org.json package.

JSONArray rootOfPage =  new JSONArray(JSONString);

Done. Drops microphone. This works with JSONObjects as well. After that, you can just look through your hierarchy of Objects using the get() methods on your objects.

Hope you learned something from this post.

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About ᴾᴿᴼᵍʳᵃᵐᵐᵉʳ

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

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