Programming language: Java
License: Apache License 2.0
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avaje-jsonb - docs

json binding via apt source code generation

  • Annotate java classes with @Json (or use @Json.Import for types we "don't own" or can't annotate)
  • avaje-jsonb-generator annotation processor generates java source code to convert to/from json
  • Use avaje-jsonb instead of Jackson ObjectMapper to convert to/from json.
  • By default uses Jackson core under the hood

Wiki documentation

Javadoc API documentation


  • Use Java annotation processing to generate java source for adapting JSON to/from java objects
  • Similar in approach to that of Moshi, LoganSquare, dsl-json, ig-json-parser
  • Constructors and accessors/getters/setters of any style should all "just work" (record type, constructors, 'fluid setters' all just work)
  • As a source code generation style alternative to ObjectMapper, GSON (source code generation approach vs largely reflection based approaches)
  • Currently, uses jackson-core for underlying parsing/generation but ideally provides an abstraction allowing targeting of other parsers/generators like JSONP/Yasson, GSON (a bit like the goal of Jakarta JSONB API)
  • Provide support for dynamic json views (similar in style to that presented by LinkedIn at java one in 2009

Quick start

Step 1 - Add dependencies


<!-- annotation processor -->

Step 2 - Add @Json

Add @Json onto types we want to serialise.

The avaje-jsonb-generator annotation processor will generate a JsonAdapter as java source code for each type annotated with @Json. These will be automatically registered with Jsonb when it is started using a service loader mechanism.

For types we can not annotate with @Json we can instead use @Json.Import.

public class Customer {
public record Address(String street, String suburb, String city) { }

Step 3 - Use

// build using defaults
Jsonb jsonb = Jsonb.newBuilder().build();

JsonType<Customer> customerType = jsonb.type(Customer.class);

Customer customer = ...;

// serialise to json
String asJson =  customerType.toJson(customer);

// deserialse from json
Customer customer = customerType.fromJson(asJson);

Step 4 - Use json views

avaje-jsonb supports dynamic json views. This allows us to specify which specific properties to include when serialising to json.

For example:

Jsonb jsonb = Jsonb.newBuilder().build();

JsonType<Customer> customerType = jsonb.type(Customer.class);

// only including the id and name
JsonView<Customer> idAndNameView = customerType.view("(id, name)");
String asJson =  idAndNameView.toJson(customer);

JsonView<Customer> myView =
  customerType.view("(id, name, billingAddress(*), contacts(lastName, email))");

// serialise to json the above specified properties only
String asJson =  myView.toJson(customer);

People may recognise this json view syntax as being pretty much the syntax presented by LinkedIn in at java one in 2009

Based off Moshi

avaje-jsonb is based off Moshi with some changes as summarised below:

Changes from Moshi

  • Generates Java source code (rather than Kotlin)
  • Uses jackson-core JsonParser and JsonGenerator under the hood with a view of supporting other json-p libraries in future (JSONP/Yasson, GSON etc)
  • Has no fallback to reflection approach - this is a code generation or bust approach taken by avaje-jsonb
  • JsonReader - Make JsonReader an interface, default implementation using Jackson JsonParser at this stage
  • JsonWriter - Make JsonWriter an interface, default implementation using Jackson JsonGenerator at this stage
  • JsonAdapter -> JsonAdapter, the key design principal of Moshi remains pretty much as it was
  • Moshi -> Jsonb - Rename Moshi to Jsonb and make it an interface
  • Moshi.Builder -> Jsonb.Builder - Basically the same but Jsonb.Builder as interface plus added Component and AdapterBuilder
  • Add JsonType for a more friendly API to use rather than underlying JsonAdapter
  • Add Jsonb.Component interface - allows easy service loading of adapters
  • Additionally, generates a Jsonb.Component and uses service loading to auto-register all generated adapters. This means there is no need to manually register the generated adapters.
  • Add fromObject() as a "covert from object" feature like Jackson ObjectMapper
  • Add naming convention support
  • Add @Json.Import to generate adapters for types that we can't put the annotation on (types we might not 'own')
  • Add Types.listOf(), Types.setOf(), Types.mapOf() helper methods
  • Provide an SPI with the view to target other json-p implementations JSONP/Yasson, GSON etc
  • More common java types with default built-in support - java.time types, java.util.UUID (need to flesh this out)
  • Add support for json views

Related works

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Avaje Jsonb README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.