JSON define these data types:

  • String
  • Number
  • object (JSON object)
  • an array
  • boolean
  • null

Modern applications and services use JSON as a lingua franca of the Internet today. Due to ubiquity of JavaScript and readability of JSON, it is now the most popular format for communicating over a network.

Generating of JSON

JavaLite historically had methods for generating JSON documents from models:

as well as any other object using a JSONHelper class:

As of version 3.0 (and the preceding snapshots), the org.javalite.common.JsonHelper class has been deprecated and replaced by org.javalite.json.JSONHelper. In the legacy applications, all you have to do is rename the class and package, since the new class is backwards compatible with the old one.

Utility class JSONHelper

As mentioned above, the class org.javalite.json.JSONHelper is a Swiss army knife when parsing/generating JSON. It is based on a popular open source Jackson, but adds a lot of one-line conveniences in the typical style of JavaLite.

Serializing an object

Say you have a class:

Generating JSON looks like this:

The output:

Generating a JSON object

Normally, you would use a java.util.Map type as a data object for that. The JSONHelper has a convenience method to produce a map like so:

The method above assumes that you want to create a map first, so the argument style is: (key, val, key1, val1, etc.).

The printed text will look like this:

Reading JSON

Suppose you have a JSON array. Converting it to a java.util.List is one line:

Same for a map:

any valid JSON format will be copnverted to a corresponding Java class. You need to know the structure of the expected JSON to pick the right method.

Here you get an array of Maps:

JSON Deep Paths

These classes are located in the same package org.javalite.json, and have the following purpose:

  • JSONMap represents a JSON object
  • JSONList represents a JSON array
  • JSONBase represents a JSON object and allows to declare validations

Additionally, these classes are integrated well with one another.

For instance, given this document:

we can parse and access data such as:

Once we have the instance, we can reach to a deep object inside the JSON document:

As you can see, we are expecting the type at the path "university.students" to be a java.util.List (formerly JSON array).

Both JSONMap and JSONBase have this capability we call Deep Path or Attribute Path. It allows a developer to reach directly to a deep object without having to peel off one layer at the time.

JSONBase and validations

JSONBase class exists to:

  1. Wrap an instance of JSONMap and:
  2. Provide the same capability of validations that the JavaLite Validations framework provides

Suppose we have this JSON code:

We could define a class Students:

so, in this contrived example, we expect that the integer buried deep inside the JSON hierarchy has to be between 10 and 50.

The class JSONBase supports all capabilities of the Validations framework framework, please refer to that page for further information.

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