In this tutorial we show how to convert a Java object to JSON using two libraries, Jackson and Gson.

We will use a Person class which is just a standard POJO. Once we create a person object, we can then convert it to JSON using different libraries.

Person.java

import java.util.List;
import java.util.Map;

public class Person {

    String name;
    Integer age;
    List<String> hobbies;
    Map<String, String> languages;

    public String getName() {
        return name;
    }

    public void setName(String name) {
        this.name = name;
    }

    public Integer getAge() {
        return age;
    }

    public void setAge(Integer age) {
        this.age = age;
    }

    public List<String> getHobbies() {
        return hobbies;
    }

    public void setHobbies(List<String> hobbies) {
        this.hobbies = hobbies;
    }

    public Map<String, String> getLanguages() {
        return languages;
    }

    public void setLanguages(Map<String, String> languages) {
        this.languages = languages;
    }
}

Convert Java to JSON Using Jackson

We can use the ObjectMapper class of the Jackson library to convert a Java object to JSON.

The ObjectMapper class has different methods to write JSON to file or to write the JSON as String.

In the following example, we write to a file and also use the pretty print function to display a formatted JSON.

But first, get Jackson library from Maven and put as dependency in the pom.xml file:

<dependency>
    <groupId>com.fasterxml.jackson.core</groupId>
    <artifactId>jackson-core</artifactId>
    <version>2.10.2</version>
</dependency>
<dependency>
    <groupId>com.fasterxml.jackson.core</groupId>
    <artifactId>jackson-databind</artifactId>
    <version>2.10.2</version>
</dependency>

ConvertJavaObjectToJson.java

import com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.ObjectMapper;

import java.io.File;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.HashMap;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.Map;

public class ConvertJavaObjectToJson {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        ObjectMapper mapper = new ObjectMapper();
        Person person = newPerson();

        try {
            mapper.writeValue(new File("person.json"), person);
            String jsonString = mapper.writerWithDefaultPrettyPrinter().writeValueAsString(person);
            System.out.println(jsonString);
        } catch (Exception e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }

    private static Person newPerson() {
        Person person = new Person();

        List<String> hobbies = new ArrayList<>();
        hobbies.add("Football");
        hobbies.add("Cooking");
        hobbies.add("Swimming");

        Map<String, String> languages = new HashMap<>();
        languages.put("French", "Beginner");
        languages.put("German", "Intermediate");
        languages.put("Spanish", "Advanced");

        person.setName("David");
        person.setAge(30);
        person.setHobbies(hobbies);
        person.setLanguages(languages);

        return person;
    }
}

Output:

{
  "name" : "David",
  "age" : 30,
  "hobbies" : [ "Football", "Cooking", "Swimming" ],
  "languages" : {
    "French" : "Beginner",
    "German" : "Intermediate",
    "Spanish" : "Advanced"
  }
}

Also a file person.json is created in the project workspace.

Convert Java to JSON Using Gson

Get the dependency

<dependency>
    <groupId>com.google.code.gson</groupId>
    <artifactId>gson</artifactId>
    <version>2.8.6</version>
</dependency>

Then

import com.google.gson.Gson;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.HashMap;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.Map;

public class ConvertJavaObjectToJson {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Gson gson = new Gson();
        Person person = newPerson();
        String jsonString = gson.toJson(person);
        System.out.println(jsonString);
    }

    private static Person newPerson() {
        Person person = new Person();

        List<String> hobbies = new ArrayList<>();
        hobbies.add("Football");
        hobbies.add("Cooking");
        hobbies.add("Swimming");

        Map<String, String> languages = new HashMap<>();
        languages.put("French", "Beginner");
        languages.put("German", "Intermediate");
        languages.put("Spanish", "Advanced");

        person.setName("David");
        person.setAge(30);
        person.setHobbies(hobbies);
        person.setLanguages(languages);

        return person;
    }
}

Output


See also