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Jackson Mixin to the Rescue

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Jackson Mixin to the Rescue

See how you can use Jackson Mixin to serialize and deserialize third-party classes, keep your code base clean, and work in a more modular way.

· Java Zone
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Many-a-times it's not possible to annotate classes with Jackson Annotations simply for serialization/deserialization needs. There could be many reasons, for example:

  • Classes that need to be serialized/deserialized are third-party classes.
  • You don’t want Jackson invading your code base everywhere.
  • You want cleaner and more modular design.

Jackson Mixin would help solve above the problems easily. Let's consider an example:

Let’s say you want to serialize/deserialize following class (Note that it does not have getter/setter)

public class Address {

    private String city;
    private String state;

        public Address(String city, String state) {
        this.city = city;
        this.state = state;;
    }

    @Override
    public String toString() {
        return "Address [city=" + city + ", state=" + state +  "]";
    }
}

If you try to serialize, you would get the following error:

Exception in thread "main" com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.JsonMappingException: No serializer found for class com.some.package.Address and no properties discovered to create BeanSerializer (to avoid exception, disable SerializationFeature.FAIL_ON_EMPTY_BEANS) )

To solve the above issue, you have to do the following:

  1. Add a default constructor.
  2. Add getter/setter for each property.

However, that is not possible for many cases. Here, we can use Jackson Mixin to get around this problem. To do that, we have to create corresponding mixing class, as can be seen here, constructor should match as that of your source object and you have to use Jackson annotations (@JsonCreator, @JsonProperty etc.)

import com.fasterxml.jackson.annotation.JsonCreator;
import com.fasterxml.jackson.annotation.JsonProperty;

public abstract class AddressMixin {

    @JsonCreator
    public AddressMixin(
            @JsonProperty("city") String city,
            @JsonProperty("state") String state) {
        System.out.println("Wont be called");

    }
}

Still, you will get the following exception

Exception in thread "main" com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.JsonMappingException: No serializer found for class com.some.package.Address and no properties discovered to create BeanSerializer (to avoid exception, disable SerializationFeature.FAIL_ON_EMPTY_BEANS) )

It turns out that we have to tell Jackson to use reflection and access the fields.

mapper.setVisibility(mapper.getSerializationConfig()
        .getDefaultVisibilityChecker()
                .withFieldVisibility(JsonAutoDetect.Visibility.ANY)
                .withGetterVisibility(JsonAutoDetect.Visibility.NONE)
                .withSetterVisibility(JsonAutoDetect.Visibility.NONE)
                .withCreatorVisibility(JsonAutoDetect.Visibility.NONE));

Here is the test code:

import com.fasterxml.jackson.annotation.JsonAutoDetect;
import com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.ObjectMapper;

public class JacksonMixInTest {

    public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {

        Address address = new Address("Hyderabad",  "Telangana");

        ObjectMapper mapper = buildMapper();

        final String json = mapper.writeValueAsString(address);
        System.out.println(json);

        mapper.addMixIn(Address.class, AddressMixin.class);

        final Address deserializedUser = mapper.readValue(json, Address.class);
        System.out.println(deserializedUser);
    }

private static ObjectMapper buildMapper() {
    ObjectMapper mapper = new ObjectMapper();
    mapper.setVisibility(mapper.getSerializationConfig()
    .getDefaultVisibilityChecker()
    .withFieldVisibility(JsonAutoDetect.Visibility.ANY)
    .withGetterVisibility(JsonAutoDetect.Visibility.NONE)
    .withSetterVisibility(JsonAutoDetect.Visibility.NONE)
    .withCreatorVisibility(JsonAutoDetect.Visibility.NONE));
    return mapper;
    }
}

Here is the output:

{"city":"Hyderabad","state":"Telangana"}
Address [city=Hyderabad, state=Telangana]

 References

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Topics:
jackson ,deserialization ,serialization ,java

Published at DZone with permission of Mohammad Nadeem, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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