Serializing Java objects to JSON using Jackson

In modern software development, it is common to have applications that need to communicate with each other using different data formats. One popular data format for communication is JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) due to its simplicity and flexibility. Jackson is a popular Java library that allows us to easily serialize Java objects to JSON and vice versa. In this article, we will explore how to serialize Java objects to JSON using Jackson.

Setting up Jackson

To start using Jackson for serializing Java objects to JSON, we first need to add the Jackson library to our project. If you are using Maven, you can add the following dependency to your pom.xml file:


After adding the dependency, you are ready to start serializing Java objects to JSON.

Serializing Java objects to JSON

To serialize a Java object to JSON using Jackson, we can follow these simple steps:

  1. Create an instance of ObjectMapper, which is the main class provided by Jackson for converting between Java objects and JSON.
  2. Call the writeValueAsString() method on the ObjectMapper instance, passing the Java object to be serialized as a parameter.
  3. The writeValueAsString() method will return a JSON string representation of the Java object.

Let's take a look at an example. Suppose we have a Person class as follows:

public class Person {
    private String name;
    private int age;

    // constructors, getters, and setters omitted for brevity

Now, let's see how to serialize a Person object to JSON:

import com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.ObjectMapper;

public class Main {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        Person person = new Person("John Doe", 30);

        ObjectMapper objectMapper = new ObjectMapper();
        String json = objectMapper.writeValueAsString(person);


In the above example, we create a Person object with the name "John Doe" and age 30. Then, we create an instance of ObjectMapper and call the writeValueAsString() method, passing the person object as a parameter. Finally, the JSON string representation of the person object is printed to the console.

The output of the above code will be:

{"name":"John Doe","age":30}

As you can see, the name and age fields of the Person object are serialized to JSON.

Customizing serialization

Jackson provides various annotations and configuration options to customize the serialization process. For example, you can use the @JsonProperty annotation to specify a different name for a property in the generated JSON. You can also use the @JsonFormat annotation to specify a custom date or time format for a property.

Additionally, you can configure the ObjectMapper instance with different serialization features, such as including null properties in the JSON output or ordering properties alphabetically.


In this article, we have explored how to serialize Java objects to JSON using Jackson. We have seen how to set up Jackson in a Java project and how to use the ObjectMapper class to convert Java objects to their JSON representations. We have also briefly mentioned customizing the serialization process using annotations and configuration options. With Jackson, serializing Java objects to JSON becomes a straightforward task, enabling seamless communication between different parts of a software system.

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