Apache Johnzon

Apache Johnzon is a project providing an implementation of JsonProcessing (aka JSR-353) and a set of useful extension for this specification like an Object mapper, some JAX-RS providers and a WebSocket module provides a basic integration with Java WebSocket API (JSR-356).


Apache Johnzon is a Top Level Project at the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). It fully implements the JSON-P_1.1 (JSR-353) and JSON-B_1.0 (JSR-367) specifications.

Get started

Johnzon comes with four main modules.

Core (stable)


This is the implementation of the JSON-P 1.1 specification. You’ll surely want to add the API as dependency too:

  <scope>provided</scope> <!-- or compile if your environment doesn't provide it -->

JSON-P Strict Compliance (stable)


This module enables to enforce a strict compliance of JsonPointer behavior on /- usage. Johnzon default implementation enables an extended usage of it for replace/remove and get operations. In that case, it will point to the last element of the array so it’s easy to replace/remove or get the last element of the array. For add operation, it remains the same, aka points to the element right after the last element of the array.

This module enforces Johnzon to be JSONP compliant and fail if /- is used for anything but add.

Note that you can even customize this behavior implementing your own JsonPointerFactory and changing the ordinal value to take a highest priority.

Mapper (stable)


The mapper module allows you to use the implementation you want of Json Processing specification to map Json to Object and the opposite.

final MySuperObject object = createObject();

final Mapper mapper = new MapperBuilder().build();
mapper.writeObject(object, outputStream);

final MySuperObject otherObject = mapper.readObject(inputStream, MySuperObject.class);

The mapper uses a direct java to json representation.

For instance this java bean:

public class MyModel {
  private int id;
  private String name;
  // getters/setters

will be mapped to:

  "id": 1234,
  "name": "Johnzon doc"

Note that Johnzon supports several customization either directly on the MapperBuilder of through annotations.


@JohnzonIgnore is used to ignore a field. You can optionally say you ignore the field until some version if the mapper has a version:

public class MyModel {
  private String name;
  // getters/setters

Or to support name for version 3, 4, … but ignore it for 1 and 2:

public class MyModel {
  @JohnzonIgnore(minVersion = 3)
  private String name;
  // getters/setters


Converters are used for advanced mapping between java and json.

There are several converter types:

  1. Converter: map java to json and the opposite based on the string representation
  2. Adapter: a converter not limited to String
  3. ObjectConverter.Reader: to converter from json to java at low level
  4. ObjectConverter.Writer: to converter from java to json at low level
  5. ObjectConverter.Codec: a Reader and Writer

The most common is to customize date format but they all take. For that simple case we often use a Converter:

public class LocalDateConverter implements Converter<LocalDate> {
    public String toString(final LocalDate instance) {
        return instance.toString();

    public LocalDate fromString(final String text) {
        return LocalDate.parse(text);

If you need a more advanced use case and modify the structure of the json (wrapping the value for instance) you will likely need Reader/Writer or a Codec.

Then once your converter developed you can either register globally on the MapperBuilder or simply decorate the field you want to convert with @JohnzonConverter:

public class MyModel {
  private LocalDate date;
  // getters/setters


Sometimes the json name is not java friendly (_foo or foo-bar or even 200 for instance). For that cases @JohnzonProperty allows to customize the name used:

public class MyModel {
  private LocalDate date;
  // getters/setters


If you don’t fully know your model but want to handle all keys you can use @JohnzonAny to capture/serialize them all:

public class AnyMe {
    private String name; // Regular serialization for the known 'name' field

    /* This example uses a TreeMap to store and retrieve the other unknown
       fields for the @JohnzonAny annotated methods, but you can choose
       anything you want. Use @JohnzonIgnore to avoid exposing this as
       an actual 'unknownFields' property in JSON.
    private Map<String, Object> unknownFields = new TreeMap<String, Object>();

    public String getName() {
        return name;

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

    public Map<String, Object> getAny() {
        return unknownFields;

    public void handle(final String key, final Object val) {
        this.unknownFields.put(key, val);


On MapperBuilder you have several AccessMode available by default but you can also create your own one.

The default available names are:

  • field: to use fields model and ignore getters/setters
  • method: use getters/setters (means if you have a getter but no setter you will serialize the property but not read it)
  • strict-method (default based on Pojo convention): same as method but getters for collections are not used to write
  • both: field and method accessors are merged together

You can use these names with setAccessModeName().

JAX-RS (stable)


JAX-RS module provides two providers (and underlying MessageBodyReaders and MessageBodyWriters):

  • org.apache.johnzon.jaxrs.[Wildcard]JohnzonProvider: use Johnzon Mapper to map Object to Json and the opposite
  • org.apache.johnzon.jaxrs.[Wildcard]ConfigurableJohnzonProvider: same as JohnzonProvider but with setters to ease the configuration of the provider in most servers/containers
  • org.apache.johnzon.jaxrs.[Wildcard]JsrProvider: allows you to use JsrArray, JsrObject (more generally JsonStructure)

Note: Wildcard providers are basically the same as other provider but instead of application/json they support /json, /+json, /x-json, /javascript, /x-javascript. This split makes it easier to mix json and other MediaType in the same resource (like text/plain, xml etc since JAX-RS API always matches as true wildcard type in some version whatever the subtype is).

Tip: ConfigurableJohnzonProvider maps most of MapperBuilder configuration letting you configure it through any IoC including not programming language based formats.

IMPORTANT: when used with johnzon-core, NoContentException is not thrown in case of an empty incoming input stream by these providers except JsrProvider to limit the breaking changes.

TomEE Configuration

TomEE uses by default Johnzon as JAX-RS provider for versions 7.x. If you want however to customize it you need to follow this procedure:

  1. Create a WEB-INF/openejb-jar.xml:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <pojo-deployment class-name="jaxrs-application">
      # optional but requires to skip scanned providers if set to true
      cxf.jaxrs.skip-provider-scanning = true
      # list of providers we want
      cxf.jaxrs.providers = johnzon,org.apache.openejb.server.cxf.rs.EJBAccessExceptionMapper
  1. Create a WEB-INF/resources.xml to define johnzon service which will be use to instantiate the provider
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <Service id="johnzon" class-name="org.apache.johnzon.jaxrs.ConfigurableJohnzonProvider">
    # 1M
    maxSize = 1048576
    bufferSize = 1048576

    # ordered attributes
    attributeOrder = $order

    # Additional types to ignore
    ignores = org.apache.cxf.jaxrs.ext.multipart.MultipartBody

  <Service id="order" class-name="com.company.MyAttributeSorter" />


Note: as you can see you mainly just need to define a service with the id johnzon (same as in openejb-jar.xml) and you can reference other instances using $id for services and @id for resources.

JSON-B (JSON-B 1.0 compliant)

Johnzon provides a module johnzon-jsonb implementing JSON-B standard based on Johnzon Mapper.

It fully reuses the JSON-B as API.

However it supports some specific properties to wire to the native johnzon configuration - see JohnzonBuilder for details. One example is johnzon.interfaceImplementationMapping which will support a Map<Class,Class> to map interfaces to implementations to use for deserialization.

JsonbConfig specific properties:

  • johnzon.use-big-decimal-for-object: true to use BigDecimal for numbers not typed (Object), false to adjust the type to the number size, true by default.
  • johnzon.support-enum-container-deserialization: prevent EnumMap/EnumSet instantiation, true by default.
  • johnzon.attributeOrder: Comparator instance to sort properties by name.
  • johnzon.deduplicateObjects: should instances be deduplicated.
  • johnzon.supportsPrivateAccess: should private constructors/methods with @JsonbCreator be used too.
  • johnzon.fail-on-unknown-properties: should unmapped properties fail the mapping. Similar to jsonb.fail-on-unknown-properties.
  • johnzon.readAttributeBeforeWrite: should collection be read before being written, it enables to have an “append” mode.
  • johnzon.autoAdjustBuffer: should internal read buffers be autoadjusted to stay fixed.
  • johnzon.serialize-value-filter: enable to set a filter to not serialize some values.
  • johnzon.cdi.activated: should cdi support be active.
  • johnzon.accessMode: custom access mode, note that it can disable some JSON-B feature (annotations support).
  • johnzon.accessModeDelegate: delegate access mode used by JsonbAccessModel. Enables to enrich default access mode.
  • johnzon.failOnMissingCreatorValues: should the mapping fail when a @JsonbCreator misses some values.

TIP: more in JohnzonBuilder class.

A JAX-RS provider based on JSON-B is provided in the module as well. It is org.apache.johnzon.jaxrs.jsonb.jaxrs.JsonbJaxrsProvider.

IMPORTANT: in JAX-RS 1.0 the provider can throw any exception he wants for an empty incoming stream on reader side. This had been broken in JAX-RS 2.x where it must throw a javax.ws.rs.core.NoContentException. To ensure you can pick the implementation you can and limit the breaking changes, you can set ̀throwNoContentExceptionOnEmptyStreamson the provider to switch between both behaviors. Default will be picked from the current available API. Finally, this behavior only works withjohnzon-core`.

Integration with JsonValue

You can use some optimization to map a JsonObject to a POJO using Johnzon JsonValueReader - or any implementation of  Reader implementing Supplier<JsonStructure> - and JsonValueWriter - or any implementation of  Writer implementing Consumer<JsonValue> -:

final JsonValueReader<Simple> reader = new JsonValueReader<>(Json.createObjectBuilder().add("value", "simple").build());
final Jsonb jsonb = getJohnsonJsonb();
final Simple simple = jsonb.fromJson(reader, SomeModel.class);
final JsonValueWriter writer = new JsonValueWriter();
final Jsonb jsonb = getJohnsonJsonb();
jsonb.toJson(object, writer);
final JsonObject jsonObject = writer.getObject();

These two example will not use any IO and directly map the JsonValue to/from a POJO.

Also note that, as an experimental extension and pre-available feature of the next specification version, org.apache.johnzon.jsonb.api.experimental.JsonbExtension enables to map POJO to JsonValue and the opposite.



WebSocket module provides a basic integration with Java WebSocket API (JSR 356).

Integration is at codec level (encoder/decoder). There are two families of codecs:

  • The ones based on JSON-P (JsonObject, JsonArray, JsonStructure)
  • The ones based on Johnzon Mapper

Note that if you want to control the Mapper or JSON-B instance used by decoders you can set up the associated servlet listeners:

  • org.apache.johnzon.websocket.internal.mapper.MapperLocator for johnzon-mapper
  • org.apache.johnzon.websocket.jsonb.JsonbLocator for JSON-B

if you write in the servlet context an attribute named org.apache.johnzon.websocket.internal.mapper.MapperLocator.mapper (it is a Supplier<Mapper>) or org.apache.johnzon.websocket.jsonb.JsonbLocator.jsonb (depending the implementation you use) it will be used instead of the default instance.

JSON-P integration


  •  org.apache.johnzon.websocket.jsr.JsrObjectEncoder
  •  org.apache.johnzon.websocket.jsr.JsrArrayEncoder
  •  org.apache.johnzon.websocket.jsr.JsrStructureEncoder


  •  org.apache.johnzon.websocket.jsr.JsrObjectDecoder
  •  org.apache.johnzon.websocket.jsr.JsrArrayDecoder
  •  org.apache.johnzon.websocket.jsr.JsrStructureDecoder

Mapper integration


  •  org.apache.johnzon.websocket.mapper.JohnzonTextEncoder


  •  org.apache.johnzon.websocket.mapper.JohnzonTextDecoder

JSON-B integration


  •  org.apache.johnzon.websocket.jsonb.JsonbTextEncoder


  •  org.apache.johnzon.websocket.jsonb.JsonbTextDecoder


JSON-P Samples

On server and client side configuration is easy: just provide the encoders and decoders parameters to @[Server|Client]Endpoint (or EndpointConfig if you use programmatic API)):

@ClientEndpoint(encoders = JsrObjectEncoder.class, decoders = JsrObjectDecoder.class)
public class JsrClientEndpointImpl {
    public void on(final JsonObject message) {
        // ...

@ServerEndpoint(value = "/my-server", encoders = JsrObjectEncoder.class, decoders = JsrObjectDecoder.class)
public class JsrClientEndpointImpl {
    public void on(final JsonObject message) {
        // ...
WebSocket Samples

Server configuration is as simple as providing encoders and decoders parameters to @ServerEndpoint:

@ServerEndpoint(value = "/server", encoders = JohnzonTextEncoder.class, decoders = JohnzonTextDecoder.class)
public class ServerEndpointImpl {
    public void on(final Session session, final Message message) {
        // ...

Client configuration is almost the same excepted in this case it is not possible for Johnzon to guess the type you expect so you’ll need to provide it. In next sample it is done just extending JohnzonTextDecoder in MessageDecoder.

@ClientEndpoint(encoders = JohnzonTextEncoder.class, decoders = ClientEndpointImpl.MessageDecoder.class)
public class ClientEndpointImpl {
    public void on(final Message message) {
        // ...

    public static class MessageDecoder extends JohnzonTextDecoder {
        public MessageDecoder() {

JSON-B Extra


This module provides some extension to JSON-B.


This extension provides a way to handle polymorphism:

For the deserialization side you have to list the potential children on the root class:

public abstract class Root {
    public String name;

Then on children you bind an “id” for each of them (note that if you don’t give one, the simple name is used):

public class Child1 extends Root {
    public String type;

Finally on the field using the root type (polymorphic type) you can bind the corresponding serializer and/or deserializer:

public class Wrapper {
    public Root root;

    public List<Root> roots;

Binding the polymophic serializer and/or deserializer must not be done using JsonbConfig.withSerializers / JsonbConfig.withDeserializers, as it is designed to work only with binding performed using annotations.

JSON Schema


This module provides a way to validate an instance against a JSON Schema.

// long live instances (@ApplicationScoped/@Singleton)
JsonObject schema = getJsonSchema();
JsonSchemaValidatorFactory factory = new JsonSchemaValidatorFactory();
JsonSchemaValidator validator = factory.newInstance(schema);

// runtime starts here
JsonObject objectToValidateAgainstSchema = getObject();
ValidatinResult result = validator.apply(objectToValidateAgainstSchema);
// if result.isSuccess, result.getErrors etc...

// end of runtime

Known limitations are (feel free to do a PR on github to add these missing features):

  • Doesn’t support references in the schema
  • Doesn’t support: dependencies, propertyNames, if/then/else, allOf/anyOf/oneOf/not, format validations

JSON Logic

<dependency> <!-- requires an implementation of JSON-P -->

This module provides a way to execute any JSON Logic expression.

final JohnzonJsonLogic jsonLogic = new JohnzonJsonLogic();
final JsonValue result = jsonLogic.apply(
                .add("merge", builderFactory.createArrayBuilder()

Default operators are supported - except “log” one to let you pick the logger (impl + name) you want.

To register a custom operator just do it on your json logic instance:

final JohnzonJsonLogic jsonLogic = new JohnzonJsonLogic();
  (jsonLogic, config, args) -> log.info(String.valueOf(jsonLogic.apply(config, args)));

Note that by default the set of standard JSON Logic operators is enriched with JSON-P jsonpatch, json merge diff and json merge patch operators.

OSGi JAX-RS Whiteboard

Though Johnzon artifacts are OSGi bundles to begin with, this module provides further integration with the OSGi JAX-RS Whiteboard and OSGi CDI Integration specifications.


This module provides MessageBodyWriter and MessageBodyReader extensions for the media type application/json (by default) to whiteboard JAX-RS Applications.

Configuration of this extension is managed via Configuration Admin using the pid org.apache.johnzon.jaxrs.jsonb and defines a Metatype schema with the following properties:

Property Synopsis Type Default
ignores List of fully qualified class names to ignore String[] empty
osgi.jaxrs.application.select Filter expression used to match the extension to JAX-RS Whiteboard Applications String (!(johnzon.jsonb=false)) (which is a convention allowing the extension to bind to all applications unless the application is configured with johnzon.jsonb=false)
osgi.jaxrs.media.type List of media types handled by the extension String[] application/json
throw.no.content.exception.on.empty.streams boolean false
fail.on.unknown.properties boolean false
use.js.range boolean false
other.properties String empty
ijson boolean false
encoding String empty
binary.datastrategy String empty
property.naming.strategy String empty
property.order.strategy String empty
null.values boolean false
pretty boolean false
fail.on.missing.creator.values boolean false
polymorphic.serialization.predicate String empty
polymorphic.deserialization.predicate String empty
polymorphic.discriminator String empty

Since JSON-B specification provides an integration with the CDI specification to handle caching, this module also provides such integration for OSGi CDI Integration specification by providing an javax.enterprise.inject.spi.Extension service with the required service property osgi.cdi.extension with the value JavaJSONB.

Implicit Extensions

In order to reduce the burden of configuration Apache Aries CDI (the OSGi CDI Integration RI) provides a feature of implicit extensions. These are extensions which the developer doesn’t have to configure a requirement for in their CDI bundle. The Johnzon JSON-B CDI extension is such an extension and as such when running in Aries CDI does not need to be required.

This is achieve using the service property aries.cdi.extension.mode=implicit.