Groovy Goodness: Customizing JSON Output

Groovy 2.5.0 adds the possibility to customize JSON output via a JsonGenerator instance. The easiest way to turn an object into a JSON string value is via JsonOutput.toJson. This method uses a default JsonGenerator with sensible defaults for JSON output. But we can customize this generator and create JSON output using the custom generator. To create a custom generator we use a builder accessible via JsonGenerator.Options. Via a fluent API we can for example ignore fields with null values in the output, change the date format for dates and ignore fields by their name or type of the value. And we can add a custom converter for types via either an implementation of the conversion as Closure or implementation of the JsonGenerator.Converter interface. To get the JSON string we simple invoke the toJson method of our generator.

In the following example Groovy code we have a Map with data and we want to convert it to JSON. First we use the default generator and then we create our own to customize the JSON output:

The JsonBuilder and StreamingJsonBuilder classes now also support the use of a JsonGenerator instance. The generator is used when the JSON output needs to be created. The internal data structure of the builder is not altered by using a custom generator.

In the following example we use the custom generator of the previous example and apply it with a JsonBuilder and StreamingJsonBuilder instance:

Written with Groovy 2.5.0.

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About mrhaki

My name is Hubert A. Klein Ikkink also known as mrhaki. I work at the great IT company JDriven. Here I work on projects with Groovy & Grails, Gradle and Spring. At JDriven we focus on SpringSource technologies. All colleagues want to learn new technologies, support craftmanship and are very eager to learn. This is truly a great environment to work in. You can contact me via Google+ or @mrhaki.

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