Home » Java » Enterprise Java » JSON – Jackson to the rescue

About Michal Jastak

Michał is a Chief Technology Officer in Java Division of AIS.PL, company developing mostly Web Applications of different kind, usually e-Government related.

JSON – Jackson to the rescue

Sometimes you have to fetch some data from the server in JavaScript, JSON is pretty good choice for this task.

Let’s play with the Employer – Employee – Benefit example from the post JPA Demystified (episode 1) – @OneToMany and @ManyToOne mappings. We will use it inside the web application based on Spring Framework.

Our first controller will return the employees list as the response body, in our case MappingJacksonHttpMessageConverter will be used automagically for converting the value returned by handleGet method to the response send to client.

 

@Controller
@RequestMapping('/employee-list.json')
public class EmployeeListController {
    @Autowired
    private EmployerDAO employerDAO;

    @RequestMapping(method = RequestMethod.GET)
    @ResponseBody
    public List<Employee> handleGet(@RequestParam('employerId') Long employerId) {
        return employerDAO.getEmployees(employerId);
    }
}

When we try to fetch the data for the first time, we encounter beautiful exception: JsonMappingException: Infinite recursion (StackOverflowError) – caused by bi-directional references between the Employer – Employee – Benefit.

Looking for the possible solution, I’ve found a note Handle bi-directional references using declarative method(s), and after reading it, I’ve corrected the domain entities in following way:

@Entity
@Table(name = 'EMPLOYERS')
public class Employer implements Serializable {
...
    @JsonManagedReference('employer-employee')
    @OneToMany(mappedBy = 'employer', cascade = CascadeType.PERSIST)
    public List

                       getEmployees() {
        return employees;
    }
...
}

@Entity
@Table(name = 'EMPLOYEES')
public class Employee implements Serializable {
...
    @JsonManagedReference('employee-benefit')
    @OneToMany(mappedBy = 'employee', cascade = CascadeType.PERSIST)
    public List

                        getBenefits() {
        return benefits;
    }

    @JsonBackReference('employer-employee')
    @ManyToOne(optional = false)
    @JoinColumn(name = 'EMPLOYER_ID')
    public Employer getEmployer() {
        return employer;
    }
...
}

@Entity
@Table(name = 'BENEFITS')
public class Benefit implements Serializable {
...
    @JsonBackReference('employee-benefit')
    @ManyToOne(optional = false)
    @JoinColumn(name = 'EMPLOYEE_ID')
    public Employee getEmployee() {
        return employee;
    }
...
}

After performing the above changes, I could finally enjoy the JSON response returned by my code:

[{'id':1, 'benefits':[{'name':'Healthy Employees', 'id':1, 'type':'HEALTH_COVERAGE', 'startDate':1104534000000, 'endDate':null}, {'name':'Gold Autumn','id':2,'type':'RETIREMENT_PLAN','startDate':1104534000000,'endDate':null},{'name':'Always Secured','id':3,'type':'GROUP_TERM_LIFE','startDate':1104534000000,'endDate':null}],'firstName':'John'},{'id':2,'benefits':[],'firstName':'Mary'},{'id':3,'benefits':[],'firstName':'Eugene'}]

And as usual some links for the dessert:

Reference: JSON – Jackson to the rescue from our JCG partner Micha? Ja?tak at the Warlock’s Thoughts blog.

Do you want to know how to develop your skillset to become a Java Rockstar?

Subscribe to our newsletter to start Rocking right now!

To get you started we give you our best selling eBooks for FREE!

1. JPA Mini Book

2. JVM Troubleshooting Guide

3. JUnit Tutorial for Unit Testing

4. Java Annotations Tutorial

5. Java Interview Questions

6. Spring Interview Questions

7. Android UI Design

and many more ....

 

One comment

  1. FYI – EclipseLink JAXB (MOXy) also supports bidirectional relationships in its JSON-binding through our inverse reference mapping. As EclipseLink is also a JPA provider it is a use case we’re very familiar with:

    MOXy’s @XmlInverseReference is now Truly Bidirectional

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*


− 8 = zero

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Do you want to know how to develop your skillset and become a ...

Subscribe to our newsletter to start Rocking right now!

To get you started we give you our best selling eBooks for FREE!
Get ready to Rock!
To download the books, please verify your email address by following the instructions found on the email we just sent you.

THANK YOU!

Close