Java Jackson @JsonAlias

1. Overview

The Jackson library in Java provides a myriad of annotations to control the serialization and deserialization of Java objects to and from JSON format. One such annotation, which comes in handy when handling multiple possible names for a property during deserialization, is @JsonAlias. In this post, we will explore its use within the context of an Employee Management System.

@JsonAlias Annotation Overview

Introduced in Jackson 2.9, the @JsonAlias annotation provides an alternative means to define one or more alternative names for a property during the deserialization process. This is especially useful when the incoming JSON might have different field names for the same property.

2. Development Steps

1. Set up a new Maven project.

2. Incorporate the essential Jackson dependencies.

3. Craft an Employee class utilizing the @JsonAlias annotation.

4. Develop a main class for demonstration and testing purposes.

5. Deserialize sample JSON data into the Employee object.

3. Create a Maven Project

There are different ways to create a simple Maven project:

Create a Simple Maven Project using the Command Line Interface

Create a Simple Maven Project using  Eclipse IDE

Create a Simple Maven Project using  IntelliJ IDEA

4. Maven Dependencies

Open the pom.xml file, and add the following Jackson data binding dependency:


5. Code Program

Below are the classes for our Employee Management System:
public class Employee {
    private int id;
    @JsonAlias({ "fullName", "full_name" })
    private String name;
    // Standard getters and setters...

import com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.ObjectMapper;
public class MainDemo {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // JSON with 'fullName'
        String json1 = "{\"id\": 1, \"fullName\": \"John Doe\"}";
        // JSON with 'full_name'
        String json2 = "{\"id\": 2, \"full_name\": \"Jane Smith\"}";
        ObjectMapper mapper = new ObjectMapper();
        try {
            Employee employee1 = mapper.readValue(json1, Employee.class);
            System.out.println("Employee ID: " + employee1.getId() + ", Name: " + employee1.getName());
            Employee employee2 = mapper.readValue(json2, Employee.class);
            System.out.println("Employee ID: " + employee2.getId() + ", Name: " + employee2.getName());
        } catch (Exception e) {


Employee ID: 1, Name: John Doe
Employee ID: 2, Name: Jane Smith

Code Explanation:

In the Employee class, the name field is annotated with @JsonAlias, accepting both "fullName" and "full_name" as valid JSON field names. This means that while deserializing if either of these names is encountered, they will map to the name field in the Employee class. 

The MainDemo class further exemplifies this by successfully deserializing two different JSON strings with different name attributes.

6. Conclusion

The @JsonAlias annotation in Jackson offers an elegant solution for scenarios where incoming JSON might have varying field names for the same Java property. It ensures flexibility and robustness in deserialization processes, making the handling of diverse data sources more straightforward and efficient.