Java Jackson @JsonAnySetter

1. Overview

In the Java ecosystem, Jackson plays a pivotal role in converting Java objects to JSON and vice-versa. While Jackson provides annotations for a plethora of use cases, sometimes, JSON might contain properties that aren't predefined in our Java class. To handle these dynamic properties, Jackson provides the @JsonAnySetter annotation. This post will elucidate the usage of this annotation in the context of an Employee Management System.

@JsonAnySetter Annotation Overview

The @JsonAnySetter annotation allows you to set properties on an object that aren't known during compile time. In essence, it provides a mechanism to deserialize properties of JSON into a Map or any setter method in a Java object, even if the direct property binding doesn't exist.

2. Development Steps

1. Set up a new Maven project.

2. Add required Jackson dependencies.

3. Design an Employee class leveraging the @JsonAnySetter annotation.

4. Create a main demonstration class.

5. Deserialize a JSON string 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

In the Employee Management System, consider the following classes:
import java.util.HashMap;
import java.util.Map;
public class Employee {
    private int id;
    private String name;
    private Map<String, Object> properties = new HashMap<>();
    public int getId() {
        return id;
    public void setId(int id) { = id;
    public String getName() {
        return name;
    public void setName(String name) { = name;
    public void set(String key, Object value) {
        properties.put(key, value);
    public Object get(String key) {
        return properties.get(key);
    // Other getters and setters

import com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.ObjectMapper;
public class MainDemo {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        String json = "{\"id\":1,\"name\":\"John Doe\",\"position\":\"Engineer\",\"department\":\"IT\"}";
        ObjectMapper mapper = new ObjectMapper();
        try {
            Employee employee = mapper.readValue(json, Employee.class);
            System.out.println("Employee Name: " + employee.getName());
            System.out.println("Employee Position: " + employee.get("position"));
        } catch (Exception e) {


Employee Name: John Doe
Employee Position: Engineer

Code Explanation:

In this example, the Employee class is equipped with known attributes like id and name, but the incoming JSON can have varying additional properties like position, department, etc. By using the @JsonAnySetter annotation, we can dynamically handle these properties without having predefined setters for each one. These properties get stored in the properties map and can be retrieved as showcased in the main class.

6. Conclusion

The @JsonAnySetter annotation in Jackson provides a powerful way to deal with dynamic JSON properties, making it feasible to handle JSON structures that might evolve over time or contain unexpected fields. Through our Employee Management System illustration, we have seen its practicality and simplicity in action.