Java Jackson @JsonValue

1. Overview

Jackson is a Java library commonly employed for converting Java objects to their JSON representation and back. At times, there's a need to serialize a Java object in a custom manner. The @JsonValue annotation in Jackson facilitates this by allowing a single method's return value to be considered as the object's representation during serialization.

@JsonValue Annotation Overview

The @JsonValue annotation can be applied to a method in a Java class, indicating that the method's return value should be used as the serialized representation of the object. This is particularly useful when wanting to serialize an object to a more simplified form, like a single String or number.

2. Development Steps

1. Start by setting up a new Maven project.

2. Insert the required Jackson dependencies.

3. Construct the Student class using the @JsonValue annotation.

4. Create a separate class to handle serialization.

5. Implement a main class to display serialization in action.

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

Delving into the Student Management System example:
public class Student {
    private final String firstName;
    private final String lastName;
    public Student(String firstName, String lastName) {
        this.firstName = firstName;
        this.lastName = lastName;
    public String toFullName() {
        return firstName + " " + lastName;
    // Other getters, setters, and methods...

import com.fasterxml.jackson.core.JsonProcessingException;
import com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.ObjectMapper;
public class StudentSerializer {
    public static String serialize(Student student) throws JsonProcessingException {
        ObjectMapper mapper = new ObjectMapper();
        return mapper.writeValueAsString(student);

public class MainClass {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Student student = new Student("John", "Doe");
        try {
            String json = StudentSerializer.serialize(student);
            System.out.println("Serialized JSON: " + json);
        } catch (JsonProcessingException e) {


Serialized JSON: "John Doe"

Code Explanation:

The Student class has a method toFullName() that returns the full name of the student. By annotating this method with @JsonValue, we instruct Jackson to use the return value of this method as the serialized output for the object. 

Consequently, instead of the typical JSON object structure, the serialized form is a simple JSON string representing the student's full name. 

The StudentSerializer class contains a static method to handle this serialization using Jackson's ObjectMapper

Finally, the MainClass shows this serialization in action.

6. Conclusion

Jackson's @JsonValue annotation offers developers a powerful tool for customizing the serialized representation of an object. By choosing a specific method's return value as the serialization output, developers can achieve cleaner and more succinct JSON structures, tailored to specific needs.