Monday, November 19, 2012

JSON-Schema generation in Jersey

So in my previous post I talked about a proposal to allow the use of JSON-Schema in a WADL, this post looks at how to get this working with a recently build of Jersey. You are going to have to download / reference 1.16SNAPSHOT until 1.16 is released.

If you are using Maven this should be quite straight forward to update your dependencies assuming you already have jersey and jersey-json. You are just going to need to add a dependency on the "jersey-wadl-json-schema" artefact from the "com.sun.jersey.contribs" group to get the new feature.

If you are outside of Maven the easiest thing to do would be to download the latest jersey-archive and then the jersey-wadl-json-schema jar. How you deploy these is tool specific, but if you are using WLS then here are some specific notes on how to upgrade the version of Jersey.

Once you have this working, you need to create a WadlGeneratorConfig class in order to enable this new grammar generation:

package jersey;

import com.sun.jersey.api.wadl.config.WadlGeneratorConfig;
import com.sun.jersey.api.wadl.config.WadlGeneratorDescription;
import com.sun.jersey.wadl.generators.json.WadlGeneratorJSONGrammarGenerator;

import java.util.List;

public class JsonGeneratorConfig extends WadlGeneratorConfig {
    public List configure() {
        return generator(WadlGeneratorJSONGrammarGenerator.class).descriptions();

This can then be registered in a variety of ways, here is an example using a servlet init param. Note also that to make this example simple that we are using the Jersey POJO mapping; but whilst writing this blog I noticed that this setting affected the format of the JSON version of the WADL in case you try this.

<?xml version = '1.0' encoding = 'ISO-8859-1'?>
<web-app xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""

So I put together a really simple echo service, just to check this is all working:

package jersey;


public class EchoResource {

    public EchoBean echo() {
        EchoBean bean = new EchoBean();
        return bean;

    public EchoBean echo(EchoBean echo) {
        return echo;


package jersey;

public class EchoBean {
    public EchoBean() {
    private String message;

    public void setMessage(String message) {
        this.message = message;

    public String getMessage() {
        return message;


This very simple example results in the following WADL with the JSON-Schema elements referenced:

<?xml version = '1.0' encoding = 'UTF-8'?>
<ns0:application xmlns:ns0="">
   <ns0:doc xmlns:ns1="" ns1:generatedBy="Jersey: 1.16-SNAPSHOT 11/19/2012 12:59 AM"/>
   <ns0:resources base="http://localhost:7103/Jersey/resources/">
      <ns0:resource path="/echo">
         <ns0:method id="echo" name="GET">
               <ns0:representation mediaType="application/json" xmlns:ns2="" ns2:describedby="application.wadl/echoBean"/>
         <ns0:method id="echo" name="POST">
               <ns0:representation mediaType="application/json" xmlns:ns3="" ns3:describedby="application.wadl/echoBean"/>
               <ns0:representation mediaType="application/json" xmlns:ns4="" ns4:describedby="application.wadl/echoBean"/>

The URI application.wadl/echoBean contains this simple JSON-Schema definition:

    "type" : "object",
    "properties" : {
        "message" : {
            "type" : "string"
    "name" : "echoBean"

Now there are a number of limitations in the current design, not least that the generated schema doesn't take into account any notation settings. But I thought this would be enough to provoke feedback on whether this feature would be useful generally. There appears to be a growing interest in JSON-Schema both around the net and internally to Oracle, so it would be interesting to see whether this description becomes more common.


Brian said...

We recently have had a need for this feature, so it would be a welcome addition for us.

Brian said...

We recently have has a need for this. Thanks for pursuing this.

Antonín Daněk said...

how did this ended up? I tried to make it work with new Jersey but no luck.

I tried to look up the old version you are mentioning here but I am getting this error:

java.lang.NoSuchFieldError: _fap

Has this feature been integrated into Jersey after all or not (I assume not)?

Thank you

Gerard Davison said...


You don't say what version of Jersey you are trying this with - that error looks like it was caused by using a mismatched version.