How to convert object to XML using JAXB?

JAXB, Java Architecture for XML Binding, it uses JAXB annotations to convert POJO to or from XML file. In this example you will learn how to convert an object / POJO into an XML document using JAXB. The process of converting an object into XML also known as marshalling. JAXB is part of the JDK since 1.6 so you don’t need other library when using JAXB. In this snippet our POJO is a class called Track as you can see below.

The first thing that we need to do is to annotate the Track POJO with a couple of JAXB annotations. For this example we add the @XmlRootElement, @XmlElement and @XmlAttribute annotations.

package org.kodejava.example.jaxb;

import javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlAttribute;
import javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlElement;
import javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlRootElement;

@XmlRootElement
public class Track {
    private Integer id;
    private String title;

    public Track() {
    }

    public Integer getId() {
        return id;
    }

    @XmlAttribute
    public void setId(Integer id) {
        this.id = id;
    }

    @XmlElement
    public String getTitle() {
        return title;
    }

    public void setTitle(String title) {
        this.title = title;
    }

    @Override
    public String toString() {
        return "Track{" +
                "id=" + id +
                ", title='" + title + ''' +
                '}';
    }
}

After we have the Track class annotated we can use the code snippet below to convert the POJO into XML. The steps to do it start by creating an instance of JAXBContext. From this context object we create the Marshaller object. To convert it to XML we called the marshall() method. The method have many overloads, in this case we just want to print the XML to the System.out.

package org.kodejava.example.jaxb;

import javax.xml.bind.JAXBContext;
import javax.xml.bind.JAXBException;
import javax.xml.bind.Marshaller;

public class JAXBObjectToXml {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Track track = new Track();
        track.setId(1);
        track.setTitle("Hey Jude");

        try {
            JAXBContext context = JAXBContext.newInstance(Track.class);

            Marshaller marshaller = context.createMarshaller();
            marshaller.setProperty(Marshaller.JAXB_FORMATTED_OUTPUT, true);
            marshaller.marshal(track, System.out);
        } catch (JAXBException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
}

If you run this code you will get the following output:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<track id="1">
    <title>Hey Jude</title>
</track>

How to create an XML file of a POJO using JAXB?

The code snippet below show you how to convert POJO into XML file using JAXB. To do this we can pass the output file where we want the XML to be saved to the marshaller object.

package org.kodejava.example.jaxb;

import javax.xml.bind.JAXBContext;
import javax.xml.bind.JAXBException;
import javax.xml.bind.Marshaller;
import java.io.File;

public class JAXBObjectToXmlFile {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Track track = new Track();
        track.setId(2);
        track.setTitle("She Loves You");

        try {
            JAXBContext context = JAXBContext.newInstance(Track.class);

            Marshaller marshaller = context.createMarshaller();
            marshaller.setProperty(Marshaller.JAXB_FORMATTED_OUTPUT, true);

            File output = new File("Track.xml");
            marshaller.marshal(track, output);
        } catch (JAXBException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
}

This snippet will create a file called Track.xml with the following content:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<track id="2">
    <title>She Loves You</title>
</track>

How to convert an XML file into object using JAXB?

In this code snippet you can learn how to convert or unmarshall an XML file into it corresponding POJO. The steps on unmarshalling XML to object begin by creating an instance of JAXBContext. With the context object we can then create an instance of Unmarshaller class. Using the unmarshall() method and pass an XML file will give us the target POJO as the result.

Let’s see the code snippet below:

package org.kodejava.example.jaxb;

import javax.xml.bind.JAXBContext;
import javax.xml.bind.JAXBException;
import javax.xml.bind.Unmarshaller;
import java.io.File;

public class JAXBXmlToObject {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try {
            File file = new File("Track.xml");
            JAXBContext context = JAXBContext.newInstance(Track.class);

            Unmarshaller unmarshaller = context.createUnmarshaller();
            Track track = (Track) unmarshaller.unmarshal(file);

            System.out.println("Track = " + track);
        } catch (JAXBException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
}

Here is the context of Track.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<track id="2">
    <title>She Loves You</title>
</track>