Java Jackson @JsonAutoDetect Example

1. Introduction

Jackson provides a handy annotation called @JsonAutoDetect that allows for auto-detection of properties. This can be useful when you want to specify which kinds of methods or fields (public, protected, etc.) are to be detected and used for serialization/deserialization. It offers fine-grained control over the visibility of fields, getters, setters, and other members.

2. Example Steps

1. Create a Person class with private fields: name and age.

2. Don't provide any getters or setters for these fields.

3. Annotate the Person class with @JsonAutoDetect to modify the default visibility and ensure private fields are auto-detected.

4. Create an instance of the Person class.

5. Serialize the Person instance into a JSON string.

6. Print the JSON string to verify that the private fields are included in the serialization.

3. Java Jackson @JsonAutoDetect Example

import com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.ObjectMapper;
import com.fasterxml.jackson.annotation.JsonAutoDetect;

@JsonAutoDetect(fieldVisibility = JsonAutoDetect.Visibility.ANY)
public class Person {

    private String name;
    private int age;

    public Person(String name, int age) { = name;
        this.age = age;

    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        // Create an instance of Person
        Person person = new Person("John", 25);

        // Create ObjectMapper instance
        ObjectMapper mapper = new ObjectMapper();

        // Serialize the Person instance into a JSON string
        String jsonString = mapper.writeValueAsString(person);

        // Print the serialized JSON string



4. Step By Step Explanation

In the code above, we've defined a Person class with two private fields, name and age, and no getter or setter methods for them. Normally, Jackson wouldn't be able to serialize these fields due to their private visibility.

However, with the @JsonAutoDetect annotation and setting the fieldVisibility to JsonAutoDetect.Visibility.ANY, we're instructing Jackson to auto-detect any field, regardless of its visibility modifier. Thus, even the private fields get serialized, as seen in the output.