Date serialization & deserialization – POJO to JSON (GSON & example)

By | February 2, 2016
  • Given the user defined object or POJO, having Date field, we would like to serialize the POJO to JSON.
  • During serialization, we would like save Date as timestamp.
  • We will use the Google gson library to achieve the POJO to JSON conversion and vice versa.
  • We will create Person class and we will perform the following operations with Person class
    1. Convert Person Object to JSON string
      • Serialize the date as timestamp
    2. Convert the JSON string to corresponding person object
      • DeSerialize the timestamp as Date

GSON maven dependency:


Program – Date to / from timestamp conversion (POJO <->JSON)

1.) Person Class:

  • The person class containing date data member.
  • We have overloaded toString method to print person information.

package org.learn.gson;
import java.util.Date;

public class Person {
	public String firstName;
	public String lastName;
	public Date date;
	public String contact;
	public Person(String firstName, String lastName,
				Date date, String contact) {
		this.firstName = firstName;
		this.lastName = lastName; = date; = contact;
	public String toString() {
	    return "[" + firstName + " " + lastName +
		       " \"" + date.toString() + "\" " +contact +"]";

2.) Date2Json Class:

Date2Json is responsible for performing following operations.

  • Convert person object to JSON (serialization).
    • We have written custom DateSerializer class, to serialize date as timestamp.
  • Convert JSON to person object (Deserialization).
    • We have written custom DateSerializer class, to deserialize timestamp as Date.

package org.learn.gson;
import java.lang.reflect.Type;
import java.util.Date;


class DateDeserializer implements JsonDeserializer {
	public Date deserialize(JsonElement json, Type typeOfT,
									JsonDeserializationContext context)
			throws JsonParseException {
		return json == null ? null : new Date(json.getAsLong());

class DateSerializer implements JsonSerializer {	
	public JsonElement serialize(Date date, Type typeOfSrc,
									JsonSerializationContext context) {
		return date == null ? null : new JsonPrimitive(date.getTime());

public class Date2Json {
	public static void main(String[] args) {
		GsonBuilder gson = new GsonBuilder();
		gson.registerTypeAdapter(Date.class, new DateDeserializer());
		gson.registerTypeAdapter(Date.class, new DateSerializer());
		Gson objGson = gson.setPrettyPrinting().create();
		Person objPerson = new Person("Mike","harvey",new Date(),"00186");
		// Convert Person object to json
		String json = objGson.toJson(objPerson);
		System.out.println("1. Convert Person object to Json");

		// Convert to json to person object
		Type listType = new TypeToken() {}.getType();
		System.out.println("2. Convert JSON to person object");
		Person objFromJson = objGson.fromJson(json, listType);

Download Sample Code – GSON Object to JSON

Output – Date serialization & deserialization (POJO <-> JSON)

1. Convert Person object to Json
"firstName": "Mike",
"lastName": "harvey",
"date": 1454426955623,
"contact": "00186"
2. Convert JSON to person object
[Mike harvey "Tue Feb 02 20:59:15 IST 2016" 00186]