Writing JAXB in Groovy

Suppose you want write a jaxb class in groovy. Why? Because you do not have to write these all getters, setters and other methods. You only have to write your fields down.

class Person {
    String firstName String lastName Integer age


Lets check if we could unmarshal xml to Person class:

def 'should unmarshall person xml to object'(){
        JAXBContext jc = JAXBContext.newInstance(Person)
        String xml = 'JohnSmith20' 
        jc.createUnmarshaller().unmarshal(new StringReader(xml)) == new Person(firstName: 'John', lastName: 'Smith', age: 20)


When we try this, then we obtain an eception:

com.sun.xml.internal.bind.v2.runtime.IllegalAnnotationsException: 1 counts of IllegalAnnotationExceptions
groovy.lang.MetaClass is an interface, and JAXB can't handle interfaces.
 this problem is related to the following location:
  at groovy.lang.MetaClass
  at public groovy.lang.MetaClass com.blogspot.przybyszd.jaxbingroovy.Person.getMetaClass()
  at com.blogspot.przybyszd.jaxbingroovy.Person

 at com.sun.xml.internal.bind.v2.runtime.IllegalAnnotationsException$Builder.check(IllegalAnnotationsException.java:91)
 at com.sun.xml.internal.bind.v2.runtime.JAXBContextImpl.getTypeInfoSet(JAXBContextImpl.java:445)
 at com.sun.xml.internal.bind.v2.runtime.JAXBContextImpl.(JAXBContextImpl.java:277)
 at com.sun.xml.internal.bind.v2.runtime.JAXBContextImpl.(JAXBContextImpl.java:124)
 at com.sun.xml.internal.bind.v2.runtime.JAXBContextImpl$JAXBContextBuilder.build(JAXBContextImpl.java:1123)
 at com.sun.xml.internal.bind.v2.ContextFactory.createContext(ContextFactory.java:147)
 at javax.xml.bind.ContextFinder.newInstance(ContextFinder.java:247)
 at javax.xml.bind.ContextFinder.newInstance(ContextFinder.java:234)
 at javax.xml.bind.ContextFinder.find(ContextFinder.java:462)
 at javax.xml.bind.JAXBContext.newInstance(JAXBContext.java:641)
 at javax.xml.bind.JAXBContext.newInstance(JAXBContext.java:584)
 at com.blogspot.przybyszd.jaxbingroovy.PersonJaxbTest.should unmarshall person xml to object(PersonJaxbTest.groovy:10)

It is because groovy defines getMetaClass method for us. Marshaller and Unmarshaller use by default

XmlAccessType.PUBLIC_MEMBER what means that public getters and setters should be used during marshalling/unmarshalling. To solve this just add XmlAccessorType annotatnio with XmlAccessType.FIELD on jaxb class:

@XmlRootElement @EqualsAndHashCode @XmlAccessorType(XmlAccessType.FIELD) class Person {
    String firstName String lastName Integer age


Of course if you want to apply this rule for each jaxb class in package, then you could put XmlAccessorType in pacakge-info.java file.

@XmlAccessorType(XmlAccessType.FIELD) package com.blogspot.przybyszd.jaxbingroovy;
import javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlAccessType;
import javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlAccessorType;


Great, it works. Now let’s check out marshaller:

def 'should marshall person'() {
        JAXBContext jc = JAXBContext.newInstance(Person)
        Person p = new Person(firstName: 'John', lastName: 'Smith', age: 20)
        StringWriter sw = new StringWriter()
        jc.createMarshaller().marshal(p, sw)
        String xml = sw.toString()
        GPathResult gPathResult = new XmlSlurper().parseText(xml)
        gPathResult.name() == 'person'
        gPathResult.firstName == 'John'
        gPathResult.lastName == 'Smith'
        gPathResult.age == '20'


And it also works. Source is available here.

2 thoughts on “Writing JAXB in Groovy”

  1. I followed the same steps as mentioned in the post but I am getting error 1 counts of IllegalAnnotationException caused by at com.sun.xml.internal.bind.v2.runtime.JAXBContextImpl.getTypeInfoSet(JAXBContextImpl.java:445) ~[na:1.8.0_45]. Could you please help to resolve the issue

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