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JSON manipulation in Java 9 JShell

In this article I will demonstrate how we can work with JSON based data — for analysis, exploration, cleansing and processing — in JShell, much like we do in for example Python. JShell is the new command line tool introduced with Java 9. It offers an interactive REPL (read-evaluate-print loop) experience where we can execute Java commands one by one, creating variables in our session along the way, and processing data, trying out programming constructs in a quick, enjoyable way.

I work with a JSON document with entries for all sessions at the Oracle OpenWorld 2017 conference (

The Java 9 SE specification for the JDK does not contain the JSON-P API and libraries for processing JSON. In order to work with JSON-P in JShell, we need to add the libraries — that we first need to find and download.

I have used a somewhat roundabout way to get hold of the required jar-files (but it works in a pretty straightforward manner):

1. Create a pom.xml file with dependencies on JSON-P

2. Then run

mvn install dependency:copy-dependencies

as described in this article:

this will download the relevant JAR files to subdirectory target/dependencies

3. Copy JAR files to a directory — that can be accessed from within the Docker container that runs JShell — for me that is the local lib directory that is mapped by Vagrant and Docker to /var/www/lib inside the Docker container that runs JShell.

4. In the container that runs JShell:

Start JShell with this statement that makes the new httpclient module available, for when the JSON document is retrieved from an HTTP URL resource:

jshell –add-modules jdk.incubator.httpclient

5. Update classpath from within jshell

To process JSON in JShell — using JSON-P — we need set the classpath to include the two jar files that were downloaded using Maven.

/env –class-path /var/www/lib/javax.json-1.1.jar:/var/www/lib/javax.json-api-1.1.jar

Then the classes in JSON-P are imported

import javax.json.*;

if we need to retrieve JSON data from a URL resource, we should also

import jdk.incubator.http.*;

6. I have made the JSON document available on the file system.

It can be accessed as follows:

InputStream input = new FileInputStream(“/var/www/oow2017-sessions-catalog.json”);

7. Parse data from file into JSON Document, get the root object and retrieve the array of sessions:

JsonReader jsonReader = Json.createReader(input)

JsonObject rootJSON = jsonReader.readObject();

JsonArray sessions = rootJSON.getJsonArray(“sessions”);

8. Filter sessions with the term SQL in the title and print their title to the System output — using Streams: p -> (JsonObject)p).filter(s -> s.getString(“title”).contains(“SQL”)) .forEach( s -> {System.out.println(s.getString(“title”));})

One other example: show a list of all presentations for which a slidedeck has been made available for download along with the download URL:

.map( p -> (JsonObject)p)

.filter(s -> s.containsKey(“files”) && !s.isNull(“files”) && !(s.getJsonArray(“files”).isEmpty()))

.forEach( s -> {System.out.println(s.getString(“title”)+” url:”+s.getJsonArray(“files”).getJsonObject(0).getString(“url”));})

Bonus: Do HTTP Request

As an aside some steps in jshell to execute an HTTP request:

jshell> HttpClient client = HttpClient.newHttpClient();
client ==> jdk.incubator.http.HttpClientImpl@4d339552

jshell> HttpRequest request = HttpRequest.newBuilder(URI.create(“”)).GET().build();
request ==> GET

jshell> HttpResponse response = client.send(request, HttpResponse.BodyHandler.asString())
response ==> jdk.incubator.http.HttpResponseImpl@147ed70f

jshell> System.out.println(response.body()) <HTML><HEAD><meta http-equiv=”content-type” content=”text/html;charset=utf-8″> <TITLE>302 Moved</TITLE></HEAD><BODY> <H1>302 Moved</H1> The document has moved

<A HREF=”;dcr=0&amp;ei=S2XeWcbPFpah4gTH6Lb4Ag”>here</A>.


Originally published at on October 12, 2017.




Aggregation of articles from Oracle engineers, Groundbreaker Ambassadors, Oracle ACEs, and Java Champions on all things Oracle technology. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily of Oracle.

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Lucas Jellema

Lucas Jellema

Lucas Jellema is solution architect and CTO at AMIS, The Netherlands. He is Oracle ACE Director, Groundbreaker Ambassador, JavaOne Rockstar and programmer

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