xstream annotations

Before going into the details of the XStream library, let us see an application in action. In this example, we’ve created Student and Address classes. We will create a student object and then serialize it to an XML String. Then de-serialize the same XML string to obtain the student object back.

Create a java class file named XStreamTester in C:\>XStream_WORKSPACE.

File: XStreamTester.java

import java.io.ByteArrayInputStream;
import java.io.ByteArrayOutputStream;

import javax.xml.transform.OutputKeys;
import javax.xml.transform.Source;
import javax.xml.transform.Transformer;
import javax.xml.transform.sax.SAXSource;
import javax.xml.transform.sax.SAXTransformerFactory;
import javax.xml.transform.stream.StreamResult;
import org.xml.sax.InputSource;

import com.thoughtworks.xstream.XStream;
import com.thoughtworks.xstream.io.xml.StaxDriver;

public class XStreamTester {

   public static void main(String args[]) {
      XStreamTester tester = new XStreamTester();
      XStream xstream = new XStream(new StaxDriver());
      Student student = tester.getStudentDetails();
      //Object to XML Conversion
      String xml = xstream.toXML(student);
      //XML to Object Conversion
      Student student1 = (Student)xstream.fromXML(xml);
   private Student getStudentDetails() {
      Student student = new Student();

      Address address = new Address();
      address.setArea("H.No. 16/3, Preet Vihar.");

      return student;
   public static String formatXml(String xml) {
      try {
         Transformer serializer = SAXTransformerFactory.newInstance().newTransformer();
         serializer.setOutputProperty(OutputKeys.INDENT, "yes");
         serializer.setOutputProperty("{http://xml.apache.org/xslt}indent-amount", "2");
         Source xmlSource = new SAXSource(new InputSource(
            new ByteArrayInputStream(xml.getBytes())));
         StreamResult res =  new StreamResult(new ByteArrayOutputStream());            
         serializer.transform(xmlSource, res);
         return new String(((ByteArrayOutputStream)res.getOutputStream()).toByteArray());
      } catch(Exception e) {
         return xml;

class Student {
   private int rollNo;
   private String firstName;
   private String lastName;
   private String className;
   private Address address;

   public String getFirstName() {
      return firstName;
   public void setFirstName(String firstName) {
      this.firstName = firstName;
   public String getLastName() {
      return lastName;
   public void setLastName(String lastName) {
      this.lastName = lastName;
   public int getRollNo() {
      return rollNo;
   public void setRollNo(int rollNo) {
      this.rollNo = rollNo;
   public String getClassName() {
      return className;
   public void setClassName(String className) {
      this.className = className;
   public Address getAddress() {
      return address;
   public void setAddress(Address address) {
      this.address = address;
   public String toString() {
      StringBuilder stringBuilder = new StringBuilder();
      stringBuilder.append("Student [ ");
      stringBuilder.append("\nfirstName: ");
      stringBuilder.append("\nlastName: ");
      stringBuilder.append("\nrollNo: ");
      stringBuilder.append("\nclassName: ");
      stringBuilder.append("\naddress: ");
      stringBuilder.append(" ]");
      return stringBuilder.toString();

class Address {
   private String area;
   private String city;
   private String state;
   private String country;
   private int pincode;

   public String getArea() {
      return area;

   public void setArea(String area) {
      this.area = area;

   public String getCity() {
      return city;

   public void setCity(String city) {
      this.city = city;

   public String getState() {
      return state;

   public void setState(String state) {
      this.state = state;

   public String getCountry() {
      return country;

   public void setCountry(String country) {
      this.country = country;

   public int getPincode() {
      return pincode;

   public void setPincode(int pincode) {
      this.pincode = pincode;

   public String toString() {

      StringBuilder stringBuilder = new StringBuilder();

      stringBuilder.append("\nAddress [ ");
      stringBuilder.append("\narea: ");
      stringBuilder.append("\ncity: ");
      stringBuilder.append("\nstate: ");
      stringBuilder.append("\ncountry: ");
      stringBuilder.append("\npincode: ");	
      stringBuilder.append(" ]");

      return stringBuilder.toString();

Verify the Result

Compile the classes using javac compiler as follows −

C:\XStream_WORKSPACE>javac XStreamTester.java

Now run the XStreamTester to see the result −

C:\XStream_WORKSPACE>java XStreamTester

Verify the output as follows

<?xml version = "1.0" encoding = "UTF-8"?>
      <area>H.No. 16/3, Preet Vihar.</area>

Student [ 
   firstName: Mahesh
   lastName: Parashar
   rollNo: 1
   className: 1st
   Address [ 
      area: H.No. 16/3, Preet Vihar.
      city: Delhi
      state: Delhi
      country: India
      pincode: 110012

Steps to Remember

Following are the important steps to be considered here.

Step 1: Create an XStream Object

Create an XStream object by passing it a StaxDriver. StaxDriver uses Stax pull parser (available from java 6) and is a fast xml parser.

XStream xstream = new XStream(new StaxDriver());

Step 2: Serialize the Object to XML

Use toXML() method to get the XML string representation of the object.

//Object to XML Conversion
String xml = xstream.toXML(student);

Step 3: De-serialize XML to Get the Object

Use fromXML() method to get the object from the XML.

//XML to Object Conversion		
Student student1 = (Student)xstream.fromXML(xml);

Table of Contents
1.xstream tutorial

2.xstream overview

3.xstream environment setup

4.xstream first application

5.xstream aliasing

6.xstream annotations

7.xstream converters

8.xstream object streams

9.xstream writing json using xstream

10.xstream quick guide

11.xstream useful resources

12.discuss xstream

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