xstream object streams

XStream supports annotations similarly like automatic configuration instead of coding. In the previous chapter, we’ve seen the following configurations in code.

xstream.alias("student", Student.class);
xstream.alias("note", Note.class);

xstream.useAttributeFor(Student.class, "studentName");
xstream.aliasField("name", Student.class, "studentName");
xstream.addImplicitCollection(Student.class, "notes");

The following code snippet illustrates the use of annotations to do the same work in a much easier way.

@XStreamAlias("student")   //define class level alias
class Student {

   @XStreamAlias("name")   //define field level alias
   @XStreamAsAttribute     //define field as attribute
   private String studentName;
   @XStreamImplicit        //define list as an implicit collection
   private List<Note> notes = new ArrayList<Note>();
   @XStreamOmitField       //omit a field to not to be a part of XML
   private int type;

Let us test the above annotation using XStream.

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

File: XStreamTester.java

package com.tutorialspoint.xstream;

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

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

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.annotations.XStreamAlias;
import com.thoughtworks.xstream.annotations.XStreamAsAttribute;
import com.thoughtworks.xstream.annotations.XStreamImplicit;
import com.thoughtworks.xstream.annotations.XStreamOmitField;
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);
   private Student getStudentDetails() {
      Student student = new Student("Mahesh");
      student.addNote(new Note("first","My first assignment."));
      student.addNote(new Note("second","My Second assignment."));
      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 String studentName;

   private List<Note> notes = new ArrayList<Note>();

   public Student(String name) {
      this.studentName = name;

   public void addNote(Note note) {

   public String getName() {
      return studentName;

   public List<Note> getNotes() {
      return notes;
   private int type;

   public int getType() {
      return type;

   public void setType(int type) {
      this.type = type;

class Note {
   private String title;
   private String description;

   public Note(String title, String description) {
      this.title = title;
      this.description = description;

   public String getTitle() {
      return title;

   public String getDescription() {
      return description;

Verify the Result

Compile the classes using javac compiler as follows −

C:\XStream_WORKSPACE\com\tutorialspoint\xstream>javac XStreamTester.java

Now run the XStreamTester to see the result −

C:\XStream_WORKSPACE\com\tutorialspoint\xstream>java XStreamTester

Verify the output as follows −

<?xml version = "1.0" encoding = "UTF-8"?>
<student name = "Mahesh">
      <description>My first assignment.</description>

      <description>My Second assignment.</description>

In order to instruct the XStream framework to process annotation, you need to add the following command before serializing 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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