JSON Support

Akka HTTP’s marshalling and unmarshalling infrastructure makes it rather easy to seamlessly support specific wire representations of your data objects, like JSON, XML or even binary encodings.

For JSON Akka HTTP currently provides support for spray-json right out of the box through its akka-http-spray-json module.

Other JSON libraries are supported by the community. See the list of current community extensions for Akka HTTP.

spray-json Support

The SprayJsonSupport trait provides a FromEntityUnmarshaller[T] and ToEntityMarshaller[T] for every type T that an implicit spray.json.RootJsonReader and/or spray.json.RootJsonWriter (respectively) is available for.

To enable automatic support for (un)marshalling from and to JSON with spray-json, add a library dependency onto:

"com.typesafe.akka" %% "akka-http-spray-json" % "10.0.3"

Next, provide a RootJsonFormat[T] for your type and bring it into scope. Check out the spray-json documentation for more info on how to do this.

Finally, import the FromEntityUnmarshaller[T] and ToEntityMarshaller[T] implicits directly from SprayJsonSupport as shown in the example below or mix the akka.http.scaladsl.marshallers.sprayjson.SprayJsonSupport trait into your JSON support module.

Once you have done this (un)marshalling between JSON and your type T should work nicely and transparently.

import akka.http.scaladsl.server.Directives
import akka.http.scaladsl.marshallers.sprayjson.SprayJsonSupport
import spray.json._

// domain model
final case class Item(name: String, id: Long)
final case class Order(items: List[Item])

// collect your json format instances into a support trait:
trait JsonSupport extends SprayJsonSupport with DefaultJsonProtocol {
  implicit val itemFormat = jsonFormat2(Item)
  implicit val orderFormat = jsonFormat1(Order) // contains List[Item]
}

// use it wherever json (un)marshalling is needed
class MyJsonService extends Directives with JsonSupport {

  // format: OFF
  val route =
    get {
      pathSingleSlash {
        complete(Item("thing", 42)) // will render as JSON
      }
    } ~
    post {
      entity(as[Order]) { order => // will unmarshal JSON to Order
        val itemsCount = order.items.size
        val itemNames = order.items.map(_.name).mkString(", ")
        complete(s"Ordered $itemsCount items: $itemNames")
      }
    }
  // format: ON
}

Pretty printing

By default, spray-json marshals your types to compact printed JSON by implicit conversion using CompactPrinter, as defined in:

implicit def sprayJsonMarshallerConverter[T](writer: RootJsonWriter[T])(implicit printer: JsonPrinter = CompactPrinter): ToEntityMarshaller[T] =
  sprayJsonMarshaller[T](writer, printer)

Alternatively to marshal your types to pretty printed JSON, bring a PrettyPrinter in scope to perform implicit conversion.

import akka.http.scaladsl.marshallers.sprayjson.SprayJsonSupport._
import spray.json._

// domain model
final case class PrettyPrintedItem(name: String, id: Long)

object PrettyJsonFormatSupport {
  import DefaultJsonProtocol._
  implicit val printer = PrettyPrinter
  implicit val prettyPrintedItemFormat = jsonFormat2(PrettyPrintedItem)
}

// use it wherever json (un)marshalling is needed
class MyJsonService extends Directives {
  import PrettyJsonFormatSupport._

  // format: OFF
  val route =
    get {
      pathSingleSlash {
        complete {
          PrettyPrintedItem("akka", 42) // will render as JSON
        }
      }
    }
  // format: ON
}

val service = new MyJsonService

// verify the pretty printed JSON
Get("/") ~> service.route ~> check {
  responseAs[String] shouldEqual
    """{""" + "\n" +
    """  "name": "akka",""" + "\n" +
    """  "id": 42""" + "\n" +
    """}"""
}

To learn more about how spray-json works please refer to its documentation.

The source code for this page can be found here.