Convert XML to Object in Java using JAX-B

In the following tutorial we will show you how you can convert XML to Object in Java using JAX-B.

Annotations Explained

First we need to define our model that will be converted to XML representation. Here are a couple of annotations with their explanations what they do.

  • @XmlRootElement: This annotation defines the root element. It is required by JAX-B, without this, the object cannot be converted into xml.
  • @XmlAccessorType: This tells JAX-B witch access level is used.
    • NONE: Indicates that JAX-B will not convert any properties.
    • FIELD: Indicates that JAX-B will search for annotations on field level.
    • PROPERTY: Indicates that JAX-B will search for annotations on property level.
    • PUBLIC_MEMBER (default): Indicates that JAX-B will search for public members.
  • @XmlAttribute: This tels JAX-B to convert the property or field into an XML attribute.
  • @XmlElement: This tells JAX-B to convert the property or field into an XML element. This is not required. By default JAX-B uses every public non-transient member into an element if the class is annotated with @XmlRootElement.

The Model

package com.memorynotfound.xml.jaxb;

import javax.xml.bind.annotation.*;

@XmlRootElement(name = "Course")
public class Course {

    private long id;
    private String name;
    private String description;

     * Default no-args constructor needed by JAX-B
    public Course() {

    public Course(long id, String name, String description) { = id; = name;
        this.description = description;

    public long getId() {
        return id;

    public void setId(long id) { = id;

    public String getName() {
        return name;

    public void setName(String name) { = name;

    public String getDescription() {
        return description;

    public void setDescription(String description) {
        this.description = description;

    public String toString() {
        return "Course{" +
                "id=" + id +
                ", name='" + name + '\'' +
                ", description='" + description + '\'' +

Convert Object to XML

Here is how to convert xml to object in Java.

package com.memorynotfound.xml.jaxb;

import javax.xml.bind.JAXBContext;
import javax.xml.bind.JAXBException;
import javax.xml.bind.Unmarshaller;

public class ConvertXmlToObject {

    public static void main(String... args) throws JAXBException {
        String xml = "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\" standalone=\"yes\"?>\n" +
                "<Course id=\"1\">\n" +
                "    <name>JAX-B</name>\n" +
                "    <description>Learning Java Architecture for XML Binding(JAX-B)</description>\n" +

        // create jaxb context
        JAXBContext jaxbContext = JAXBContext.newInstance(Course.class);
        Unmarshaller unmarshaller = jaxbContext.createUnmarshaller();

        Course course = (Course)unmarshaller.unmarshal(new StringReader(xml));


Course{id=1, name='JAX-B', description='Learning Java Architecture for XML Binding(JAX-B)'}


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