Swift 2 examples – #10 Serialization to/from JSON using ObjectMapper

This post is part of my collection: Swift 2 – For Beginners.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight, human readable, open source, data-interchange format. In this example we will see how to serialize and deserialize objects to/from JSON using ObjectMapper in our iOS application.

For example, this would be the JSON representation of an object with two properties
name: string = “Juan Carlos”
age: Int = 29

ObjectMapper is an open source project to make JSON Object mapping written in Swift. It is available in github: ObjectMapper.

Reference ObjectMapper using CocoaPods

CocoaPods is a dependency manager for Swift and Objective-C Cocoa projects. We will use it to reference ObjectMapper in our project. (If would also be possible to add it as a submodule. Check the project in GitHub for more information)

To add ObjectMapper to our project we need to execute the following commands:
Install cocoapods

sudo gem install cocoapods

Create Podfile in our project root

touch Podfile

To reference ObjectMapper add this content to the PodFile

pod 'ObjectMapper', '~> 1.0'

Select XCode path

sudo xcode-select --switch /Applications/Xcode.app

Add ObjectMapper repository

pod repo add ObjectMapper https://github.com/Hearst-DD/ObjectMapper.git

Install the project locally

pod install

Close XCode and open the created file *.xcworkspace. It contains our project and a reference to a new project called Pods. All our referenced projects will be contained in this new project.

Now we are ready to import and use ObjectMapper:

import ObjectMapper

Define our objects and implement the protocol “Mappeable”

To serialize and deserialize objects we must implement the protocol Mappeable.

// Mappeable source code
public protocol Mappable {
	init?(_ map: Map)
	mutating func mapping(map: Map)

Let’s write our User class, it will have two properties, name and age. The class will also implement the protocol Mappeable.

// Define our class and implement the Mappable protocol
class User: Mappable {
    var name: String?
    var age: Int = 0
    init(name: String, age: Int) {
        self.name = name
        self.age = age
    // MARK: Mappable
    required init?(_ map: Map) {
        // subClasses must call the constructor of the base class
        // super.init(map)

    func mapping(map: Map) {
        name <- map["name"]
        age  <- map["age"]

Serialize and Deserialize objects

ObjectMapper is extremely easy to use:

        // Object to be serialized to JSON
        let myUser = User(name: "Juan Carlos", age: 29)

        // Convert Object to JSON
        let serializedUser = Mapper().toJSONString(myUser)
        // Convert JSON to Object
        if let deserializedUser = Mapper<User>().map(serializedUser){
        // Output:
        //  Optional("{\"age\":29,\"name\":\"Juan Carlos\"}")
        //  Optional("Juan Carlos")

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