JSON Schema validator for java, based on the org.json API
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JSON Schema Validator

Apache 2.0 License Build Status Coverage Status

This project is an implementation of the JSON Schema Core Draft v4 specification. It uses the org.json API (created by Douglas Crockford) for representing JSON data.

When to use this library?

Lets assume that you already know what JSON Schema is, and you want to utilize it in a Java application to validate JSON data. But - as you may have already discovered - there is also an other Java implementation of the JSON Schema specification. So here are some advices about which one to use:

  • if you use Jackson to handle JSON in Java code, then daveclayton/json-schema-validator is obviously a better choice, since it uses Jackson
  • if you want to use the org.json API then this library is the better choice
  • if you want to use anything else for handling JSON (like GSON or javax.json), then you are in a little trouble, since currently there is no schema validation library backed by these libraries. It means that you will have to parse the JSON twice: once for the schema validator, and once for your own processing. In a case like that, this library is probably still a better choice, since it seems to be twice faster than the Jackson-based daveclayton library.

Maven installation

Maven Central

Add the following to your pom.xml:



import org.everit.json.schema.Schema;
import org.everit.json.schema.loader.SchemaLoader;
import org.json.JSONObject;
import org.json.JSONTokener;
// ...
try (InputStream inputStream = getClass().getResourceAsStream("/path/to/your/schema.json")) {
  JSONObject rawSchema = new JSONObject(new JSONTokener(inputStream));
  Schema schema = SchemaLoader.load(rawSchema);
  schema.validate(new JSONObject("{\"hello\" : \"world\"}")); // throws a ValidationException if this object is invalid

Investigating failures

Starting from version 1.1.0 the validator collects every schema violations (instead of failing immediately on the first one). Each failure is denoted by a JSON pointer, pointing from the root of the document to the violating part. If more than one schema violations have been detected, then a ValidationException will be thrown at the most common parent elements of the violations, and each separate violations can be obtained using the ValidationException#getCausingExceptions() method.

To demonstrate the above concepts, lets see an example. Lets consider the following schema:

    "type" : "object",
    "properties" : {
        "rectangle" : {"$ref" : "#/definitions/Rectangle" }
    "definitions" : {
        "size" : {
            "type" : "number",
            "minimum" : 0
        "Rectangle" : {
            "type" : "object",
            "properties" : {
                "a" : {"$ref" : "#/definitions/size"},
                "b" : {"$ref" : "#/definitions/size"}

The following JSON document has only one violation against the schema (since "a" cannot be negative):

    "rectangle" : {
        "a" : -5,
        "b" : 5

In this case the thrown ValidationException will point to #/rectangle/a and it won't contain sub-exceptions:

try {
} catch (ValidationException e) {
  // prints #/rectangle/a: -5.0 is not higher or equal to 0

Now - to illustrate the way how multiple violations are handled - lets consider the following JSON document, where both the "a" and "b" properties violate the above schema:

    "rectangle" : {
        "a" : -5,
        "b" : "asd"

In this case the thrown ValidationException will point to #/rectangle, and it has 2 sub-exceptions, pointing to #/rectangle/a and #/rectangle/b :

try {
} catch (ValidationException e) {

This will print the following output:

#/rectangle: 2 schema violations found
#/rectangle/a: -5.0 is not higher or equal to 0
#/rectangle/b: expected type: Number, found: String

JSON report of the failures

Since version 1.4.0 it is possible to print the ValidationException instances as JSON-formatted failure reports. The ValidationException#toJSON() method returns a JSONObject instance with the following keys:

  • "message": the programmer-friendly exception message (desription of the validation failure)
  • "keyword": the JSON Schema keyword which was violated
  • "pointerToViolation": a JSON Pointer denoting the path from the input document root to its fragment which caused the validation failure
  • "causingExceptions": a (possibly empty) array of sub-exceptions. Each sub-exception is represented as a JSON object, with the same structure as described in this listing. See more above about causing exceptions.

Format validators

Starting from version 1.2.0 the library supports the "format" keyword (which is an optional part of the specification), so you can use the following formats in the schemas:

  • date-time
  • email
  • hostname
  • ipv4
  • ipv6
  • uri

The library also supports adding custom format validators. To use a custom validator basically you have to

  • create your own validation in a class implementing the org.everit.json.schema.FormatValidator interface
  • bind your validator to a name in a org.everit.json.schema.loader.SchemaLoader.SchemaLoaderBuilder instance before loading the actual schema


Lets assume the task is to create a custom validator which accepts strings with an even number of characters.

The custom FormatValidator will look something like this:

public class EvenCharNumValidator implements FormatValidator {

  public Optional<String> validate(final String subject) {
    if (subject.length() % 2 == 0) {
      return Optional.empty();
    } else {
      return Optional.of(String.format("the length of srtring [%s] is odd", subject));


To bind the EvenCharNumValidator to a "format" value (for example "evenlength") you have to bind a validator instance to the keyword in the schema loader configuration:

JSONObject rawSchema = new JSONObject(new JSONTokener(inputStream));
SchemaLoader schemaLoader = SchemaLoader.builder()
    .schemaJson(rawSchema) // rawSchema is the JSON representation of the schema utilizing the "evenlength" non-standard format
    .addFormatValidator("evenlength", new EvenCharNumValidator()) // the EvenCharNumValidator gets bound to the "evenlength" keyword
Schema schema = schemaLoader.load().build(); // the schema is created using the above created configuration
schema.validate(jsonDcoument);  // the document validation happens here

Resolution scopes

In a JSON Schema document it is possible to use relative URIs to refer previously defined types. Such references are expressed using the "$ref" and "id" keywords. While the specification describes resolution scope alteration and dereferencing in detail, it doesn't explain the expected behavior when the first occuring "$ref" or "id" is a relative URI.

In the case of this implementation it is possible to explicitly define an absolute URI serving as the base URI (resolution scope) using the appropriate builder method:

SchemaLoader schemaLoader = SchemaLoader.builder()
        .resolutionScope("http://example.org/") // setting the default resolution scope