Keaton Smith Keaton Smith - 28 days ago 8
JSON Question

VB.NET deserialize Newtonsoft JSON into object dynamically

I have a web app that will be making several API calls to a service called inContact (http://www.incontact.com/)

Each of the API calls will be receiving an HTTP response filled with JSON formatted in this way:

{
"resultSet": {
"_links": {
"self": "string",
"next": "string",
"previous": "string"
},
"businessUnitId": 0,
"lastPollTime": "2016-11-08T21:45:46.510Z",
"totalRecords": 0,
"agents": [
{
"agentId": 0,
"userName": "string",
"firstName": "string",
"middleName": "string",
"lastName": "string",
"emailAddress": "string",
"isActive": true,
"teamId": 0,
"teamName": "string",
"reportToId": 0,
"reportToName": "string",
"isSupervisor": true,
"lastLogin": "2016-11-08T21:45:46.510Z",
"lastUpdated": "2016-11-08T21:45:46.510Z",
"location": "string",
"custom1": "string",
"custom2": "string",
"custom3": "string",
"custom4": "string",
"custom5": "string",
"internalId": "string",
"profileId": 0,
"profileName": "string",
"timeZone": "string",
"country": "string",
"countryName": "string",
"state": "string",
"city": "string",
"chatRefusalTimeout": 0,
"phoneRefusalTimeout": 0,
"workItemRefusalTimeout": 0,
"defaultDialingPattern": 0,
"defaultDialingPatternName": "string",
"teamDefaultMaxChats": true,
"maxConcurrentChats": 0,
"notes": "string",
"createDate": "2016-11-08T21:45:46.510Z",
"inactiveDate": "2016-11-08T21:45:46.510Z",
"hireDate": "2016-11-08T21:45:46.510Z",
"terminationDate": "2016-11-08T21:45:46.510Z",
"rehireStatus": true,
"employmentType": 0,
"employmentTypeName": "Full-Time",
"referral": "string",
"atHome": true,
"hiringSource": "string",
"ntLoginName": "string",
"scheduleNotification": "5",
"federatedId": "string",
"sipUser": "string",
"useTeamMaxEmailInboxCount": true,
"maxEmailInboxCount": 0
}
]
}
}


I am deserializing the JSON with Newtonsoft. However, with each different call there will be different key/value pairs, such as this:

{
"resultSet": {
"businessUnitId": 0,
"lastPollTime": "2016-11-08T21:45:46.604Z",
"teams": [
{
"teamId": 0,
"teamName": "string",
"isActive": true,
"description": "string",
"notes": "string",
"lastUpdateTime": "2016-11-08T21:45:46.604Z",
"inViewEnabled": true,
"wfoEnabled": true,
"wfmEnabled": true,
"qmEnabled": true,
"maxConcurrentChats": 0,
"agentCount": 0,
"maxEmailInboxCount": true,
"inViewGamificationEnabled": true,
"inViewChatEnabled": true,
"inViewLMSEnabled": true,
"analyticsEnabled": true
}
],
"agents": [
{
"agentId": 0,
"firstName": "string",
"lastName": "string"
}
]
}
}


I currently am taking in the HTTP response and deserializing the JSON to create a workable .NET object. To do so this is my shortened code, omitting the HTTP request, assuming the request was successful:

If Not String.IsNullOrEmpty(responseBody) Then
' Success. Do something with the response.
'Declare object for holding the JSON from the API call for this call only (class does not fit other calls)
Dim resultSet As GetAgentsAPICall = New GetAgentsAPICall
'Deserialize JSON response into the new resultSet object
resultSet = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject(responseBody)


The issue is that I need a specific class for each API call, instead of just being able to take a string with JSON formatting and throw it into an object with properties matching the key/values. Below is the class I have that takes in just the above API call (the first one listed, longer in length):

Public Class GetAgentsAPICall
Public Property resultSet As Resultset
End Class

Public Class Resultset
Public Property _links As _Links
Public Property businessUnitId As Integer
Public Property lastPollTime As Date
Public Property totalRecords As Integer
Public Property agents() As Agent
End Class

Public Class _Links
Public Property self As String
Public Property _next As String
Public Property previous As String
End Class

Public Class Agent
Public Property agentId As Integer
Public Property userName As String
Public Property firstName As String
Public Property middleName As String
Public Property lastName As String
Public Property emailAddress As String
Public Property isActive As Boolean
Public Property teamId As Integer
Public Property teamName As String
Public Property reportToId As Integer
Public Property reportToName As String
Public Property isSupervisor As Boolean
Public Property lastLogin As Date
Public Property lastUpdated As Date
Public Property location As String
Public Property custom1 As String
Public Property custom2 As String
Public Property custom3 As String
Public Property custom4 As String
Public Property custom5 As String
Public Property internalId As String
Public Property profileId As Integer
Public Property profileName As String
Public Property timeZone As String
Public Property country As String
Public Property countryName As String
Public Property state As String
Public Property city As String
Public Property chatRefusalTimeout As Integer
Public Property phoneRefusalTimeout As Integer
Public Property workItemRefusalTimeout As Integer
Public Property defaultDialingPattern As Integer
Public Property defaultDialingPatternName As String
Public Property teamDefaultMaxChats As Boolean
Public Property maxConcurrentChats As Integer
Public Property notes As String
Public Property createDate As Date
Public Property inactiveDate As Date
Public Property hireDate As Date
Public Property terminationDate As Date
Public Property rehireStatus As Boolean
Public Property employmentType As Integer
Public Property employmentTypeName As String
Public Property referral As String
Public Property atHome As Boolean
Public Property hiringSource As String
Public Property ntLoginName As String
Public Property scheduleNotification As String
Public Property federatedId As String
Public Property sipUser As String
Public Property useTeamMaxEmailInboxCount As Boolean
Public Property maxEmailInboxCount As Integer
End Class


I'm trying to avoid having 20 or 30 similar lengthy classes prebuilt, and instead build a modifiable list or object on the fly. I will need to take the values and either store them in a database or modify them and use another API call to POST the values back. Does anyone have a best practice, or am I stuck with 20-30 huge class definitions?

Thanks for your time!

Answer

Parse it with a JObject, which can also be queried using LINQ (see Newtonsoft's LINQ to JSON API, which sits under the Newtonsoft.Json.Linq namespace):

JObject o = JObject.Parse(@"{
    'CPU': 'Intel',
    'Drives': [
        'DVD read/writer',
         '500 gigabyte hard drive'
     ]
}");

string cpu = (string)o["CPU"];
// Intel

string firstDrive = (string)o["Drives"][0];
// DVD read/writer

IList<string> allDrives = o["Drives"].Select(t => (string)t).ToList();
// DVD read/writer
// 500 gigabyte hard drive

The example is in C#, but you can find relevant VB.NET answers on StackOverflow (have a look at the answer here, for example).