How To Post JSON With Retrofit

This tutorial is going to show how to post JSON with Retrofit, a type-safe HTTP client for Android and Java.

1. Library Dependency

We’re going to use Retrofit 2.3.0 for all examples presented in this tutorial. And To use Retrofit with Maven, we will need to include the following dependency into our pom.xml file:

To use Retrofit with Gradle:

2. Rest API

In this tutorial, we will use Retrofit to post Json to a Rest API with the following information:

URL to create a resource (book)


Name Type
name the name of the book
author the author of the book
STATUS 201 if the book is created successfully.

3. Posting JSON With Retrofit

Basically, to post JSON with Retrofit, we will need the following steps:

  • To define a POJO class to represent the JSON that we want to post to the Rest API with Retrofit, or we can simply use a Map with its keys are the field names and values are the field values.
  • When we use the above POJO object as a service method parameter, we annotate it with a @Body annotation to imply that we want to directly control the request body of a POST/PUT request. The object will be serialized using the Retrofit instance Converter and the result will be set directly as the request body.

Next, we will get through the first way to post JSON with Retrofit: to define a POJO class.

3.1. Defining A POJO Class

3.1.1. POJO Class

Let’s define a POJO class called Book to represent the request body:

3.1.2. Defining A Service Interface

Next, we will need to define a service interface which contains all the methods we need to call/invoke from the Rest API:

Notice that we annotated the parameter with @Body annotation.

3.1.3. Posting The POJO Object.

Finally, let’s see how we post the Json with Retfofit:

3.2. Using A Map (HashMap) To Represent The JSON

Instead of defining a POJO class to represent the JSON, we can use a Map to represent the JSON we want to post with Retrofit, then use @Body annotation to instruct Retrofit to serialize the Map into JSON before sending to the Rest API.

3.2.1. Defining A Service Interface

Let’s define another method called updateBook in the above service interface as follows:

Notice that the parameter of the method is an java.util.Map.

3.2.2. Posting The Map

Let’s see how we create the Map and post it in the following example:

After creating the Retrofit and service interface objects, we create a HashMap to represent the Json and then post the map with Retrofit.

4. Conclusions

The tutorial has illustrated how to post JSON with Retrofit by either defining a POJO class or using a Map to represent the JSON, then annotate those with the @Body annotation which instructs Retrofit to serialize those into JSON before making a request to the Rest API. And we can see that defining a POJO class is suitable for all cases that we have fixed JSON schema while the Map is very flexible for the remaining cases.

The source code presented in the tutorial is available on my Github project. And it’s a Maven based project; it’s will be easy to import into IDE such as Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, etc.

Below are other related articles for your references:

How to Post with Retrofit 2

Java REST Client Example

Java REST Client Example With Retrofit 2