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handling JSON when null values appear

Posted on 2015-02-04
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Last Modified: 2015-02-04
I'm building up a .NET service that consumes JSON from a 3rd party service and I'm using JSON.net to parse it out into it's own class. This works perfectly fine when all the fields are present, but if any of them return a blank or null value, it errors out. Below is a segment of the JSON being returned:

“Status”:
{
    "status": "Shipped",
    "tracking_number": [
        {
            "sku": "3346",
            "trackingNumber": "273436470000723                                   "
        },
        {
            "sku": "4186",
            "trackingNumber": "273436470000723                                   "
        }
} ]

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there are times when the tracking number will be blank, it'll look like:

“Status”:
{
    "status": "Shipped",
    "tracking_number": []
}

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and here's my class definition:

    public class CCG_ReceivedOrders
    {
        public string order_id                          { get; set; }
        public CCG_ReceivedOrderStatus status           { get; set; }
    }

    public class CCG_ReceivedOrderStatus
    {
        public string status                            { get; set; }
        public CCG_TrackingNumbers tracking_number      { get; set; }
    }

    public class CCG_TrackingNumbers
    {
        public int sku                                  { get; set; }
        public string tracking_number                   { get; set; }
    }

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if I comment out CCG_TrackingNumbers.tracking_Number, it works fine. if that field contains a value, it works fine, so my only thought is that it is not handling the null value properly. The exact error message I'm getting is:

Cannot deserialize the current JSON array (e.g. [1,2,3]) into type 'CCG_Data_Objects.CCG_TrackingNumbers' because the type requires a JSON object (e.g. {"name":"value"}) to deserialize correctly.
To fix this error either change the JSON to a JSON object (e.g. {"name":"value"}) or change the deserialized type to an array or a type that implements a collection interface (e.g. ICollection, IList) like List<T> that can be deserialized from a JSON array. JsonArrayAttribute can also be added to the type to force it to deserialize from a JSON array.
Path '[0].status.tracking_number', line 1, position 922.

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any help is greatly appreciated!
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Question by:Big Monty
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2 Comments
 
LVL 33

Author Comment

by:Big Monty
ID: 40589110
I found the NullValueHandling attribute that json.net supports, and changed my parsing code to

return JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<List<T>>(jsonData,new JsonSerializerSettings { NullValueHandling = NullValueHandling.Ignore});

but i still get the same error. is the json data format bad?
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LVL 33

Accepted Solution

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Big Monty earned 0 total points
ID: 40589183
figured out the solution, I needed to return a list of tracking numbers, so I changed my code to:

    public class CCG_ReceivedOrderStatus
    {
        public string status                             { get; set; }
        public List<CCG_TrackingNumbers> tracking_number { get; set; }
    }

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