JSON Parsing in Android – Fetching From MySQL Database

Hey guys, do you want to learn about JSON parsing in Android? If “YES” then today we will learn fetching values from MySQL database as JSON then in the Android side we will parse that …

android json parsing tutorial

Hey guys, do you want to learn about JSON parsing in Android? If “YES” then today we will learn fetching values from MySQL database as JSON then in the Android side we will parse that JSON data.  It is useful when you want to retrieve your stored data on MySQL database. So let’s start our Android JSON Parsing Tutorial.

What is JSON?

Before moving further, I would like to explain that what is JSON. If you already know about JSON, then you can skip this part.

JSON stands for  JavaScript Object Notation. It is a widely used data interchange format. It is lightweight easy to understand and use.

We use JSON because for machines we need a well-structured format to read the data, as the computer cannot think as human and machine need a fixed structure so that it can be programmed. That is why, we use JSON. There are other formats also available for this like XML, but JSON is used the most. And as a developer you will always be working with JSON.

A JSON can be of two structures.

  1. A collection of Name Value pairs. We call it an object.
  2. A list of values, we can call it an Array.

JSON Object

Below is a JSON Object.

So remember if we are considering a JSON object it will be inside a pair of curly braces { json data }. And inside the curly braces we have the data in name and value pairs. 

JSON Array 

Below is a JSON array.

Now if we talk about a JSON Array then it would be inside square braces  [ JSON array ]. And inside the braces, we can have all the items that we want on the JSON array. In the above-given array, we have only a list of strings. But we can also have the list of JSON objects inside a JSON Array.  See an example below.

If you need more explanation about JSON then you should watch this video.

JSON Parsing in Android

In this post, we will focus on fetching data from MySQL as well. So basically we will create an API that will return us some data in JSON format. For database here we are going to use MySQL and for building the API we will be using PHP.

The Database Table

Assuming I have the following table in my PhpMyAdmin.

JSON Parsing in Android
JSON Parsing in Android

Now here I have a straightforward table, But in real scenarios, you may have complicated tables with many relations or many fields. But the underlying process is the same always. If you want to check a detailed course about Building and Consuming RESTful APIs for your android application, then you should checkout this complete course. Because in this “JSON Parsing in Android” post, we are not digging it much deeper.

Fetching Data from MySQL

  • Now we will fetch the values from the table. For this go to htdocs. (c:/xampp/htdocs) and create a new folder there. You can name your folder anything you want. I have named it Android.
  • Inside that folder create a php script named getdata.php and write the following code.

  • Now when you will open this script in your browser you will see the following. And it is nothing but our RESTful API that is giving us some data. And this data is easy to parse in our Android Code.
android json parsing
Fetched JSON
  • You see we have the data in JSON format. Now our PHP and MySQL part is over, lets learn JSON Parsing in Android.

Android JSON Parsing

Creating a new Android Studio Project

  • First we will create a new Android Studio Project. So create a project with any name using an EmptyActivity.

Creating User Interface

  • Now we will fetch the data and will display the fetched heroes in a ListView. So for this we will create a ListView in our activity_main.xml.

Consuming the API to Fetch JSON in Android

  • This is the most important part.
  • The first thing we need is the URL to our PHP Script that we created. Remember using localhost will not work.
  • So first open command prompt and write ipconfig command. It will show you some IPs (Make sure your xampp is running).

Accessing Localhost from Emulator

  • Now you will see some IPs you need to try replacing localhost with these IPs and test whether your emulator can access your host or not.
android json parsing
Accessing Localhost in Emulator

Accessing Localhost from Real Device

  • If you are having a real device then what you can do is, first connect your real device and computer using your device’s hotspot.
  • Now again in the list of IPs you have to use the IP of WiFi.
android json parsing
Wireless LAN IP

The Web Service URL

  • The PHP file that we created is called a Web Service. And we access that service using a URL. So before we used the following URL.

  • But remember using localhost will not work. You have to replace the localhost with the IP that is working in your case. So for my case the URL would be.

Fetching JSON String

  • Now we will fetch the JSON String from the server using the URL.
  • For this we will use an AsyncTask. The following code snippet will explain this.

  • Now you can call the above method in onCreate().

Allowing Internet Permission

  • But a network operation requires internet permission as well. So before testing it define internet permission in your AndroidManifest.xml.

  • But adding the internet permission alone is not enough, because our API is using the http protocol (it is not secured). And when the API we are using is using non https then we need to add one more thing in our project.

Allowing HTTP (Non Secured Connection)

  • You need to define usesCleartextTraffic=”true” as a property for your application tag inside AndroidManifest.xml. For details, see below my AndroidManifest.xml file.

  • You can see just after the <application line we have android:usesCleartextTraffic=”true” and it is to allow the application to communicate with non secured URLs (HTTP URLs).
  • Now run the application and you should see the JSON String.
android json parsing
Fetching JSON
  • So we have the JSON from server to our Android Device. The only thing remaining now is parsing and reading this JSON. It is also very easy. So lets do this.

JSON Parsing in Android

  • This is the last part of this JSON Parsing in Android Tutorial. We will parse the JSON and will display it to the ListView.
  • So for this I have created a new method named loadIntoListView(String json). 

  • Now we will call this method inside onPostExecute() method of AsyncTask.

The complete Code

  • Now here is the complete code of MainActivity.java.

  • Now you can run the application.
android json parsing
JSON Parsing in Android
  • Bingo! It is working absolutely fine.

JSON Parsing in Android Source Code Download

  • If you are having any confusions or troubles following the post, then you can download my source code from below as well.

JSON Parsing in Android Source Code

So thats all for this Android JSON Parsing Tutorial friends. Feel free to leave your comments if having any query or confusion. Thank You 🙂

Hi, my name is Belal Khan and I am a Google Developers Expert (GDE) for Android. The passion of teaching made me create this blog. If you are an Android Developer, or you are learning about Android Development, then I can help you a lot with Simplified Coding.

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