Advanced, intelligent & automatic object-oriented JSON containers for PHP.

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v2.0.1 2023-06-02 07:25 UTC




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Advanced, intelligent & automatic object-oriented JSON containers for PHP.

Implements a highly efficient, automatic, object-oriented and lightweight (memory-wise) JSON data container. It provides intelligent data conversion and parsing, to give you a nice, reliable interface to your JSON data, without having to worry about doing any of the tedious parsing yourself.


  • Provides a completely object-oriented interface to all of your JSON data.

  • Automatically maps complex, nested JSON data structures onto real PHP objects, with total support for nested objects and multi-level arrays.

  • Extremely optimized for very high performance and very low memory usage. Much lower than other PHP JSON mappers that people have used in the past.

    For example, normal PHP objects with manually defined $properties, which is what's used by other JSON mappers, will consume memory for every property even if that property wasn't in the JSON data (is a NULL). Our system on the other hand takes up ZERO bytes of RAM for any properties that don't exist in the current object's JSON data!

  • Automatically provides "direct virtual properties", which lets you interact with the JSON data as if it were regular object properties, such as echo $item->some_value and $item->some_value = 'foo'.

    The virtual properties can be disabled via an option.

  • Automatically provides object-oriented "virtual functions", which let you interact with the data in a fully object-oriented way via functions such as $item->getSomeValue() and $item->setSomeValue('foo'). We support a large range of different functions for manipulating the JSON data, and you can see a list of all available function names for all of your properties by simply running $item->printPropertyDescriptions().

    The virtual functions can be disabled via an option.

  • Includes the LazyDoctor tool, which automatically documents all of your LazyJsonMapper-based classes so that their virtual properties and functions become fully visible to your IDE and to various intelligent code analysis tools. It also performs class diagnostics by compiling all of your class property maps, which means that you can be 100% sure that all of your maps are valid (compilable) if this tool runs successfully.

  • We provide a complete, internal API which your subclasses can use to interact with the data inside of the JSON container. This allows you to easily override the automatic functions or create additional functions for your objects. To override core functions, just define a function with the exact same name on your object and make it do whatever you want to.

    Here are some examples of function overriding:

    public function getFoo()
        // try to read property, and handle a special "current_time" value.
        $value = $this->_getProperty('foo');
        if ($value === 'current_time') { return time(); }
        return $value;
    public function setFoo(
        // if they try to set value to "md5", we use a special value instead
        if ($value === 'md5') { $value = md5(time()); }
        return $this->_setProperty('foo', $value);
  • All mapping/data conversion is done "lazily", on a per-property basis. When you access a property, that specific property is mapped/converted to the proper type as defined by your class property map. No time or memory is wasted converting properties that you never touch.

  • Strong type-system. The class property map controls the exact types and array depths. You can fully trust that the data you get/set will match your specifications. Invalid data that mismatches the spec is impossible.

  • Advanced settings system. Everything is easily configured via PHP class constants, which means that your class-settings are stateless (there's no need for any special "settings/mapper object" to keep track of settings), and that all settings are immutable constants (which means that they are reliable and can never mutate at runtime, so that you can fully trust that classes will always behave as-defined in their code).

    If you want to override multiple core settings identically for all of your classes, then simply create a subclass of LazyJsonMapper and configure all of your settings on that, and then derive all of your other classes from your re-configured subclass!

  • The world's most advanced mapper definition system. Your class property maps are defined in an easy PHPdoc-style format, and support multilevel arrays (such as int[][] for "an array of arrays of ints"), relative types (so you can map properties to classes/objects that are relative to the namespace of the class property map), parent inheritance (all of your parent extends-hierarchy's maps will be included in your final property map) and even multiple inheritance (you can literally "import" an infinite number of other maps into your class, which don't come from your own parent extends-hierarchy).

  • Inheriting properties from parent classes or importing properties from other classes is a zero-cost operation thanks to how efficient our property map compiler is. So feel free to import everything you need. You can even use this system to create importable classes that just hold "collections" of shared properties, which you import into other classes.

  • The class property maps are compiled a single time per-class at runtime, the first time a class is used. The compilation process fully verifies and compiles all property definitions, all parent maps, all inherited maps, and all maps of all classes you link properties to.

    If there are any compilation problems due to a badly written map anywhere in your hierarchy, you will be shown the exact problem in great detail.

    In case of success, the compiled and verified maps are all stored in an incredibly memory-efficient format in a global cache which is shared by your whole PHP runtime, which means that anything in your code or in any other libraries which accesses the same classes will all share the cached compilations of those classes, for maximum memory efficiency.

  • You are also able to access JSON properties that haven't been defined in the class property map. In that case, they are treated as undefined and untyped (mixed) and there won't be any automatic type-conversion of such properties, but it can still be handy in a pinch.

  • There are lots of data export/output options for your object's JSON data, to get it back out of the object again: As a multi-level array, as nested stdClass objects, or as a JSON string representation of your object.

  • We include a whole assortment of incredibly advanced debugging features:

    You can run the constructor with $requireAnalysis to ensure that all of your JSON data is successfully mapped according to your class property map, and that you haven't missed defining any properties that exist in the data. In case of any problems, the analysis message will give you a full list of all problems encountered in your entire JSON data hierarchy.

    For your class property maps themselves, you can run functions such as printPropertyDescriptions() to see a complete list of all properties and how they are defined. This helps debug your class inheritance and imports to visually see what your final class map looks like, and it also helps users see all available properties and all of their virtual functions.

    And for the JSON data, you can use functions such as printJson() to get a beautiful view of all internal JSON data, which is incredibly helpful when you (or your users) need to figure out what's available inside the current object instance's data storage.

  • A fine-grained and logical exception-system which ensures that you can always trust the behavior of your objects and can catch problems easily. And everything we throw is always based on LazyJsonMapperException, which means that you can simply catch that single "root" exception whenever you don't care about fine-grained differentiation.

  • Clean and modular code ensures stability and future extensibility.

  • Deep code documentation explains everything you could ever wonder about.

  • Lastly, we implement super-efficient object serialization. Everything is stored in a tightly packed format which minimizes data size when you need to transfer your objects between runtimes.


You need at least PHP 7.0 or higher. PHP 8 is also fully supported and is recommended.

Run the following Composer installation command:

composer require lazyjsonmapper/lazyjsonmapper


View the contents of the examples/ folder.


Everything is fully documented directly within the source code of this library.

You can also read the same documentation online as nicely formatted HTML pages.


Our automatic class-documentation and diagnostic utility will be placed within your project's ./vendor/bin/ folder. Simply run it without any parameters to see a list of all available options. You can also open that file in a regular text editor to read some general usage tips and tricks at the top of the utility's source code.


Copyright 2022 The LazyJsonMapper Project


Apache License, Version 2.0




If you would like to contribute to this project, please feel free to submit a pull request, or perhaps even sending a donation to a team member as a token of your appreciation.