Parsing JSON in Play2 and Scala without Data Type

There are many ways to do this with the Play JSON Library. The main difference is the usage of Scala case class or not.

Given a simple json

val json = Json.parse("""{"people": [ {"name":"Jack", "age": 19}, {"name": "Tony", "age": 26} ] }""")

You can use case class and Json Macro to automatically parse the data

import play.api.libs.json._

case class People(name: String, age: Int)

implicit val peopleReader = Json.reads[People]
val peoples = (json \ "people").as[List[People]]

Or without case class, manually

import play.api.libs.json._
import play.api.libs.functional.syntax._

implicit val personReader: Reads[(String, Int)] = (
  (__ \ "name").read[String] and 
  (__ \ "age").read[Int]
val peoples = (json \ "people").as[List[(String, Int)]]

In other words, check the very complete documentation on this subject :)

If you don't have the object type or don't want to write a Reads, you can use .as[Array[JsValue]]

val jsValue = Json.parse(text)
val list = (jsValue \ "people").as[Array[JsValue]]


list.foreach(a => println((a \ "name").as[String]))

In the older version (2.6.x) it is possible to use .as[List[JsValue]] but newer versions only support Array.