How to tell Jackson to ignore empty object during deserialization?

I would use a JsonDeserializer. Inspect the field in question, determine, if it is emtpy and return null, so your ContainedObject would be null.

Something like this (semi-pseudo):

 public class MyDes extends JsonDeserializer<ContainedObject> {

        public String deserialize(JsonParser jsonParser, DeserializationContext context) throws IOException, JsonProcessingException {
            //read the JsonNode and determine if it is empty JSON object
            //and if so return null

            if (node is empty....) {
                return null;
            return node;


then in your model:

 public class Entity {
    private long id;
    private String description;

    @JsonDeserialize(using = MyDes.class)
    private ContainedObject containedObject;

   //Contructor, getters and setters omitted


Hope this helps!

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