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JSON - Introduction JSON - Syntax JSON - Data Types JSON - Parse JSON - Stringify JSON - Objects JSON - Arrays JSON - PHP JSON - JSONP
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JSON Syntax

A JSON object is a name/value data format that is typically rendered in curly braces.

A JSON object looks something like this:

When you’re working with JSON, you’ll likely see JSON objects in a .json file, but they can also exist as a JSON object or string within the context of a program.

JSON Syntax Rules

JSON syntax is basically considered as a subset of JavaScript syntax, it includes the following:

  • Data is represented in name/value pairs
  • Data is separated by commas
  • Curly braces hold objects
  • Square brackets hold arrays

JSON Structure

JSON is built on two structures:

  • A collection of name/value pairs (objects)
  • An ordered list of value (arrays)

JSON Data - Name/Value Pair

JSON data is represented in name/value pairs.

A name/value pair consists of a field name (in double quotes), followed by a colon, followed by a value:

JSON names require double quotes. JavaScript names don't.

JSON - Evaluates to JavaScript Objects

The JSON format is almost identical to JavaScript objects.

In JSON, keys must be strings, written with double quotes:

In JavaScript, keys can be strings, numbers, or identifier names:

In JSON, string values must be written with double quotes:

In JavaScript, you can write string values with double or single quotes:


Both JSON and XML can be used to receive data from a web server.

The following JSON and XML examples both define an books object, with an array of 3 books:

JSON Example:
XML Example:

From the above examples you can see:

  • JSON doesn't use end tag
  • JSON is shorter
  • JSON is quicker to read and write
  • JSON can use arrays

The biggest difference is: XML has to be parsed with an XML parser. JSON can be parsed by a standard JavaScript function.

JSON is Better Than XML:

  • XML is much more difficult to parse than JSON
  • JSON is parsed into a ready-to-use JavaScript object