JSON, an Open-standard File Format

JSON is an abbreviation for JavaScript Object Notation that is a lightweight format for data-interchange tool which uses JavaScript syntax. JSON is primarily used for transmitting data between a web application and a server and is an alternative to XML. JSON format is text only so it can be easily used as a data format by any programming language. JSON is easy to write and read for people and it can be easily parsed and produced by machines.


JSON is based on the ECMAScript Programming Language Standard which is a subset of JavaScript. JSON determines the formatting rules for portable representation of the structured data and is absolutely language independent. It uses certain connections used by programmers who work with the C-family of languages such as C, C#, C++, Python, Perl, Java, JavaScript, and others. Due to these properties, JSON is an ideal data-interchange language.


JSON is widely used while building JavaScript-based applications such as websites and browser extensions. JSON format is also common in network connections and is used for transmitting structured data. APIs and web services use JSON format to deliver public data.


JSON is ideal for client-side development because it has a number of advantages:           


  • JSON format is more specified which makes it a good alternative where there is a need to send plain and simple data.
  • JSON is simple as it consists of such developer-friendly constructs as name/value pairs, Objects, and Arrays.
  • The structure tagging method in JSON is more compact so it’s easier to work with such languages as JavaScript, PHP, and Python.
  • JSON can be easily noticed between single items and their collections.


JSON format has become very popular and is gradually replacing XML due to the increasing popularity of JavaScript and the growth of RESTful APIs based on JSON. Here are some popular JSON-based RESTful APIs: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, GitHub, Salesforce, DropBox etc.  

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