JSON vs XML

JSON and XML perform a similar task of organizing complex data in an understandable and readable format for various APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and programming languages. Both JSON and XML are important because they structure data that allows us to successfully share it on the web. The JSON format is the fastest and easiest way to structure and exchange data. This is where JSON outperforms XML in performance. But XML plays an important role in storing data, and its document formats are still widely used by developers and set by default in many tools. XML is commonly used in enterprise-grade applications that require increased reliability and security. This article provides a detailed explanation of the differences between JSON and XML.
JSON vs XML Format
{
  "Customer": 64,
  "name": "Leo",
  "country": [
    "Spain",
    "Madrid"
  ]
}
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What is JSON?

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight text format that stores structured data in a human-readable format. JSON data takes up less space than XML, is easier to read for humans, and is easier to process for computers. JSON is frequently used in network communications between clients and servers. JSON is a format that originated from JavaScript but is now used by almost all programming languages, including PHP, Python, Java, C++, C#, and Go, and many of them have built-in modules for working with JSON data. A JSON file has the extension *.json. The MIME type for JSON is application/json.

JSON Example
{
  "Id": 354,
  "Customer": "Greg Bolongaro",
  "Status": "VIP"
}

What is XML?

XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is an open data format designed for storing, structuring, and transmitting data using human-readable text. XML is a widely used data format for storing and transferring data objects over the network, during client-server interactions. The language markup of XML is similar to HTML. XML is independent of programming languages, software, and hardware, and can be easily parsed into syntactic constructs by XML processors. XML is informative and simple. XML files have *.xml extension. The MIME type for XML is application/xml.

XML Example
<?xml version = "1.0" encoding = "UTF-8"?>
<User>
  <Name>
     name
  </Name>
  <Rating>
     rating
  </Rating>
</User>

How are JSON and XML similar?

Below are the main similarities between JSON and XML:

  • JSON and XML are used to store and transmit data and do so using human-readable text, making it easy to work with and interpret
  • Both XML and JSON can be retrieved using XHR (XMLHttpRequest) in JavaScript in browsers
  • Both XML and JSON are supported by most programming languages such as JavaScript, PHP, Python, Java, and C++. Some of them have native support for XML and JSON without third-party modules
  • JSON and XML are self-describing and can be parsed and used by many programming languages
  • Despite differences in structure and semantics, both JSON and XML follow a hierarchical order of values ​​within values

What is the difference between JSON and XML?

The table shows the main differences between JSON and XML:

JSON XML
JSON is based on and is a JavaScript object notation XML is an extensible markup language derived from SGML
JSON files are straightforward to read compared to XML XML documents are relatively difficult to read and interpret
JSON only supports UTF-8 encoding XML supports various encodings
JSON supports array XML does not support an array
JSON does not provide namespace support XML supports namespaces
JSON does not use an end tag XML has start and end tags
JSON does not support comments XML supports comments

JSON or XML: Which is better?

XML is often considered "ancient" these days, it has great features that go beyond fast processing and data transfer, and hence it's more complex than JSON. XML has made a major contribution to the exchange of data in a universal language, transforming the world of computing. While XML is slower and more complex, it also provides additional functionality that has not yet been developed in JSON to date.

As JavaScript has become one of the most popular programming languages, JSON has also begun to gain more and more attention. JSON is a data format and a more modern approach to the same purpose as XML. JSON is preferred for delivering data between browsers and servers due to the lighter and faster files it creates. Developers are starting to use JSON more and more.

However, the clear benefits of JSON do not negate the importance of learning XML, since its complexity and capabilities can go beyond the rapid transfer and processing of data.

See also

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