JSON vs XML

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JSON vs XML

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

The following JSON and XML examples both specify an employees object, with an array of 3 employees:

JSON Example

{“employees”:[

  { “firstName”:”John”, “lastName”:”Doe” },

  { “firstName”:”Anna”, “lastName”:”Smith” },

  { “firstName”:”Peter”, “lastName”:”Jones” }

]}

XML Example

<employees>

  <employee>

    <firstName>John</firstName> <lastName>Doe</lastName>

  </employee>

  <employee>

    <firstName>Anna</firstName> <lastName>Smith</lastName>

  </employee>

  <employee>

    <firstName>Peter</firstName> <lastName>Jones</lastName>

  </employee>

</employees>

JSON is Like XML Because

  • Both JSON and XML are self-describing” (human readable).
  • Both JSON and XML are hierarchical (values within values).
  • Both JSON and XML can be parsed and used by lots of programming languages.
  • Both JSON and XML can be fetched with an XMLHttpRequest.

JSON is Unlike XML Because

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

The main difference is –

 XML needs to be parsed with an XML parser. JSON can be parsed by a standard JavaScript function.

Why JSON is Better Than XML

XML is much more difficult to parse than JSON.

JSON is parsed into a ready-to-use JavaScript object.

For AJAX applications, JSON is faster and easier than XML:

Using XML

  • Fetch an XML document.
  • Use the XML DOM to loop through the document.
  • Extract values and store them in variables.

Using JSON

  • Fetch a JSON string.
  • Parse the JSON string.

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