JSON - Introduction

JSON - Evaluates to JavaScript Objects

The JSON format is syntactically identical to the code for creating JavaScript objects.

Because of this similarity, instead of using a parser (like XML does), a JavaScript program can use standard JavaScript functions to convert JSON data into native JavaScript objects.

Try it Yourself

With our editor, you can edit JavaScript code online and click on a button to view the result:

JSON Example

<!DOCTYPE html>

<h2>JSON Object Creation in JavaScript</h2>

<p id="demo"></p>

var text = '{"name":"John Johnson","street":"Oslo West 16","phone":"555 1234567"}';

var obj = JSON.parse(text);

document.getElementById("demo").innerHTML =
obj.name + "<br>" +
obj.street + "<br>" +

Try it yourself »

 Much Like XML Because

  • Both JSON and XML is "self describing" (human readable)
  • Both JSON and XML is 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

Much Unlike XML Because

  • 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.


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 in variables

Using JSON

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