What is JSON : JavaScript Object Notation?

Source: https://www.json.com/

What is JSON?

JSON is a lightweight text-based open standard designed for human-readable data. It is the most widely used format for exchanging data on the web. It originates from the JavaScript language and is represented with two primary data structures: ordered lists (recognized as ‘arrays’) and name/value pairs (recognized as ‘objects’).


The JSON standard is language-independent and its data structures, arrays and objects, are universally recognized. These structures are supported in some way by nearly all modern programming languages and are familiar to nearly all programmers. These qualities make it an ideal format for data interchange on the web.


The XML specification does not match the data model for most programming languages which makes it slow and tedious for programmers to parse. Compared to JSON, XML has a low data-to-markup ratio which results in it being more difficult for humans to read and write.

JSON Data Types

  • Number{ “myNum”: 123.456 }
    A series of numbers; decimals ok; double-precision floating-point format.
  • String{ “myString”: “abcdef” }
    A series of characters (letters, numbers, or symbols); double-quoted UTF-8 with backslash escaping.
  • Boolean{ “myBool”: true }
    True or false.
  • Array{ “myArray”: [ “a”, “b”, “c”, “d” ] }
    Sequence of comma-separated values (any data type); enclosed in square brackets.
  • Object{ “myObject”: { “id”: 7 } };
    Unordered collection of comma-separated key/value pairs; enclosed in curly braces; properties (keys) are distinct strings.
  • Null{ “myNull”: null }
    Variable with null (empty) value.

Unsupported Data Types

  • Undefinedvar myUndefined;
    Variable with no value assigned.
  • Datevar myDate = new Date();
    Object used to work with dates and times.
  • Errorvar myError = new Error();
    Object containing information about errors.
  • Regular Expressionvar myRegEx = /json/i;
    Variable containing a sequence of characters that form a search pattern.
  • Functionvar myFunction = function(){};
    Variable containing a block of code designed to perform a particular task.

JSON cheat sheet

Example1: Mixed Data Types

var myObject = {
“myNumber”: 123.456,
“myString”: “abcdef”,
“myBool”: true,
“myArray”: [ “a”, “b”, “c”, “d” ],
“myObject”: { “id”: 7 },
“myNull”: null

Example2: Send HTTP POST request with JSON to a http://url with the following string fields: ‘first_name’, ‘last_name’, ’email’, ‘phone’,’urls’

curl -X POST -d ‘{“first_name”: “John”, “last_name”: “Doe”, “email”: “johndoe@email.com”, “phone”: “000-000-0000″,”urls”: [“https://djamga.com”,”http://enoumen.com”,”http://twitter.com/enoumen”]}’ http:/url -H ‘Content-Type: application/json’