Introduction to JSON (Javascript Object Notation)

What is JSON?
JSON (Javascript Object Notation) is a light weight data interchange format. JSON is a subset of the literal object notation in JavaScript. It can be compared to XML but parsing of JSON is very much easier than XML data. It is a text format of data and is programming language independent. In fact it very much looks like unnamed array.

Example of data in JSON
Shown below is a object declared in JSON format.

var individual = {
     "firstName": "Anky",
     "lastName": "Singh",
     "address": {
                       "streetAddress": "4th Avenue",
                       "city": "Moorpark",
                       "state": "CA",
                       "postalCode": 34523
     "phoneNumbers": [
                                 "212 555-1234",
                                 "646 555-4567"

alert("The name of Individual is " + individual.firstName + " " +  individual.lastName);
alert("The Street Address is " + individual.address.streetAddress);
alert("The Postal code is " + individual.address.postalCode);
alert("First Phone Number  is " + individual.phoneNumbers[0]);
alert("Second Phone Number  is " + individual.phoneNumbers[1]);

<em>Output would be alert windows with following messages</em>:
The name of Individual is Anky Singh
The Street Address is 4th Avenue
The Postal code is 34523
First Phone Number  is 212 555-1234
Second Phone Number  is 646 555-4567

Above code shows how an Individual object is declared using JSON. Alert statements provide an example how the properties of the object can be accessed in the same way as we do in C# or Java.

Being subset of literal notation JSON standard has got stricter rules. See or RFC 4627 for a more formal description of the standard.

But all said simplicity of JSON data is the specialty of the standard.

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Anky Goyal

I am MCPD certified in .NET and working on .NET technologies for past 3yrs. I am very passionate about the new features which get introduced in the technology. I am here to share the new features i get to know in the world of Microsoft. Follow me on twitter @ankygoyal [email protected]Ankit Goyal

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