Which is The Best Response Data Format: JSON or XML?

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One of the most anticipated changes in the Internet is the “Internet of Things”, i.e. the addition of the Internet of non-computer devices such as watches, televisions, thermostats, refrigerators, etc. Well, this movement has acquired solid ground and is expected to explode in the near future. A prediction for number of devices in Internet of Things in 2020 is about 26 billion and is predicted to increase to 200 billion.

 

Devices embedded with Internet of Things features need to transmit data from a web server to a client to respond according to the given command.  When they have the need to exchange data with other entities in the web, you need to decide what format should be used XML or JSON. For a Web Application Development with a solid architecture, it’s a good idea to understand the differences between each format and know when to use as Web Services Development.

 

Hence, in this post we will define each data format, and a few why you might choose JSON over XML.

 

What is JSON?

 

JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation, and is a way to store information in an organized, easy-to-access manner. In a nutshell, it gives us a human-readable collection of data that we can access in a really logical manner.

 

What is XML?

 

XML or Extensible Markup Language is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form. XML’s design goals emphasize simplicity, generality, and usability over the internet.

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We can compare both format across following areas such as:

 

Simplicity, Openness, & Interoperability

 

When you compare JSON and XML in terms of simplicity, openness and interoperability, you will find them tied. There isn’t much contrast among JSON and XML and that’s easy to figure-out when you dig deep into the facts.

 

Self-Describing Data & Internationalization

 

JSON and XML share another common trait i.e. the execution of self-describing information and internationalization. Both of them manipulate data as because both standards use Unicode standard and they create data with generic tools.

 

Extensibility

 

JSON limits storing of classical data like text and numbers. Whereas XML can store any data type one wishes for. Attributes like storing data in XML files allows XML to be more flexible than JSON, but it makes it harder to use. Though it makes XML more extensible, but it brings its own disadvantage as it makes it rely on upon the kind of data you are attempting to exchange. Documents require extensibility to manage images, graphs, charts and other elements of formatting. Be that as it may, traditional data doesn’t require this extensibility and can benefit from the simplicity of JSON.

 

Human Readable

 

XML and JSON both files are human readable as well as well understandable to programmers that work with these file formats. Meanwhile, JSON files are restrictive and that make it slightly more readable. JSON supports a number of data formats. Additionally, the structure of data is more standardized with JSON files due to the fact that there are fewer options when compared with XML formatting.

 

Complete Integration Of All Formats

 

XML support attachment of any file of any format. Whereas JSON allows only traditional data formats. With XML, one can attach photos, video, audio and other files. While this feel good at first, but it causes danger to security since you also need to include an executable file. On the other hand, JSON support simplicity for data structure and its support make this exploit impossible using this format.

 

Sharing Traditional Data

 

Transferring data is much easier when it stored in a structure that is familiar to object-oriented languages. JSON stores data in arrays and records whereas XML stores data in trees. Importing data from a JSON file into Perl, Ruby on Rails Development, JavaScript, Python, and many other languages is much convenient, while with XML you first need to transform data before the import. That thing again makes JSON a superior file format for web APIs.  

 

Sharing Documents

 

If you wish to share documents, XML is right tool to perform such job. XML allows you to include data types, such as charts, images and graphs. More to this, XML offers options for transferring structure, or format, of the data along with actual data. JSON only enable transferring of data without formatting, and only using traditional data formats. This makes XML the superior format for documents.  

 

Hence, we have seen both JSON and XML have very different usage while sharing  some common ground. Both have their attributes and thus depending upon specific requirements, developers can choose either JSON or XML in certain situation of the project.

 

Don’t forget to share your experience of going through XML or JSON within your Mobile App Development assignment.

 

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