JSON Vs XML - Difference between JSON and XML

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JSON(JavaScript Object Notation) is a data interchange format, and XML(eXtensible Markup Language) is a custom markup language that is used to interchange data and can do many other things like data validation. Both JSON and XML are used to store and interchange data in an easily understandable format. Almost all programming languages like Python, JavaScript, and Ruby, along with various APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) have parsers for JSON and XML through which data can be interchanged. Even though the purpose of using XML and JSON is the same, they have their ways of operations and can be used in different scenarios.

In this comprehensive comparison of XML vs JSON, we've explored their represtentation, when to use and similarities.Both JSON and XML serve the purpose of storing and transferring data, but they differ significantly in syntax, file structure, and usage scenarios.

What are the similarities between Json And Xml?

  1. Both JSON and XML serve the same purpose of storing and transferring data across the web.
  2. These are human-readable, easy to understand, and self-describing.
  3. Both have parsers in most programming languages and APIs. The code in JSON and XML is converted into the code that is understandable by the compiler of the programming language in which it is used.
  4. The data in both JSON and XML can be fetched from web servers using HTTP requests. HttpRequests is used to request data from servers. The methods used for fetching the data are GET, PUT, and POST.
  5. JSON and XML support hierarchical structure, i.e., they store values within values.
  6. Both JSON and XML are open source software, and the software code is publicly accessible anyone can see, modify, and distribute the code.

Data Representation: Json Vs. Xml

Example 1: JSON Document

Example 2: XML Document

In this example:

  • Both JSON and XML represent information about a car, including its make, model, year, and available colors.
  • In JSON, the data is organized using key-value pairs within curly braces {}. Arrays are represented using square brackets [].
  • In XML, the data is enclosed within tags and arranged hierarchically. Arrays are represented using nested elements within a parent element.

These examples illustrate the structural difference between JSON and XML for representing the same information.

Differences Between JSON And XML

xml vs json

Now let's see XML vs JSON in detail:

JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation.XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language.
JSON files are stored with .json extension.XML files are stored with .xml extension.
It is extended from Javascript.It is extended from SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language).
It is a way of representing objects using key-value pairs.It is a markup language and uses tag structures to represent data items.
JSON is object-oriented as it is a text representation of a javascript object. It is basically an object in JavaScript Notation.XML is document-oriented. After being extended from SGML, XML has retained its original advantage as a document format, and it supports mixed markup needed in document representation.
Data stored in JSON in the form of arrays and key-value pairs.XML stores data in the form of tags and attributes.
JSON files are easy to understand as compared to XML because of their simple syntax.XML files are difficult to read and interpret as compared to JSON because of the complex tag structure.
It doesn't support comments.It supports comments.
It doesn't support namespaces and metadata.It supports namespaces and metadata.
JSON files occupy less size as they don't have tags.XML documents are bulky and huge in size. And its tag structure makes them look complex.
JSON is preferred in Browser-Side technologies because its files can be transmitted in less time.XML is preferred in Server-Side technologies as it gives the provision to validate the data.
JSON is less verbose and faster due to the simple format and small file size. These features of JSON have made it more popular in recent times. One of the major reasons behind the popularity of JSON is the increasing use of Javascript.Complex structure of XML makes its parsing slow and requires more memory. This has reduced the popularity of XML these days. But most of the time, it is preferred due to high security and metadata provisions.
JSON file format is similar to map data structure. The map is similar to key/value pairs and is useful when interpretation and predictability is needed.XML file format is similar to tree data structure. Means tree representation of data. This makes working on XML a tedious and time-consuming task.

When To Use: Json Vs. Xml

When considering whether to use JSON or XML for your project, it's essential to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each format and consider the specific requirements of your application. Here's a summary of when to use xml vs json:

Use XML When:

  1. Complex Data Types and Structures: If your data involves complex types and structures with many variables, XML may be the better choice. XML's hierarchical tree-like structure and support for complex schemas make it suitable for representing diverse data types.
  2. Error-Checking and Validation: XML is well-suited for error-checking and validation of complex data due to its strict syntax and support for schemas like XSD (XML Schema Definition). It ensures data integrity and reliability in scenarios where data accuracy is critical.
  3. Interoperability and Legacy Systems: XML has a mature set of tools, libraries, and standards, making it compatible with legacy systems and existing infrastructure. It's commonly used in industries where interoperability with various systems and platforms is essential.

Use JSON When:

  1. Data Interchange and APIs: JSON was specifically designed for data interchange, making it an excellent choice for APIs and web services. Its lightweight and concise format reduce overhead and improve performance, facilitating faster communication between client and server.
  2. Simplicity and Readability: JSON offers a simpler and more readable format compared to XML, making it easy for developers to understand and work with. Its key-value pair structure is intuitive and well-suited for representing structured data.
  3. Mobile Apps and Web Development: JSON is widely used in mobile app development and web development due to its simplicity, compatibility with JavaScript, and support for modern technologies like AJAX. It's ideal for client-side applications where responsiveness and efficiency are priorities.

In summary, choose XML when dealing with complex document structures, rigorous error-checking, and interoperability requirements. On the other hand, opt for JSON when focusing on data interchange, simplicity, and performance, particularly in web development and API-driven applications. Ultimately, the choice and difference between JSON and XML depends on your project's specific needs, compatibility considerations, and development preferences.


  • JSON and XML have various similarities and differences.
  • JSON and XML are both used to transmit data across the web.
  • JSON is currently gaining a lot of popularity these days due to its association with JavaScript.
  • Being a markup language, XML can define a set of rules and structures to make data interchangeable.
  • JSON is preferred due to faster and lightweight files that can be delivered easily through browsers.

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