What is JSON?
JSON is a syntax designed to store and move data that’s sent between server and browser. It’s similar to a markup language in its syntax and how it’s used, but it’s not a markup language at its core. If you think of how XML functions in the scheme of a site—XML describes elements of data, while HTML displays that data—JSON does the same thing, just in a more streamlined way, both for the developer and the browser.
Why hire a JSON specialist?
A front-end developer who specialists in JSON can help you to create interactive, high-performance sites and apps.
JSON was the first format that allowed servers and browsers to communicate without a browser plug-in like Flash or Java. But where JSON really shines—and sets the standard—is how it functions within AJAX operations. AJAX essentially allows parts of a web page to be updated without requiring a full-page refresh, something that vastly changed the way users interact with web applications. It immediately solved problems that were caused by limited bandwidth, prevented server overload, and kept things from slowing down in the app.
Like XML, JSON:
- Is “self-describing,” meaning humans can read it
- Uses hierarchical values
- Can be read by many programming languages
- Is able to be “fetched” by an XMLHttpRequest
How JSON is different than XML:
- Doesn’t require an end tag and won’t “break” without one
- Is shorter to read and quicker to write
- Uses arrays, which are logical ways to bulk similar data formats in an element