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JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) and XML (Extensible Markup Language) are popular formats for data interchange. However, while they have many similarities, they are not the same. This article aims to define the key differences and similarities between JSON and XML so that you can make an informed decision about which data format to use when others export your data for consumption or save it locally in a file on your computer.

JSON and XML are two different ways to store data in a computer. Both are useful for storing data, but each has advantages and disadvantages. For example, JSON is easier to read and understand than XML but is less flexible. On the other hand, XML is more flexible than JSON, but it can be more challenging to write.

What is XML?

XML is an open standard for storing and data interchange. It's a markup language for describing the structure and content of any XML file, such as documents, web pages, or databases. You can think of XML like HTML, but better: it allows you to attach additional information to nodes in your document without changing the underlying format.

Extensible markup language (XML) was created in the early 1990s to replace SGML (silicon graphics multimedia language). XML is an open standard that allows authors to define their markup language and use it on any website or application.

XML has become very popular over time, but some industries still use SGML instead of XML because they find it easier to work with their existing coding standards - especially if they're using Microsoft word-style templates rather than HTML5. 

There are many benefits to using XML code. One of the biggest reasons is that it is more flexible than HTML, which means you can easily create a custom markup language for your website or application. In addition, this makes it easier to format data and display it correctly in any browser or device.

XML also allows you to create custom tags that can be used in any XML data. These tags are often used to define specific XML data. This makes it easier for developers and designers to collaborate when creating new projects!

An XML document or XML data is a collection of elements and attributes which can be nested inside one another. Elements are surrounded by opening and closing tags, while attributes are not. An element can contain sub-elements, character data, and text. Note that there are no spaces between tags or between elements in XML data; everything must be enclosed within pairs of brackets.

What is JSON?

JSON is a data interchange format. It's language-independent, meaning it can be used with any programming language, and the underlying data structure is platform-independent. The language-independent nature of JSON makes it ideal for use in web development, where you might need data interchange with other programming languages like Ruby or JavaScript.

JSON uses tags to mark up the data: "{"key": value," "otherKey": anotherValue}." The keys and values must always be surrounded by curly braces ({) and square brackets ([]), respectively. In addition, each key-value pair must have an equal number of quotation marks surrounding it - for example: {"name": "John"} would not be valid because there are too few quotes after the name tag.

JSON is lightweight because of its use of space-efficient binary encoding (a technique we'll explore in more detail later). This makes it ideal for small amounts of information transmitted over the network, such as when sending payment requests between online stores or web APIs that return results from databases.

JSON parser libraries allow you to read and write this format without needing any knowledge about what goes into each field - all you need are some basic rules:

  • Fields must have consistent names.
  • All values must be strings.
  • Comma characters must separate values.
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JSON is also human-readable, meaning you can open a file and see what's inside without running it through a parser. This makes debugging problems with your code more accessible and helps document the data you've received from other applications (which is especially useful if written in another language).

JSON data interchange format is used in many different contexts, from web development to data storage. It's also an ideal format for sharing information between web APIs and applications because it's a simple way of serializing complex data into a single string.

JSON vs XML: differences

JSON vs XML: first difference

JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation. It is a text-based open standard data interchange format. JSON is lightweight and easy to read but doesn't provide schema or type information. It's great for sharing data between multiple applications. XML stands for an extensible markup language. It's a markup language that defines the structure of any XML file in a tree structure. XML is readable by humans but not necessarily by machines. It can be used to share structured information between programs and documents.

JSON vs XML: second difference

JSON and XML are popular ways to store structured data in a file or database. As mentioned before, JSON is a lightweight, human-readable way of representing data structures, while XML code is a more lengthy way of representing structured data.

JSON vs XML: third difference

One of the key differences between these two data formats is that JSON can be used with JavaScript or plaintext files, whereas XML can only be stored as a text file. In addition, JSON uses less memory than XML software when processing information. These key differences in memory use make JSON an ideal format for quickly processing large amounts of data.

JSON vs XML: fourth difference

The JSON format is a way of storing data compactly so programs can read that. It's generally easier to write and read than XML since it uses fewer characters. At the same time, the XML data format is a specific form of markup language for storing data in an organized manner. It has more features than JSON, but it's also more complicated because it requires more information about the structure of your document before it can be read.

JSON vs XML: fifth difference

The JSON format is used to store and transmit data, while XML is used to represent data in a machine-readable way. JSON has been gaining popularity as a storage medium for web applications because of its simplicity. In contrast, XML is still the go-to choice for transmitting structured data over the web.

JSON vs XML: sixth difference

One of the key differences between these two data formats is that JSON is generally more compact than XML, which means it can be transmitted more quickly over networks. JSON also has fewer restrictions on its structure, which helps programmers when they're trying to parse large amounts of data from it. In addition, many programming languages support both formats, so there's no need to switch between them when working with different platforms or programming languages.

JSON vs XML: seventh difference

You can use JSON in your web application or mobile app without worrying about compatibility issues because it's widely accepted on the web and mobile apps. On the other hand, XML has some issues when it comes to cross-platform compatibility. It's not supported by many programming languages (except Actionscript), so developers have to choose between using a tool like Apache HttpComponents or Apache axis2 if they want their apps to run on multiple platforms simultaneously.

JSON vs XML: eighth difference

XML files require more storage space than JSON files (at least if you use them with Node). In general, however, this isn't a problem as long as your web server has plenty of RAM available for storing these files; otherwise, you should consider changing your app's architecture so that all processing happens on the client side instead of behind the scenes where it would take up too much memory space.

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JSON vs XML: ninth difference

One of the key differences between JSON and XML is that XML has a more rigid structure than JSON, making it more difficult to manipulate without breaking the document. In addition, most XML files cannot be edited in a place like JSON documents can; therefore, if you want to change the value of an element in a JSON document, you can edit the value directly in the text editor, and it's done. This means that a malicious user could change the value of an element by simply editing the document itself and having it reflected in your program's output.

JSON vs XML:10th difference

Syntax of JSON and XML;

  • JSON syntax is more compact than XML.
  • JSON syntax is easier to read and write.

JSON's syntax allows you to define objects easily, as opposed to the more verbose way with arrays or collections in XML syntax. For example:

```javascript function myFunction(date) { return { "date": date }; } var obj = Object.create(null); obj["date"] = new Date(); ```

  • It is also important to remember that the syntax for XML is more complicated than JSON due to its need for entity references which may not be necessary in some cases (e.g., if you're creating an API service). XML is not human-readable. It's much easier to read JSON than XML because JSON uses fewer characters, making it easier to comprehend what the data means. JSON is more concise. It uses fewer characters to represent the same information as XML.

JSON vs XML:11th difference

  • In JSON and XML, the data type of a value is encoded as an object or element. In JSON, only string, number, boolean and null are supported as data types. On the other hand, in XML data, many other types, like date and time, can be used to describe your XML data.
  • In JavaScript object notation, the data types are not encoded in any way. It is up to the developer to decide how they want to represent their data as objects and arrays using JSON. As a result, there are no rules on what can be used as a value or an attribute name in JSON.

JSON vs XML: similarities

Both JSON and XML are self-describing formats

Self-describing formats were designed to be human-readable, human-writable, machine-readable, and machine writable. For example:

  • Human Readable - The same data can be presented in a variety of ways (e.g., ASCII text) so that humans can understand it easily without having to learn how the computer works or what specific information is stored inside an object;
  • Human Writable - Humans can change the content of existing objects by adding or removing properties;
  • Machine Readable - Machines can understand these files because there are rules for how numbers should be formatted (e.g., 1st decimal point is always on its line).

Both JSON and XML have good support for content definitions and validation

JSON and XML are both widely used, so they're supported by many programming languages. For example, JSON is supported by JavaScript, Python, Perl, and Ruby. XML data also supports many different programming languages: JavaScript, PHP, and C# (which is Microsoft's version of C++). You can use an XML serializer library to turn your JSON document into an XML file - the same way you might write an HTML page using the tag or create images.

Data serialization

JSON and XML can be used for data serialization (converting a data structure to a format for storage or transmission). This means you can use them to pass information from one application or system to another through a communication channel like HTTP or SOAP (simple object access protocol).

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One of the most apparent similarities between these two data structures is that JSON and XML are text-based. As a result, many believe JSON was created to be a simpler alternative to XML.

Hierarchical structures

Thirdly, both formats have hierarchical structures where each field has its name and value separated by commas.

When should I use JSON?

JSON is often used when you're creating web pages that will be viewed by people with different operating systems or browsers. It can also be used for data interchange between web servers or devices.

Is JSON faster than XML?

JSON and XML are great ways to store data in a web server, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. JSON is faster because:

  1. JSON format has a smaller footprint than XML.
  2. JSON has a more straightforward syntax for editing and creating new documents, making debugging errors in your data more accessible.
  3. JSON is more flexible than XML - it can be used in many different programming languages, whereas XML can only be used in one programming language simultaneously (usually Java).

JSON will be faster when you use the same data in both formats because storing the same amount of information takes less memory. That's because JSON uses only one-byte characters for its string data types, while XML uses two-byte characters for everything else.

However, if you're storing something like an excel spreadsheet containing millions of rows with millions of columns and thousands of values per row - or anything else that requires more space than what a simple string can hold - then XML would be a better choice. The reason is that XML can check for errors more efficiently than JSON can (this helps prevent bugs in your software).

Is XML more secure than JSON?

According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), XML is more secure than JSON. The study used both open-source data sets and proprietary data sets that were sent over insecure channels. The study found that XML was more likely to be attacked than JSON, but both were vulnerable to attack.

The NIST study also looked at how easy it would be for an attacker to alter or delete data in either format, as well as what would happen if attackers were able to change the structure of the data itself, such as changing the order of elements within an XML document or adding elements not initially present.

JSON vs XML: conclusion

JSON and XML are great ways to represent data, but they have advantages and disadvantages. XML has been around for a long time and is widely used in enterprise environments. JSON is newer, but it's gaining popularity among developers looking for a simple syntax for data exchange.

The choice between JSON and XML depends on your needs: if you're working with large amounts of data, XML might be better for you; if you need to communicate with another application using an API or SOAP, then JSON may be better. In either case, the best thing you can do is research the pros and cons of each format and decide what works best for your project!

If you create your project using the no-code platform AppMaster, then when the backend is created, the REST API is automatically created in it. There are 3 types of endpoints in AppMaster:

The user can choose to use data in JSON format (default), XML, or binary format (RAW). For all API types, AppMaster automatically generates documentation in OPEN API format (Swagger). 

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