What is JSON? What is it used for? A simple introduction.

JSON is an abbreviation for “JavaScript Object Notation”. It is a way to represent data using text and although it is derived from JavaScript it is supported by most of the major languages.

Over a decade has gone by since its inception during the early 2000’s and JSON has become completely widespread on the web. It is the format of choice for every available web service and its use in private web services is in equal ubiquity.

It is so common that it is supported natively by many databases. Relational Databases such as MySQL come with native support for storing JSON.

So why is it useful?

Because XML was difficult to manage using JavaScript, and because JSON is easier to read and easier for browsers to parse, JSON eventually replaced XML and although in some cases people still use XML, it is typically seen as outdated and less professional than JSON. Anyone with a need for JSON’s simple and near standardized acceptance can see that communication between browsers and mobile applications has become much easier since XML. Overall, its best for mobile applications, servers and browsers.