JavaScript Object Notation(JSON) Basics

JavaScript object notation or JSON is a way to store and exchange data in string format for applications in JavaScript object notation.

When the data is exchanged,it is converted into strings and when the application needs to manipulate the string values. It can parse it back to JavaScript objects.

  • stringify() – convert the JS objects into strings.
  • parse() – converts the strings into JS objects.
JSON communication between client and the server.
JSON communication between client and the server.

Stringify Method

JSON is an independent format that can send text information or receive it. Therefore, any programming language can use it efficiently.

To convert a JavaScript object over the network is possible if we use JSON. It means we need to convert JavaScript object into text without loosing its format.

The stringify() function can convert any JavaScript object into string.

For example

//Create a JavaScript object
var person = {
   firstName :'Peter',
   lastName: 'Pan'
};

//Use JSON to convert the object into string
var jsonObj = JSON.stringify(person);
console.log(person);
//Output = {"firstName":"Peter","lastName":"Pan"}

The output of the program is following:

{"firstName":"Peter","lastName":"Pan"}

The output is a string and it cannot be manipulated.

For example

console.log(json.firstName); 
//will return undefined

Parse Method

The parse() method does exactly opposite of stringify(). It converts the JSON string into a valid JavaScript object.

Let us continue our previous example and convert jsonObj into a valid JavaScript object.

var jsObj = JSON.parse(jsonObj);
console.log(jsObj.firstName);
//output = "Peter"

Once benefit of using JSON is that it communicate faster than technologies like XML to exchange data.

JSON Example Program

In this example, we will be using PHP code that the server executes and send JSON information to the

//Server side PHP code that convert object into a JSON //format
<?php 
$obj->name = "Peter";
$obj->age = 34;
$obj->salary = 1200;
echo json_encode($obj);
?>
//Use AJAX to get the data 
<script>
var xhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();
xhttp.open("GET", "ajax_info.txt", true);
xhttp.onload = function(e){
var jsonData = this.response;
}
//Parse the data into JavaScript objects
var jsObj = JSON.parse(jsonData);

//Print the name of the object
console.log(jsObj.name);
//output = 'Peter'

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