CSV vs XML vs JSON – Which is the Finest Response Information Format?


Whether or not you might be constructing a skinny consumer (net utility) or thick consumer (client-server utility) sooner or later you might be in all probability making requests to an online server and wish a very good information format for responses. As of in the present day, there are three main information codecs getting used to transmit information from an online server to a consumer: CSV, XML, and JSON. In an effort to develop an utility with a strong structure, it is a good suggestion to know the variations between every format and know when to make use of them. The aim of this put up is to outline every information format, lay out the professionals and cons for every, and uncover which conditions work greatest with every format.


CSV stands for “comma separated values”. Because the identify implies, this information format is principally an inventory of parts separated by commas. For example that your response is sending again an inventory of individuals in a specific household. The format would appear like this:


Execs – This format is essentially the most compact of all three codecs. Usually talking, CSV codecs are about half the dimensions of XML and JSON codecs. That is the main benefit of CSV as a result of it may possibly assist scale back bandwidth

Cons – This format is the least versatile of all three codecs. It’s because a selfmade parser is required to transform the CSV information right into a native information construction. Consequently, if the information construction adjustments, there’s an related overhead of getting to vary and even redesign your parsers. Moreover, for the reason that program creating the CSV and this system parsing the CSV reside on completely different machines (keep in mind that we’re passing information from one machine to a different) then each packages should be up to date concurrently to stop the receiving program to crash. In any other case, an outage is required to replace each packages individually to stop incompatibility points.

Lastly, CSV does not likely help information hierarchies. What for those who needed to ship again attributes for every individual in every household? You’ll then must design a fancy parser that is aware of which elements of the CSV are referring to parts of a household, and which elements are referring to parts of every individual. One strategy to remedy this downside is to make use of one other delimiter like “;” to separate every individual’s attribute:


The issue with creating custom-made codecs, nevertheless, is that you simply incur an overhead of sustaining an much more advanced parser.


XML stands for “extensible markup language”. XML was designed in 1996 and formally turned a W3C customary in 1998. It was created to raised signify information codecs with a hierarchical construction. The format seems to be like this:

<person> <name><br /> Eric<br /> </name><br /> <age><br /> 26<br /> </age> </person> <person> <name><br /> Andrea<br /> </name><br /> <age><br /> 26<br /> </age> </person> <person> <name><br /> Kusco<br /> </name><br /> <age><br /> eight<br /> </age> </person>

Execs – This information format absolutely helps hierarchical information buildings and may be very applicable when receiving advanced information as a response. Additionally it is very human readable. Most browsers have inbuilt XML readers that let you examine XML recordsdata. Since XML was the primary customary hierarchical information format, most APIs have inbuilt performance to mechanically convert XML information streams into native information buildings like objects.

Cons – This information format is about thrice as giant as CSV. It’s because every information aspect has an related open and shut parameter tag.


JSON stands for (Javascript Object Notation). It was invented in 2001 and have become popularized by Yahoo and Google in 2005 and 2006. It was created as a substitute for XML. Like XML, nevertheless, it represents hierarchical information with using commas, curly braces and brackets. An instance of JSON seems to be like this:



Execs – This information format helps hierarchical information whereas being smaller in dimension than XML. As its identify implies, it was additionally created to extra simply parse information into native Javascript objects, making it very helpful for net functions. JSON is the perfect of each worlds with respect to CSV and XML. It is easy and compact like CSV, however helps hierarchical information like XML. Not like XML, JSON codecs are solely about twice as giant as CSV codecs.

Cons – This information format has a bit bit much less help than XML. Since JSON is comparatively newer than XML, fewer APIs exist to mechanically convert JSON to native information buildings. Nonetheless, that is quickly altering as a result of newer APIs and plugins are supporting each XML and JSON.


As a common rule of thumb, JSON is the perfect information change format thus far. It is gentle weight, compact, and versatile. CSV ought to solely be used if you’re sending enormous quantities of information and if bandwidth is a matter. As we speak, XML shouldn’t be used as an information change format as a result of it is higher suited to doc markups.


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