File Extension File Type Popularity
JSON JavaScript Object Notation Format Very popular ( 5 / 5 )

What is a JSON file?


JSON is a data interchange format. Files with JSON file extension store data in a human-readable format derived from Javascript programming language, but its is a generic, language-independent format supported by many development environments.

JSON format is very similar to XML text format and offers high-readability and clear data organization and structure. JSON files can be edited manually using any text editor. User must pay attention not to modify markup tags or formatting and use values recognized by target program. It is advised to delegate JSON file generation process to an automated utility to avoid manual editing.

Some data send in JSON may be hidden form users. However, JSON format is usually the format of choice as it allows users to directly view or even edit data stored in such files. JSON files are typically used for exporting program settings, game data, or various data filters.

Where JSON files are used?

JSON format was developed as a standard for exchanging data between web applications (Front-End layer) and servers (Back-End layer). The standard was later adopted in other software fields. The main uses of JSON are:

  • Server communication. Services send information to servers about their configuration and availability.

  • Configuration files. Many server-side application use JSON configuration files as their settings files.

  • Storing program settings, such as shortcut list for web browser.

  • Storing and processing data. Some database engines use JSON files to store database entries.

JSON files are data containers. Data in JSON files only makes sense to the applications that uses given JSON and is meaningless to other applications or programs. However, data stored in JSON files can sometimes constitute a valid source of information. JSON files may contain malicious code, yet opening such file with text editor is completely safe. Most programs by default analyze JSON files for malicious code.