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

JSON alternatives


JSON is a popular format, but not the only one commonly used. Most systems support many standards to ensure universality. Many data interchange formats offer very similar functionality, but differ in details.

The most popular such formats are the following:

  • XML

    Most well-known and popular data interchange format. It was developed and standardized by such companies as Microsoft, among others. XML format uses tags in place of JSON curly brackets. Data entires are enclosed within a pair of opening and closing tags. XML documents have a hierarchical tree structure.

  • YAML

    This format is considered to be the most easy to read data interchange format. The standard uses whitespaces in place of tags or brackets. YAML is very similar in structure to JSON, but offers additional features not available in JSON. JSON libraries by default also support YAML schema.

  • BSON

    BSON is not a separate data interchange format, but a binary version of JSON. BSON files being binary files cannot be directly edited or viewed. However, BSON files are smaller in size that their JSON equivalents and are faster to process, making them ideal when speed is essential.

  • MessagePack

    MessagePack is a compact data interchange format for efficient data transmission. MessagePack is a space-efficient format suited for digital data transmission and processing. It differs from JSON in that its specification requires that variables have their size declared. Additionally, some strings cannot be used directly as it is a binary format.