Is JSON truly an alternative to XML

If you have ever worked on a web application project, you are already familiar with the Extensible Markup Language (XML). For some reason, lately it has begun to lose the favour of developers. They have got a faster and more flexible format. If you search for “XML vs JSON”, one of the top results on the SERP will have the title “JSON: The Fat-Free Alternative to XML”. XML was and is still used to transfer data between two different applications having their own proprietary format. Using XML very fewer filters are required for data conversion. However, in applications having complex and structured data, this transfer becomes too complex.

There are too many tags and characters that adversely affect the performance of the application. Some developers also call it “heavy”. Now they have a fast and flexible alternative to XML – JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) which is written in JavaScript. Here are top the four reasons behind the popularity of JSON in the industry:


As compared to Extensible Markup Language, JSON is simpler and more focused tool for small and complex applications. It is a flexible and highly compatible tool.


Billion Laughs is one of the Denial-Of-Service attacks that exploit XML parser vulnerabilities. XML External Entity attack is used to gain the access of protected files from a connected network or a server. This is all because of the vulnerability of XML with proper parsing. There are some features of XML that if accidently turned on; your system is subjected to substantial risks. However, this is not same with the JSON.

Written in JavaScript:

It is written in JavaScript, so offer easy interoperability. Originally, it was developed to pull out convenient syntax used in the scripting language as data format in itself. The popularity of JavaScript has also played a part in its popularity.

Tool support

Because of its popularity, most of the development tools accept it as a standard.

Is JSON truly an alternative to XML?

If a project has data in XML form that is app logic, XML based database queries are written in XML, migrating it to JSON does not make sense. Moreover, JSON just offers data interchangeability; it has just attributes, not metadata.

Whether you are working for a web development agency or you are a freelance website developer, you should know which of your projects need JSON and which require XML for transferring data between different applications.

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