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CSV vs XML vs JSON – Which is the Best Response Data Format?


Whether or not you’re constructing a skinny consumer (internet software) or thick consumer (client-server software) sooner or later you’re in all probability making requests to an internet server and wish a very good knowledge format for responses. As of at this time, there are three main knowledge codecs getting used to transmit knowledge from an internet server to a consumer: CSV, XML, and JSON. In an effort to develop an software with a strong structure, it is a good suggestion to grasp the variations between every format and know when to make use of them. The aim of this submit is to outline every knowledge format, lay out the professionals and cons for every, and uncover which conditions work finest with every format.


CSV stands for “comma separated values”. Because the title implies, this knowledge format is mainly a listing of parts separated by commas. For example that your response is sending again a listing of individuals in a specific household. The format would seem like this:


Professionals – This format is probably the most compact of all three codecs. Usually talking, CSV codecs are about half the scale of XML and JSON codecs. That is the key benefit of CSV as a result of it could possibly assist cut back bandwidth

Cons – This format is the least versatile of all three codecs. It is because a home made parser is required to transform the CSV knowledge right into a native knowledge construction. Because of this, if the info construction modifications, there may be an related overhead of getting to alter 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 (do not forget that we’re passing knowledge from one machine to a different) then each applications should be up to date concurrently to forestall the receiving program to crash. In any other case, an outage is required to replace each applications individually to forestall incompatibility points.

Lastly, CSV does probably not help knowledge hierarchies. What in case you wished to ship again attributes for every individual in every household? You’ll then should design a fancy parser that is aware of which components of the CSV are referring to parts of a household, and which components are referring to parts of every individual. One approach to resolve this downside is to make use of one other delimiter like “;” to separate every individual’s attribute:


The issue with creating personalized codecs, nonetheless, 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 normal in 1998. It was created to higher signify knowledge codecs with a hierarchical construction. The format appears to be like 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 /> 8<br /></age></person>

Professionals – This knowledge format totally helps hierarchical knowledge buildings and could be very acceptable when receiving advanced knowledge as a response. Additionally it is very human readable. Most browsers have in-built XML readers that help you examine XML recordsdata. Since XML was the primary normal hierarchical knowledge format, most APIs have in-built performance to mechanically convert XML knowledge streams into native knowledge buildings like objects.

Cons – This knowledge format is about thrice as giant as CSV. It is because every knowledge component 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, nonetheless, it represents hierarchical knowledge with the usage of commas, curly braces and brackets. An instance of JSON appears to be like like this:




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

Cons – This knowledge 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 knowledge buildings. Nevertheless, that is quickly altering as a result of newer APIs and plugins are supporting each XML and JSON.


As a basic rule of thumb, JSON is the perfect knowledge trade format up to now. It is mild weight, compact, and versatile. CSV ought to solely be used if you’re sending big quantities of information and if bandwidth is a matter. As we speak, XML shouldn’t be used as an information trade format as a result of it is higher suited to doc markups.

python examplesSource by Eric D Rowell#CSV #XML #JSON #Response #Knowledge #Format

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