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


Whether or not you’re constructing a skinny consumer (net software) or thick consumer (client-server software) in some unspecified time in the future you’re in all probability making requests to an internet server and wish a superb information format for responses. As of as we speak, there are three main information codecs getting used to transmit information from an internet server to a consumer: CSV, XML, and JSON. With a purpose 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 publish 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 title implies, this information format is principally a listing of components separated by commas. As an instance that your response is sending again a listing of individuals in a selected household. The format would appear like this:


Execs – This format is essentially the most compact of all three codecs. Typically talking, CSV codecs are about half the scale of XML and JSON codecs. That is the most important benefit of CSV as a result of it might probably assist cut back bandwidth

Cons – This format is the least versatile of all three codecs. It is because a do-it-yourself parser is required to transform the CSV information right into a native information construction. In consequence, if the information 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 information from one machine to a different) then each applications have to 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 information hierarchies. What for those who wished to ship again attributes for every particular person in every household? You’ll then need to design a posh parser that is aware of which components of the CSV are referring to components of a household, and which components are referring to components of every particular person. One approach to resolve this drawback is to make use of one other delimiter like “;” to separate every particular person’s attribute:


The issue with creating custom-made codecs, nevertheless, is that you just 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 symbolize information codecs with a hierarchical construction. The format appears 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 totally helps hierarchical information constructions and could be very acceptable when receiving advanced information as a response. It’s also very human readable. Most browsers have in-built XML readers that mean you can examine XML information. Since XML was the primary customary hierarchical information format, most APIs have in-built performance to routinely convert XML information streams into native information constructions like objects.

Cons – This information format is about 3 times as massive as CSV. It is because every information 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, nevertheless, it represents hierarchical information with using commas, curly braces and brackets. An instance of JSON appears like this:



Execs – This information format helps hierarchical information whereas being smaller in measurement than XML. As its title implies, it was additionally created to extra simply parse information into native Javascript objects, making it very helpful for net purposes. 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. In contrast to XML, JSON codecs are solely about twice as massive as CSV codecs.

Cons – This information format has a bit of bit much less help than XML. Since JSON is comparatively newer than XML, fewer APIs exist to routinely convert JSON to native information constructions. Nonetheless, 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 information trade format to this point. It is mild weight, compact, and versatile. CSV ought to solely be used if you’re sending big quantities of knowledge 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.