Plain JSON data

JSON is defined by RFC 4627:

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is a lightweight, text-based, language-independent data interchange format. JSON defines a small set of formatting rules for the portable representation of structured data.

JSON data, at its simplest, can be a single object composed of fields, with each field having a simple value.

Some terminology:

  • A value can be a simple value, an array, or an object.

  • A simple value can be a string, a number, or a Boolean value true or false, or null.

    • A string is a quoted series of Unicode characters, and may contain escaped special characters (e.g., backspace or newline) or hexadecimal codes for characters.

    • A number is an integer (e.g., 43, -271), a decimal value (e.g., 3.026, -0.0328), or exponential notation (e.g., 2.3e14, 2.7E-12).

    • The values true and false are simple values, and refect their Boolean meaning.

    • The value null can be used many different ways, but generally reflects the usual concept of a value for no value.

  • An array is an ordered list of values, separated by commas. An array is enclosed in square brackets. For example:

    • An array with 3 values: [ "one", 1, true ]

    • An array with a single value: [ true ]

    • An array containing no values: [ ]

  • An object is a set of "name" : value pairs.

    • The name of a pair is referred to as a key. The key of a pair is a string.

    • The value of a pair may be any type of value: a simple value, an array, or an object.

    • Pairs are separated by commas.

    • A given key should appear only once within an object.

    • The order of keys within an object should not be considered significant. Keys may appear within an object in any order.

    • For example:

      • An empty object: { }

      • An object with a single pair: { "GivenName": "Morty" }

      • An object with simple values:

  "GivenName" : "Mortimer",
  "SurName" : "Smith",
  "NameSuffixText" : "Sr",
  "PreferredName" : "Morty",

Although a JSON file may be any value, a JSON file usually consists of a single object, possibly containing other objects. For example:

  "nc:PersonAgeMeasure": {
    "nc:MeasureIntegerValue": 14,
    "nc:TimeUnitCode": "ANN"
  "j:PersonHairColorCode": "BRO",
  "nc:PersonName": {
    "nc:PersonGivenName": "Mortimer",
    "nc:PersonSurName": "Smith",
    "nc:PersonNameSuffixText": "Sr",
    "nc:PersonPreferredName": "Morty"