C#:Processing Json Data

JsonMainImage

Whoops…. I was not referring to Jason of Friday the Thirteenth movie but to the JSON or JavaScript Object Notation data. Kidding aside JSON nowadays is the medium of data format interchange used for APIs which previously relies heavily in XML format. In today’s article I would like to show you on how to handle JSON data in terms of Serializing and Deserializing in C#.

JavaScript Object Notation

JSON is a lightweight text based open standard data interchange that is human readable and mainly derived from Javascript language. What’s good about JSON is that it is language independent meaning any type of language can consume an API which uses JSON as their data format. I will show you samples of actual JSON data that are being used by services like Bing Maps, Bing Search and other platforms.

BingMaps.PNG

Bing Maps Json Data

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Bing Search Json Data

As you can see from the sample Json data returned by Bing API, it is arranged in a readable manner, contains different information and the structure is same with JavaScript. Now let’s move to the basics of processing it in C# language.

CREATING JSON FILE

Our sample application will read a Json string and transfer its contents to a Model. Before we further discuss about Json processing we need to create a json file in this format.

SampleJson.PNG

The sample json consists of several objects and one array type. There is an online tool that I used always to verify if my json is valid or not, the name of the tool is JsonLint.

JsonLint.PNG

You’ll need to copy paste the Json data that you want to validate into the Web tool and just click the Validate JSON. So after creating the Json file, we need to create our Model so that we will have some storage of our json data. Another tool that I frequently use is JsonToCSharp.

json2csharpinput.PNG

You will just need to copy paste the json data and just click the Generate button to generate a Model.

json2csharpoutput.PNG

After the generation of our Model, we will create a Class in our sample application called CompanyInformation and just paste the generated Model in it.

JSON.NET

In our sample application today we are going to use a NuGet called Json.Net which is an extension tool used in Visual Studio mainly for Serializing and Deserialzing json data.

JsonNet.PNG

To install the said NuGet, open the Package Manager Console, type “Install-Package Newtonsoft.json” and press enter to automatically download its latest repositories and install it in our project.

PackageManagerJson

JSON SERIALIZING

Let’s now proceed with actual Json Serialization. So what is Serialization? It is the process of converting an object to a json string format. In our sample code below, we created a dummy object of type CompanyInformation with an array of objects called Section. This objects were based on the Model that we just created earlier.

 

Then after creating the said objects we used the JsonConvert.SerializeObject() method with the companyRecordSample as its parameter in order to serialize it to a json string data. The result is shown below.

JsonSerializationResult.PNG

JSON DESERIALIZING

Now that we have already discussed how to Serialize an Object, we will proceed to Deserializing a Json string. Json Deserialization is converting the given json string to an object like the code segment below.

MainProgramJsonDeserialization.png

We will use the JsonConvert.DeserializeObject() method with the jsonData as its parameter. The result below will automatically map the json string to the given object that we created.

JsonDeserializationResult.png

CONCLUSION

There you have it folks! The basics of handling Json data through Serialization and Deserialization process in C#. You can also read some functions provided by Json.Net through their documentation and code samples through this link.

Happy Coding 🙂

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