Making a Difference by Processing JSON as XML

JSON is now a widely used format for data both in web applications and more generally. However, systems and APIs that exchange JSON haven’t been able to take advantage of tracking tools. Can this be helped by processing JSON as XML?

XML and JSON aren’t so different after all

Anyone who has ever published more than one version of a document can readily understand the benefits of tracking changes within it. Though the problems of changing JSON structures are essentially the same as in XML many systems still struggle to compare JSON data.

This paper looks beyond JSON Patch (a fine specification as far as it goes) to a more general mechanism for representing changes in JSON, one that includes the context of the changes so that new ways of processing change can be supported.

Read this Conference Paper to:

  • Receive a deeper understanding of how JSON and XML are structured.
  • Understand how JSON can be converted to XML and vice versa.
  • Review how changes can be represented in JSON.
  • Understand how JSON patch can be improved upon when managing change in JSON data.

There are a number of free tools that will compare JSON data but these are in general simple utilities designed to show changes, typically in a browser, and have limited support for the further processing of those changes.

Related Media

Product Discussion

DeltaJSON Playlist

With line-based JSON diff tools having limited functionality, many of our customers have asked us for a comparison tool for JSON data. Watch as DeltaXML CEO, Robin La Fontaine, takes you through some quick videos of how DeltaJSON manages change.

Software developers are familiar with merge, e.g., pulling together changes from one branch into another in a version control system. Graft is a more selective process, pulling changes from selected commits onto another branch. These two processes are often implemented in the same way, but there are important differences between the two that needs addressing.

DeltaXML and DeltaJSON products look within the structure of your data to identify relevant differences, so you can diagnose, debug and process data efficiently.

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