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Why You Need a Graphical JSON Schema Editor


The advantages of JSON as a lightweight, interoperable data format have secured its place as the favored mechanism for serializing and transporting data on the web. However, most applications still benefit from or require validation of client-submitted data. Enter the JSON Schema spec, which lets you describe the structure of JSON data for a particular application, for both documentation and validation purposes.

Though JSON Schema code is by design human-readable, building a complex schema with nested and repeating sections in a text-only editor becomes time consuming and error-prone quickly.

There are several reasons why an enterprise-grade, graphical JSON Schema editor is an asset for developers:

  • Graphical view and intelligent entry helpers speed development
  • Those new to JSON Schema can rapidly build a schema using the graphical view
  • Allows incremental data modeling by which you generate a JSON Schema based on an existing JSON instance
  • XML to JSON conversion makes it easy to move between formats as required

Let’s look at each of these ideas more closely and see how they’re implemented in XMLSpy.

 

JSON Schema Editor in XMLSpy

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Editing, Converting, and Generating JSON


As the use of JSON as a data transport protocol increases, I thought it would be useful to take a look at JSON support in XMLSpy. There’s been much debate about advantages of JSON vs. XML, but when you boil it down, there are simply some cases for which JSON is the best choice, and others where XML makes more sense. This article on the XML Aficionado blog unpacks this topic quite well.
While you might need to choose between JSON and XML depending on the development task at hand, you don’t have to choose between code editors – XMLSpy supports both technologies and will even convert between the two. Let’s take a look at how that works.
Editing JSON
To make JSON editing as easy as possible, Altova extended its intelligent XML editing features to the JSON editor. If you choose to edit JSON in text view, XMLSpy helps you along with syntax coloring, bracket matching, source folding, entry helper windows and menus, and so on.

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Here’s that same JSON file in grid view, which offers a graphical representation of the JSON structure with drag and drop editing. Both views provide JSON syntax checking and advanced error checking features.

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Another common requirement is converting XML to/from JSON, which is a one-click option on the XMLSpy convert menu. The JSON data above has been converted to valid XML:

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Having JSON editing and conversion functionality directly inside the XML editor is quite useful, especially if you’re using the free Eclipse or Visual Studio integration package.
Check it out and let us know what you think.

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