XML, JSON and CSV Data Formats: What does the Future look like?

XML, JSON and CSV Data Formats: What does the Future look like?

XML-JSON-and-CSV-Data-Formats

In today’s world, data is the key element for any business. Engineers are constantly thinking to deliver the data in a format which is crisp and understandable. A gamut of tools and technologies are built around these data representations to deliver the best throughout and use less network bandwidth such that the generated data structure is self-explanatory and can cater all kind of data variations. Let us discuss each of these formats one by one and see their mutual pros and cons.

Understanding XML Data Format

Well, XML has been one of the major data format used invariably. Initially, XML was restricted to only Web UI section, but when eventually the IT industry saw data boom, more and more people inclined towards Service Oriented Architecture. That led to new protocols being introduced to handle the most generic problems like SOAP, XML – RPC, etc. The SOAP, being the most popular forms of API development technique, was widely accepted because of its ability to represent any form of data with an additional benefit of inducing security directly inside its body.

But the problem with XML is that it is bulky – with tags, attributes, namespaces, schemas etc. Sometimes XML can eat up a lot of network bandwidth while transferring a small amount of data. Even though XML is the most readable format of data till date, people still started looking at the alternatives. The most common form of the alternative that a present-day industry relies on is JSON (Javascript Object Notation).

Introduction to the JSON Data Format

Well, with the introduction to JSON, industry again took its hype to introduce a number of new protocols best suited to JSON. One of the most popular protocol introduced, that works side by side with JSON is REST (Representable State Transfer). JSON is very smaller in size as compared with XML, as it strips down a lot of information on the protocol itself. The data is only represented in JSON while the rest of the part is separated.  Presently, most of the widely popular industry giants rely heavily on JSON type of data communication and the REST protocol.

Is CSV the Future?

Well No! It is very hard to predict whether CSV can be one of the data transfer protocols to cater to in the near future or not because even though CSV is pretty much smaller in size than JSON, it still incapable of providing some of the best-known features present with JSON and XML. If the data volume is very big and the schema is more or less flat, CSV might be one of the best fit for data transfer, but still, it is not recommended even today because of its inability of handling data complexities.

But having said that, people still like the format more than anything – it might be because of the common tools available in the market, some of the tools like MS Excel, Open Office, etc. Not even restricted to them, a large number of software vendors also use CSV as their own data exporting format, as data represented by it is less in size and also people can use the popular tools like spreadsheets to load them and see it.integrate-business-apps-through-appseconnect

Why is the Conversion from CSV to JSON or XML Necessary?

As we have already looked at, we are still in a situation where standard market-driven applications support either JSON or XML as their data format and cannot directly allow you to post CSV to those APIs. It is very important to consider the format interchange as a requirement.  Let us take an example to understand the requirement.

Let’s say, you are running a retail business where you have a number of shops connected to a POS (Point of Sale) server. People coming to the local shop purchase through POS which is connected to your backend centralized ERP. Now let’s say your business head requires the report of all the orders placed through POS in a particular region. You might say, that the business head can go to the backend ERP system and check it there, but sometimes you cannot ask the business head to open a tool which is very technical, or even you cannot directly show him the API response in JSON format and ask him to read the data.

In such a scenario, you might need a conversion of XML or JSON to CSV such that you can send the respective data through an email or in a particular location where your business head can go and read the data using Microsoft Excel.

To do that, you might want to use JavaScript or any other language.

Let us look how the code looks like :

function ConvertJsonToCSV(objArray)
{
var array = typeof objArray != 'object' ? JSON.parse(objArray) : objArray;
var str = '';
for (var i = 0; i < array.length; i++) {
var line = '';
for (var index in array[i]) {
line += array[i][index] + ',';
}
line.slice(0,line.Length-1);
str += line + '\r\n';
}
return str;
}

The code looks simple but when your requirement is to cater hierarchy of data, you might need to handle a lot of complexity inside this code.

How does APPSeCONNECT help?

Automation is the future! It is always recommended to enable automation in a system. If you think of your business, you know that it is a continuous activity. What if your intent is to ensure your business head gets the most updated report of your business without any manual activity? What if, your business head wants to change the way the data is presented to him? What if your business head needs to get notified through email if there is a certain type of data is present in the report. What if your business head wants to set up rules so that he does not see trivial orders?

The same applies to all other employees who are interested in analytics.

All these requirements you have, need a process orchestration tool. APPSeCONNECT provides the visual workflow that allows you to convert one data format to another. The visual workflow will enable you to quickly change and notify about only the data you want to project to, either directly emailed to you or updated in real time to the destination application.

The platform provides built-in connectors such that you can enable a pre-packed template based on the industry standard and then customize it as per your own business needs. The platform leaves you with the flexibility to change any platform at any time catering the same business problem.

Conclusion

The world is changing, and it is changing very fast. Thus, if you are heavily relied on developers to do your business integration, you might end up investing heavily in wrong hands. Simple integration is key to the success of this changing the environment such that your employees can look at the problems they have expertise on. With a simple yet innovative platform, the conversion from one format to another could be easily handled.

On this debate, where the world is moving, or rather which platform should replace JSON, I leave this to you. Share your views on all three-different data formats to create a healthy discussion.

Now, you can easily integrate your line of business applications like ERP, CRM, Ecommerce Store, Marketplace, Shipping and POS Systems under one single platform!integrate-business-apps-through-appseconnect

You may also like:
14 Best Practices to Develop the Best Data Integration Platform
Pre-packed Business Process Integration – Why it is Important?
Event Driven Integrations using Webhooks – Explained!