Basics of Working with JSON in SQL Server

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JSON – A Brief Background

JSON is an acronym for JavaScript Object Notation, that became popular a little over seventeen years ago. JSON is essentially a data format, it was popularized by Douglas Crockford, a well-known programmer with an interesting history who was also involved in the development of JavaScript. JSON has nearly replaced XML as a cross-platform data exchange format. It is reported to be lightweight and easier to manipulate compared to XML. In AWS CloudFormation, templates, which are actually JSON (or YAML) formatted documents, are used to describe AWS resources when automating deployments.

JSON is also used extensively in NoSQL databases such as the increasingly popular MongoDB. Virtually all the Social Media giants expose APIs that are based on JSON. I am sure you begin to get the idea of how widespread its applications have become. JSON was standardized in 2013 and the latest version of the standard (ECMA-404: The JSON Data Interchange Syntax) was released in 2017.

SQL Server introduced support for JSON in SQL Server 2016.

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SQL Server 2016: JSON, Part 1 – Data Extraction

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JSON is one of the most widely used data interchange formats. It is used as a storing format in several NoSQL solutions, in particular, in Microsoft Azure DocumentDB. In my opinion, today JSON is yet more popular than XML. One of the reasons of its popularity is more simple form and better readability in comparison with XML. Naturally, there was a long-standing need in having an option to process data in this format within SQL Server. In SQL Server 2016, this option has been established. Read More