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Is Json.NET Really the Best JSON Serializer for .NET?

Posted on 09/10/2014

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Which JSON serializer should you use in your .NET application?

If you do a little research, you will quickly find a lot of recommendations for NewtonSoft’s Json.NET. And for good reason: NewtonSoft’s Json.NET is easy to use and is supposedly the fastest.

The Developer’s Tests

Here’s what the developer touts (click on the image to access the NewtonSoft website):

Json.NET performance claims

Before trusting the claims, I decided to make a little test to see how much better the performance actually is.

What We Found When Testing the Json.NET JSON Serializer

The test is quite simple, and, if you’re interested, you can look through the test code:

And here are our results, in both table form:

Table JsondotNET results

and graph form:

Graph JsondotNET results

As you can see, the difference between the built-in DataContract serializer and Json.NET is significant, particularly for serializing, rather than deserializing – ranging between ~45% and ~60% increases in time taken.

Moreover, not needing to add in DataMember attributes allows for quicker development and decreases a potential source of bugs.

My conclusion: Json.NET deserves the de facto title of industry standard. It is fast, easy to use, and well-maintained.

P.S. Want to learn how to efficiently present your JSON data with Windward’s reporting tools? Check out the powerful reporting and docgen Engine.


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Author: Nathan Bellowe

Nathan is a Development Intern at Windward. He spends most of his time working in C#, Java, and lately Javascript. He studies computer science but continues his work at Windward while in school. He plans to continue working on Windward, and aims to be the chief Robot Engineer, when the company follows the inevitable path from reporting software to robots, unless he breaks his hands (like he’s done with both feet this summer), and then he won’t be able to code.

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