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149BACnet in JSON? A brief introduction.

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  • Dave Robin
    Nov 2, 2012
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      Some of you might have noticed that in my recent discussion document about the future of BACnet, I snuck in the possibility for using the relative upstart JSON rather than our old friend XML.

      In the last two years, JSON has gone from "trendy" to being the workhorse syntax for most new Internet protocols. Even though both GData and OData were based on Atom XML, they had JSON representations since their inception, and now Google has made the big switch away form XML entirely for new designs, and Microsoft seems to be leaning more that way with full support for JSON in the WCF Data Services framework. Google away and see if you agree.

      The movement to JSON was initially driven by modern client apps, many of which were written in JavaScript. Since then, a wide variety of JSON libraries matured for all other languages. And as it became more widely accepted as a "legitimate" alternative, folks just seem to like typing and reading it better. In the past, you could say "nobody ever got fired for choosing XML", and that may still be true for a while, but...

      So, for those who would ask "so just what does it look like, anyway?", I've made a comparison document that shows the XML examples from the BACnet/WS proposal side by side with their JSON equivalents. And for those embedded developers who shudder at parsing XML, maybe, just maybe, they'll shudder a little less at JSON.


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