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Parse JSON in C#


Parsing JSON in C# is a common task for developers building applications that consume JSON data. JSON represents JavaScript Object Notation and is a lightweight data representation changing format that is optimal for normal users to read and write and easy for machines to parse and generate. In this article, we will look how to parse JSON in C# using the built-in .NET JSON parsing libraries.

JSON Parsing in C# can be achieved in different ways: using the Newtonsoft.Json library or using the System.Text.Json library introduced in .NET Core 3.0. Both libraries are popular choices for JSON Parsing in C# and provide similar functionalities.

Method 1: Using the Newtonsoft.Json Package

One of the most popular packages for Parsing JSON in C# is Newtonsoft.Json. It is a third-party package that provides a simple and flexible way to serialize and deserialize JSON data.

To use Newtonsoft.Json in your C# project, you need to install it first. You can install it via the NuGet package manager in Visual Studio or by running the following command in the Package Manager Console:


Once installed, you can start using it in your code. Here's an example of how to parse JSON using Newtonsoft.Json:

C# Code:

In this example, we define a JSON string and deserialize it using the JsonConvert.DeserializeObject method provided by Newtonsoft.Json. The method returns a dynamic object, which allows us to access the JSON data using property syntax.

Method 2: Using the System.Text.Json Namespace

Starting with .NET Core 3.0 and .NET 5.0, C# also provides a built-in JSON Parsing library called System.Text.Json. It is a lightweight and fast JSON serializer and deserializer that is included in the .NET runtime.

Here's an example of how to parse JSON using System.Text.Json:

C# Code:

In this example, we use the JsonDocument.Parse method provided by System.Text.Json to parse the JSON string. The method returns a JsonDocument object, which represents the Parsed JSON data. We can then access the JSON data using the JsonElement class and its GetProperty method.

Method 3: Using the JavaScriptSerializer Class

Another way to Parse JSON in C# is by using the JavaScriptSerializer class, which is part of the System.Web.Extensions assembly. This class was introduced in .NET Framework 3.5 and provides a simple way to deserialize JSON data into a strongly-typed object.

To use the JavaScriptSerializer class, you need to create a class that represents the JSON object you want to deserialize. The class should have properties that match the names and data types of the JSON object's properties. For example, assume you have the below JSON object:

JSON Object:

You can create a class that represents this object as follows:

C# Code:

Once you have defined the class, you can use the JavaScriptSerializer class to deserialize the JSON data into an instance of the Person class:

C# Code:

In the example above, we first defined a string containing the JSON data. We then created an instance of the JavaScriptSerializer class and used its Deserialize method to parse the JSON data into an instance of the Person class.

It's worth noting that the JavaScriptSerializer class has limitations compared to the other two methods we discussed. For example, it does not support some of the more advanced features of JSON, such as handling null values or converting between camelCase and PascalCase naming conventions. It also does not have built-in support for deserializing JSON arrays.


In this article, we explored two ways to Parse JSON in C#: using the Newtonsoft.Json library and using the System.Text.Json library. Both libraries provide powerful JSON parsing capabilities and are widely used by developers building C# applications that consume JSON data.

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