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Converting JSON to XML in JavaScript and PHP

22 Feb 2017 - by 'Maurits van der Schee'

In order to support databases that are better at XML than JSON (Yes, I am talking about you SQL Server) I created some code that allows you to convert (lossless) from JSON to XML (and back).


JSON data:

  "depth": false,
  "model": "TRX-120",
  "width": 100,
  "test": [
      "me": null
  "height": null

XML data:

<root type="object">
    <depth type="boolean">false</depth>
    <model type="string">TRX-120</model>
    <width type="number">100</width>
    <test type="array">
        <item type="object">
            <me type="null"/>
        <item type="number">2.5</item>
    <height type="null"/>

The functions 'json2xml' and 'xml2json' convert from JSON to XML and back.

JavaScript and PHP

This is the function that generates XML from any JSON object and is described in the Microsoft .net documentation as a JSON-XML mapping:

function json2xml(json) {
    var a = JSON.parse(json)
    var c = document.createElement("root");
    var t = function (v) {
        return {}.toString.call(v).split(' ')[1].slice(0, -1).toLowerCase();
    var f = function (f, c, a, s) {
        c.setAttribute("type", t(a));
        if (t(a) != "array" && t(a) != "object") {
            if (t(a) != "null") {
        } else {
            for (var k in a) {
                var v = a[k];
                if (k == "__type" && t(a) == "object") {
                    c.setAttribute("__type", v);
                } else {
                    if (t(v) == "object") {
                        var ch = c.appendChild(document.createElementNS(null, s ? "item" : k));
                        f(f, ch, v);
                    } else if (t(v) == "array") {
                        var ch = c.appendChild(document.createElementNS(null, s ? "item" : k));
                        f(f, ch, v, true);
                    } else {
                        var va = document.createElementNS(null, s ? "item" : k);
                        if (t(v) != "null") {
                        var ch = c.appendChild(va);
                        ch.setAttribute("type", t(v));
    f(f, c, a, t(a) == "array");
    return c.outerHTML;

I wrote also the reverse function and did the same implementation in PHP, see:

To ensure quality, I covered all code with unit tests, both in JavaScript (using QUnit) as in PHP (using PHPUnit). Enjoy!

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