working - php json decode




Fastest way to check if a string is JSON in PHP? (18)

I need a really, really fast method of checking if a string is JSON or not. I feel like this is not the best way:

function isJson($string) {
    return ((is_string($string) &&
            (is_object(json_decode($string)) ||
            is_array(json_decode($string))))) ? true : false;
}

Any performance enthusiasts out there want to improve this method?


Answer to the Question

The function json_last_error returns the last error occurred during the JSON encoding and decoding. So the fastest way to check the valid JSON is

// decode the JSON data
// set second parameter boolean TRUE for associative array output.
$result = json_decode($json);

if (json_last_error() === JSON_ERROR_NONE) {
    // JSON is valid
}

// OR this is equivalent

if (json_last_error() === 0) {
    // JSON is valid
}

Note that json_last_error is supported in PHP >= 5.3.0 only.

Full program to check the exact ERROR

It is always good to know the exact error during the development time. Here is full program to check the exact error based on PHP docs.

function json_validate($string)
{
    // decode the JSON data
    $result = json_decode($string);

    // switch and check possible JSON errors
    switch (json_last_error()) {
        case JSON_ERROR_NONE:
            $error = ''; // JSON is valid // No error has occurred
            break;
        case JSON_ERROR_DEPTH:
            $error = 'The maximum stack depth has been exceeded.';
            break;
        case JSON_ERROR_STATE_MISMATCH:
            $error = 'Invalid or malformed JSON.';
            break;
        case JSON_ERROR_CTRL_CHAR:
            $error = 'Control character error, possibly incorrectly encoded.';
            break;
        case JSON_ERROR_SYNTAX:
            $error = 'Syntax error, malformed JSON.';
            break;
        // PHP >= 5.3.3
        case JSON_ERROR_UTF8:
            $error = 'Malformed UTF-8 characters, possibly incorrectly encoded.';
            break;
        // PHP >= 5.5.0
        case JSON_ERROR_RECURSION:
            $error = 'One or more recursive references in the value to be encoded.';
            break;
        // PHP >= 5.5.0
        case JSON_ERROR_INF_OR_NAN:
            $error = 'One or more NAN or INF values in the value to be encoded.';
            break;
        case JSON_ERROR_UNSUPPORTED_TYPE:
            $error = 'A value of a type that cannot be encoded was given.';
            break;
        default:
            $error = 'Unknown JSON error occured.';
            break;
    }

    if ($error !== '') {
        // throw the Exception or exit // or whatever :)
        exit($error);
    }

    // everything is OK
    return $result;
}

Testing with Valid JSON INPUT

$json = '[{"user_id":13,"username":"stack"},{"user_id":14,"username":"over"}]';
$output = json_validate($json);
print_r($output);

Valid OUTPUT

Array
(
    [0] => stdClass Object
        (
            [user_id] => 13
            [username] => stack
        )

    [1] => stdClass Object
        (
            [user_id] => 14
            [username] => over
        )
)

Testing with invalid JSON

$json = '{background-color:yellow;color:#000;padding:10px;width:650px;}';
$output = json_validate($json);
print_r($output);

Invalid OUTPUT

Syntax error, malformed JSON.

Extra note for (PHP >= 5.2 && PHP < 5.3.0)

Since json_last_error is not supported in PHP 5.2, you can check if the encoding or decoding returns boolean FALSE. Here is an example

// decode the JSON data
$result = json_decode($json);
if ($result === FALSE) {
    // JSON is invalid
}

Hope this is helpful. Happy Coding!


Should be something like this:

 function isJson($string)
 {
    // 1. Speed up the checking & prevent exception throw when non string is passed
    if (is_numeric($string) ||
        !is_string($string) ||
        !$string) {
        return false;
    }

    $cleaned_str = trim($string);
    if (!$cleaned_str || !in_array($cleaned_str[0], ['{', '['])) {
        return false;
    }

    // 2. Actual checking
    $str = json_decode($string);
    return (json_last_error() == JSON_ERROR_NONE) && $str && $str != $string;
}

UnitTest

public function testIsJson()
{
    $non_json_values = [
        "12",
        0,
        1,
        12,
        -1,
        '',
        null,
        0.1,
        '.',
        "''",
        true,
        false,
        [],
        '""',
        '[]',
        '   {',
        '   [',
    ];

   $json_values = [
        '{}',
        '{"foo": "bar"}',
        '[{}]',
        '  {}',
        ' {}  '
    ];

   foreach ($non_json_values as $non_json_value) {
        $is_json = isJson($non_json_value);
        $this->assertFalse($is_json);
    }

    foreach ($json_values as $json_value) {
        $is_json = isJson($json_value);
        $this->assertTrue($is_json);
    }
}

A simple modification to henrik's answer to touch most required possibilities.

( including " {} and [] " )

function isValidJson($string) {
    json_decode($string);
    if(json_last_error() == JSON_ERROR_NONE) {

        if( $string[0] == "{" || $string[0] == "[" ) { 
            $first = $string [0];

            if( substr($string, -1) == "}" || substr($string, -1) == "]" ) {
                $last = substr($string, -1);

                if($first == "{" && $last == "}"){
                    return true;
                }

                if($first == "[" && $last == "]"){
                    return true;
                }

                return false;

            }
            return false;
        }

        return false;
    }

    return false;

}

All you really need to do is this...

if (is_object(json_decode($MyJSONArray))) 
    { 
        ... do something ...
    }

This request does not require a separate function even. Just wrap is_object around json_decode and move on. Seems this solution has people putting way too much thought into it.


Earlier i was just checking for a null value, which was wrong actually.

    $data = "ahad";
    $r_data = json_decode($data);
    if($r_data){//json_decode will return null, which is the behavior we expect
        //success
    }

The above piece of code works fine with strings. However as soon as i provide number, it breaks up.for example.

    $data = "1213145";
    $r_data = json_decode($data);

    if($r_data){//json_decode will return 1213145, which is the behavior we don't expect
        //success
    }

To fix it what i did was very simple.

    $data = "ahad";
    $r_data = json_decode($data);

    if(($r_data != $data) && $r_data)
        print "Json success";
    else
        print "Json error";

Easy method is to check the json result..

$result = @json_decode($json,true);
    if (is_array($result)) {
        echo 'JSON is valid';
    }else{
        echo 'JSON is not valid';
    }

Freshly-made function for PHP 5.2 compatibility, if you need the decoded data on success:

function try_json_decode( $json, & $success = null ){
  // non-strings may cause warnings
  if( !is_string( $json )){
    $success = false;
    return $json;
  }

  $data = json_decode( $json );

  // output arg
  $success =

    // non-null data: success!
    $data !==  null  ||

    // null data from 'null' json: success!
    $json === 'null' ||

    // null data from '  null  ' json padded with whitespaces: success!
    preg_match('/^\s*null\s*$/', $json );

  // return decoded or original data
  return $success ? $data : $json;
}

Usage:

$json_or_not = ...;

$data = try_json_decode( $json_or_not, $success );

if( $success )
     process_data( $data );
else what_the_hell_is_it( $data );

Some tests:

var_dump( try_json_decode( array(), $success ), $success );
// ret = array(0){}, $success == bool(false)

var_dump( try_json_decode( 123, $success ), $success );
// ret = int(123), $success == bool(false)

var_dump( try_json_decode('      ', $success ), $success );
// ret = string(6) "      ", $success == bool(false)

var_dump( try_json_decode( null, $success ), $success );
// ret = NULL, $success == bool(false)

var_dump( try_json_decode('null', $success ), $success );
// ret = NULL, $success == bool(true)

var_dump( try_json_decode('  null  ', $success ), $success );
// ret = NULL, $success == bool(true)

var_dump( try_json_decode('  true  ', $success ), $success );
// ret = bool(true), $success == bool(true)

var_dump( try_json_decode('  "hello"  ', $success ), $success );
// ret = string(5) "hello", $success == bool(true)

var_dump( try_json_decode('  {"a":123}  ', $success ), $success );
// ret = object(stdClass)#2 (1) { ["a"]=> int(123) }, $success == bool(true)

I don't know about performance or elegance of my solution, but it's what I'm using:

if (preg_match('/^[\[\{]\"/', $string)) {
    $aJson = json_decode($string, true);
    if (!is_null($aJson)) {
       ... do stuff here ...
    }
}

Since all my JSON encoded strings start with {" it suffices to test for this with a RegEx. I'm not at all fluent with RegEx, so there might be a better way to do this. Also: strpos() might be quicker.

Just trying to give in my tuppence worth.

P.S. Just updated the RegEx string to /^[\[\{]\"/ to also find JSON array strings. So it now looks for either [" or {" at the beginning of the string.


The fastest way to maybe decode a possible JSON object to a PHP object/array:

/**
 * If $value is a JSON encoded object or array it will be decoded 
 * and returned.
 * If $value is not JSON format, then it will be returned unmodified.
 */
function get_data( $value ) {
    if ( ! is_string( $value ) ) { return $value; }
    if ( strlen( $value ) < 2 ) { return $value; }
    if ( '{' != $value[0] && '[' != $value[0] ) { return $value; }

    $json_data = json_decode( $value );
    if ( ! $json_data ) { return $value; }
    return $json_data;
}

The simplest and fastest way that I use is following;

$json_array = json_decode( $raw_json , true );

if( $json_array == NULL )   //check if it was invalid json string
    die ('Invalid');  // Invalid JSON error

 // you can execute some else condition over here in case of valid JSON

It is because json_decode() returns NULL if the entered string is not json or invalid json.


Simple function to validate JSON

If you have to validate your JSON in multiple places, you can always use the following function.

function is_valid_json( $raw_json ){
    return ( json_decode( $raw_json , true ) == NULL ) ? false : true ; // Yes! thats it.
}

In the above function, you will get true in return if it is a valid JSON.


This will return true if your string represents a json array or object:

function isJson($str) {
    $json = json_decode($str);
    return $json && $str != $json;
}

It rejects json strings that only contains a number, string or boolean, although those strings are technically valid json.

var_dump(isJson('{"a":5}')); // bool(true)
var_dump(isJson('[1,2,3]')); // bool(true)
var_dump(isJson('1')); // bool(false)
var_dump(isJson('1.5')); // bool(false)
var_dump(isJson('true')); // bool(false)
var_dump(isJson('false')); // bool(false)
var_dump(isJson('null')); // bool(false)
var_dump(isJson('hello')); // bool(false)
var_dump(isJson('')); // bool(false)

It is the shortest way I can come up with.


Using json_decode to "probe" it might not actually be the fastest way. If it's a deeply nested structure, then instantiating a lot of objects of arrays to just throw them away is a waste of memory and time.

So it might be faster to use preg_match and the RFC4627 regex to also ensure validity:

  // in JS:
  var my_JSON_object = !(/[^,:{}\[\]0-9.\-+Eaeflnr-u \n\r\t]/.test(
         text.replace(/"(\\.|[^"\\])*"/g, '')));

The same in PHP:

  return !preg_match('/[^,:{}\\[\\]0-9.\\-+Eaeflnr-u \\n\\r\\t]/',
       preg_replace('/"(\\.|[^"\\\\])*"/', '', $json_string));

Not enough of a performance enthusiast to bother with benchmarks here however.


You must validate your input to make sure the string you pass is not empty and is, in fact, a string. An empty string is not valid JSON.

function is_json($string) {
  return !empty($string) && is_string($string) && is_array(json_decode($string, true)) && json_last_error() == 0;
}

I think in PHP it's more important to determine if the JSON object even has data, because to use the data you will need to call json_encode() or json_decode(). I suggest denying empty JSON objects so you aren't unnecessarily running encodes and decodes on empty data.

function has_json_data($string) {
  $array = json_decode($string, true);
  return !empty($string) && is_string($string) && is_array($array) && !empty($array) && json_last_error() == 0;
}

in GuzzleHttp:

/**
 * Wrapper for json_decode that throws when an error occurs.
 *
 * @param string $json    JSON data to parse
 * @param bool $assoc     When true, returned objects will be converted
 *                        into associative arrays.
 * @param int    $depth   User specified recursion depth.
 * @param int    $options Bitmask of JSON decode options.
 *
 * @return mixed
 * @throws \InvalidArgumentException if the JSON cannot be decoded.
 * @link http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.json-decode.php
 */
function json_decode($json, $assoc = false, $depth = 512, $options = 0)
{
    $data = \json_decode($json, $assoc, $depth, $options);
    if (JSON_ERROR_NONE !== json_last_error()) {
        throw new \InvalidArgumentException(
            'json_decode error: ' . json_last_error_msg());
    }

    return $data;
}

/**
 * Wrapper for JSON encoding that throws when an error occurs.
 *
 * @param mixed $value   The value being encoded
 * @param int    $options JSON encode option bitmask
 * @param int    $depth   Set the maximum depth. Must be greater than zero.
 *
 * @return string
 * @throws \InvalidArgumentException if the JSON cannot be encoded.
 * @link http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.json-encode.php
 */
function json_encode($value, $options = 0, $depth = 512)
{
    $json = \json_encode($value, $options, $depth);
    if (JSON_ERROR_NONE !== json_last_error()) {
        throw new \InvalidArgumentException(
            'json_encode error: ' . json_last_error_msg());
    }

    return $json;
}

one should consider some more complicated json linting methods. I prefer using https://github.com/Seldaek/jsonlint which does not return the false-posivites mentioned in the above alternatives.


function isJson($string) {
 json_decode($string);
 return (json_last_error() == JSON_ERROR_NONE);
}


if(!empty(json_decode($data)))
{
echo "real json";
}






jsonresult