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json_encode

(PHP 5 >= 5.2.0, PHP 7, PECL json >= 1.2.0)

json_encodeReturns the JSON representation of a value

Description

json_encode ( mixed $value [, int $options = 0 [, int $depth = 512 ]] ) : string

Returns a string containing the JSON representation of the supplied value.

The encoding is affected by the supplied options and additionally the encoding of float values depends on the value of serialize_precision.

Parameters

value

The value being encoded. Can be any type except a resource.

All string data must be UTF-8 encoded.

Note:

PHP implements a superset of JSON as specified in the original » RFC 7159.

options

Bitmask consisting of JSON_FORCE_OBJECT, JSON_HEX_QUOT, JSON_HEX_TAG, JSON_HEX_AMP, JSON_HEX_APOS, JSON_INVALID_UTF8_IGNORE, JSON_INVALID_UTF8_SUBSTITUTE, JSON_NUMERIC_CHECK, JSON_PARTIAL_OUTPUT_ON_ERROR, JSON_PRESERVE_ZERO_FRACTION, JSON_PRETTY_PRINT, JSON_UNESCAPED_LINE_TERMINATORS, JSON_UNESCAPED_SLASHES, JSON_UNESCAPED_UNICODE, JSON_THROW_ON_ERROR. The behaviour of these constants is described on the JSON constants page.

depth

Set the maximum depth. Must be greater than zero.

Return Values

Returns a JSON encoded string on success or FALSE on failure.

Changelog

Version Description
7.3.0 JSON_THROW_ON_ERROR options was added.
7.2.0 JSON_INVALID_UTF8_IGNORE, and JSON_INVALID_UTF8_SUBSTITUTE options were added.
7.1.0 JSON_UNESCAPED_LINE_TERMINATORS options was added.
7.1.0 serialize_precision is used instead of precision when encoding double values.
5.6.6 JSON_PRESERVE_ZERO_FRACTION options was added.
5.5.0 depth parameter was added.
5.5.0 JSON_PARTIAL_OUTPUT_ON_ERROR options was added.
5.5.0 When value triggers a JSON encoding error, FALSE is returned instead of partial output, unless options contains JSON_PARTIAL_OUTPUT_ON_ERROR. See json_last_error() for the full list of reasons that can cause JSON encoding to fail. One of the potential failure reasons is that value contains strings containing invalid UTF-8.
5.5.0 E_WARNING is no longer emitted for an invalid value.
5.5.0 The return value on failure was changed from null string to FALSE.
5.4.0 JSON_PRETTY_PRINT, JSON_UNESCAPED_SLASHES, and JSON_UNESCAPED_UNICODE options were added.
5.3.3 JSON_NUMERIC_CHECK options was added.
5.3.0 JSON_FORCE_OBJECT, JSON_HEX_AMP, JSON_HEX_APOS, JSON_HEX_QUOT, and JSON_HEX_TAG, options were added.
5.3.0 The options parameter was added.

Examples

Example #1 A json_encode() example

<?php
$arr 
= array('a' => 1'b' => 2'c' => 3'd' => 4'e' => 5);

echo 
json_encode($arr);
?>

The above example will output:

{"a":1,"b":2,"c":3,"d":4,"e":5}

Example #2 A json_encode() example showing some options in use

<?php
$a 
= array('<foo>',"'bar'",'"baz"','&blong&'"\xc3\xa9");

echo 
"Normal: ",  json_encode($a), "\n";
echo 
"Tags: ",    json_encode($aJSON_HEX_TAG), "\n";
echo 
"Apos: ",    json_encode($aJSON_HEX_APOS), "\n";
echo 
"Quot: ",    json_encode($aJSON_HEX_QUOT), "\n";
echo 
"Amp: ",     json_encode($aJSON_HEX_AMP), "\n";
echo 
"Unicode: "json_encode($aJSON_UNESCAPED_UNICODE), "\n";
echo 
"All: ",     json_encode($aJSON_HEX_TAG JSON_HEX_APOS JSON_HEX_QUOT JSON_HEX_AMP JSON_UNESCAPED_UNICODE), "\n\n";

$b = array();

echo 
"Empty array output as array: "json_encode($b), "\n";
echo 
"Empty array output as object: "json_encode($bJSON_FORCE_OBJECT), "\n\n";

$c = array(array(1,2,3));

echo 
"Non-associative array output as array: "json_encode($c), "\n";
echo 
"Non-associative array output as object: "json_encode($cJSON_FORCE_OBJECT), "\n\n";

$d = array('foo' => 'bar''baz' => 'long');

echo 
"Associative array always output as object: "json_encode($d), "\n";
echo 
"Associative array always output as object: "json_encode($dJSON_FORCE_OBJECT), "\n\n";
?>

The above example will output:

Normal: ["<foo>","'bar'","\"baz\"","&blong&","\u00e9"]
Tags: ["\u003Cfoo\u003E","'bar'","\"baz\"","&blong&","\u00e9"]
Apos: ["<foo>","\u0027bar\u0027","\"baz\"","&blong&","\u00e9"]
Quot: ["<foo>","'bar'","\u0022baz\u0022","&blong&","\u00e9"]
Amp: ["<foo>","'bar'","\"baz\"","\u0026blong\u0026","\u00e9"]
Unicode: ["<foo>","'bar'","\"baz\"","&blong&","é"]
All: ["\u003Cfoo\u003E","\u0027bar\u0027","\u0022baz\u0022","\u0026blong\u0026","é"]

Empty array output as array: []
Empty array output as object: {}

Non-associative array output as array: [[1,2,3]]
Non-associative array output as object: {"0":{"0":1,"1":2,"2":3}}

Associative array always output as object: {"foo":"bar","baz":"long"}
Associative array always output as object: {"foo":"bar","baz":"long"}

Example #3 JSON_NUMERIC_CHECK option example

<?php
echo "Strings representing numbers automatically turned into numbers".PHP_EOL;
$numbers = array('+123123''-123123''1.2e3''0.00001');
var_dump(
 
$numbers,
 
json_encode($numbersJSON_NUMERIC_CHECK)
);
echo 
"Strings containing improperly formatted numbers".PHP_EOL;
$strings = array('+a33123456789''a123');
var_dump(
 
$strings,
 
json_encode($stringsJSON_NUMERIC_CHECK)
);
?>

The above example will output something similar to:

Strings representing numbers automatically turned into numbers
array(4) {
  [0]=>
  string(7) "+123123"
  [1]=>
  string(7) "-123123"
  [2]=>
  string(5) "1.2e3"
  [3]=>
  string(7) "0.00001"
}
string(28) "[123123,-123123,1200,1.0e-5]"
Strings containing improperly formatted numbers
array(2) {
  [0]=>
  string(13) "+a33123456789"
  [1]=>
  string(4) "a123"
}
string(24) "["+a33123456789","a123"]"

Example #4 Sequential versus non-sequential array example

<?php
echo "Sequential array".PHP_EOL;
$sequential = array("foo""bar""baz""blong");
var_dump(
 
$sequential,
 
json_encode($sequential)
);

echo 
PHP_EOL."Non-sequential array".PHP_EOL;
$nonsequential = array(1=>"foo"2=>"bar"3=>"baz"4=>"blong");
var_dump(
 
$nonsequential,
 
json_encode($nonsequential)
);

echo 
PHP_EOL."Sequential array with one key unset".PHP_EOL;
unset(
$sequential[1]);
var_dump(
 
$sequential,
 
json_encode($sequential)
);
?>

The above example will output:

Sequential array
array(4) {
  [0]=>
  string(3) "foo"
  [1]=>
  string(3) "bar"
  [2]=>
  string(3) "baz"
  [3]=>
  string(5) "blong"
}
string(27) "["foo","bar","baz","blong"]"

Non-sequential array
array(4) {
  [1]=>
  string(3) "foo"
  [2]=>
  string(3) "bar"
  [3]=>
  string(3) "baz"
  [4]=>
  string(5) "blong"
}
string(43) "{"1":"foo","2":"bar","3":"baz","4":"blong"}"

Sequential array with one key unset
array(3) {
  [0]=>
  string(3) "foo"
  [2]=>
  string(3) "baz"
  [3]=>
  string(5) "blong"
}
string(33) "{"0":"foo","2":"baz","3":"blong"}"

Example #5 JSON_PRESERVE_ZERO_FRACTION option example

<?php
var_dump
(json_encode(12.0JSON_PRESERVE_ZERO_FRACTION));
var_dump(json_encode(12.0));
?>

The above example will output:

string(4) "12.0"
string(2) "12"

Notes

Note:

In the event of a failure to encode, json_last_error() can be used to determine the exact nature of the error.

Note:

When encoding an array, if the keys are not a continuous numeric sequence starting from 0, all keys are encoded as strings, and specified explicitly for each key-value pair.

Note:

Like the reference JSON encoder, json_encode() will generate JSON that is a simple value (that is, neither an object nor an array) if given a string, integer, float or boolean as an input value. While most decoders will accept these values as valid JSON, some may not, as the specification is ambiguous on this point.

To summarise, always test that your JSON decoder can handle the output you generate from json_encode().

See Also

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