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Mastering JSON: Installation and Reading Data in C++

Introduction to JSON and Installation Process

Information is the lifeblood of many businesses, and the format which that data takes is vital. JSON is a popular data format that has gained significant traction over the years, and its value cannot be overstated.

In this article, we will provide an overview of JSON and discuss the necessary steps for its installation.

Explanation of JSON and Its Use

JSON is an acronym for JavaScript Object Notation. It is a data format that consists of a set of rules that dictate how data should be formatted.

This data interchange format is easy to learn, lightweight, and readable, making it ideal for data exchange between various applications.

JSON primarily uses two data structures to organize data: objects and arrays.

An object is a collection of key-value pairs where each value can be a string, number, Boolean, null value, array, or another object. Meanwhile, an array is a collection of elements, which can be of any of the six allowable data types.

JSON has become an extremely popular format for transmitting data across the web, and for a good reason. It is easy to parse, generate, and interpret on both the server and client-side, which makes it a reliable choice.

Installation Process and Required Libraries

Before you can begin working with JSON, the first step is to install the requisite libraries and setup your environment. JSON is natively supported in most programming languages, including C++.

For Linux, you can install the jsoncpp library using the package manager. First, start by opening your terminal, updating the package manager, and then installing the jsoncpp library as follows:

sudo apt update

sudo apt install libjsoncpp-dev

Once installed, you can include the library in your project by adding the following line to your code:


With the installation complete, you can start working with JSON.

Understanding JSON Objects and Datatypes

JSON objects are enclosed within braces { }, and key-value pairs are separated by a colon: “key1”: value1, “key2”:value2. Each key must be unique and is always a string.

The value can be any of the six data types. For example, let’s take the following JSON object:


“name”: “John Doe”,

“age”: 30,

“isMarried”: false,

“children”: [


“name”: “Tom”,

“age”: 5



“name”: “Mary”,

“age”: 7




In this example, “name,” “age,” “isMarried,” and “children” are the keys, whereas “John Doe,” 30, false, and the array are their respective values.

The allowed datatypes in JSON are:

1. String: A string of Unicode characters (e.g. “Hello, World!”).

2. Number: A number, which can be an integer or a floating-point number (e.g. 10, 3.14).

3. Boolean: A logical value of either true or false.

4. Null: Represents a null or empty value.

5. Array: An ordered list of elements enclosed in square brackets (e.g. [1,2,3]).

6. Object: An unordered collection of key-value pairs enclosed in curly braces (e.g., {“name”: “John Doe”})

JSON allows you to operate with large volumes of data, and its efficiency is unmatched.

Incorporating JSON into your application can make communication between various applications seamless.


JSON’s flexibility, readability, and lightweight nature make it an excellent data format for exchanging data between applications. With the right tools and knowledge, working with JSON becomes straightforward and efficient, allowing you to focus on building your application’s core functionality.

By learning JSON, you can improve your application’s performance and create reliable systems that can communicate with other applications seamlessly. Reading Data from a JSON File in C++

JSON provides developers with an efficient and flexible way to store, transmit and retrieve data.

JSON can interact with multiple programming languages, including C++. In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in reading data from a JSON file in C++.

Installation Steps for Ubuntu on Windows and Accessing Terminal

Before we can begin, we will need to install Ubuntu on Windows and access the terminal. To install Ubuntu on Windows, follow these steps:


Search for “Windows Features” in the Windows search bar. 2.

Select “Turn Windows features on or off” from the search results. 3.

Scroll down to “Windows Subsystem for Linux” and enable it. 4.

Click “OK” to confirm the installation. 5.

Restart your computer after the installation completes. Once you have installed Ubuntu, you can access the terminal by typing “cmd” into the Windows search bar, then typing “ubuntu” into the command line prompt.

This will open up the Ubuntu terminal.

Installing Compiler and JSON Library

To read data from a JSON file, we need a compiler and a library that can support JSON. We will use the gcc compiler and the jsoncpp library for this purpose.

To install gcc, enter the following command into the Ubuntu terminal:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

Next, we will need to install the jsoncpp library. Type the following command into the terminal:

sudo apt-get install libjsoncpp-dev

This will install the required libraries to our Ubuntu environment.

Writing C++ Code for Reading JSON File

To read data from a JSON file, we will be using the fstream, reader, and parse libraries in C++.

The following code snippet illustrates how we can read data from a JSON file.





int main()


std::ifstream file(“example.json”);

Json::Reader reader;

Json::Value data;

reader.parse(file, data);

std::string name = data[“Name”].asString();

int age = data[“Age”].asInt();

bool isMarried = data[“Married”].asBool();

std::cout << "Name: " << name << std::endl;

std::cout << "Age: " << age << std::endl;

std::cout << "Married: " << isMarried << std::endl;

return 0;



Here, we first include the necessary libraries for our code. We then create an instance of the Json::Reader class and an instance of the Json::Value class.

We then create an object of the ifstream class to open our JSON file, and then parse and store the contents of our file in the value object.

We can now extract the values from our object using the asString, asInt and asBool functions.

The values are extracted by providing the respective key belonging to the JSON object. In this case, the keys are “Name,” “Age,” and “Married.”

Using an output function, we can write the extracted values to the terminal for user viewing.

Compiling and Executing the Code

To compile your code, enter the following line into the terminal:

g++ -o example example.cpp -ljsoncpp

This command will compile the code into an executable file. You can then execute the code by simply typing:


This should output the JSON file contents to your terminal.


Reading data from a JSON file in C++ may seem daunting at first, but with the proper tools and knowledge, the process can be effortless. JSON’s lightweight nature and readability make it a logical choice for data storage and exchange between various applications.

By learning how to read and interact with JSON files, you can streamline your code and create efficient systems that can operate in harmony with your desired application. In this article, we explored the use of JSON in C++ programming and focused on the processes involved in reading data from a JSON file.

We outlined the steps involved in installing the gcc compiler, the jsoncpp library, and the necessary tools to access the Ubuntu terminal. We then provided a sample code illustrating how to read data from a JSON file.

JSON’s flexibility and readability make it an effective data format for data exchange between applications. By understanding how to read and interact with JSON files, developers can create efficient and seamless applications that are well-suited to today’s technological landscape.

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