Data Efficiency: Compact Binary Format

JsonBuilder is a small C++ library for building a space-efficient binary representation of structured data and, when ready, rendering it to JSON. The library offers STL-like syntax for adding and finding data as well as STL-like iterators for efficiently tracking location.


Building structured data

Let's try to build the following JSON up using the JsonBuilder interface:

    "e": 2.718,
    "enabled": true,
    "user": "john",
    "resolution": {
        "x": 1024,
        "y": 768
    "colors": [

The code to do so would look like this:

JsonBuilder jb;
jb.push_back(jb.end(), "e", 2.718);
jb.push_back(jb.end(), "enabled", true);
jb.push_back(jb.end(), "user", "john");

JsonIterator resolutionItr = jb.push_back(jb.end(), "resolution", JsonObject);
jb.push_back(resolutionItr, "x", 1024);
jb.push_back(resolutionItr, "y", 768);

JsonIterator colorIterator = jb.push_back(jb.end(), "colors", JsonArray);
jb.push_back(colorIterator, "", "Red");
jb.push_back(colorIterator, "", "Green");
jb.push_back(colorIterator, "", "Blue");

Getting an iterator to existing data

Using the built JsonBuilder object above as a starting point:

// Float
JsonConstIterator eItr = jb.find("e");
float e = eItr->GetUnchecked<float>();
std::cout << e << std::endl;

// Object
JsonConstIterator resolutionItr = jb.find("resolution");
for (JsonConstIterator beginItr = resolutionItr.begin(),
                        endItr = resolutionItr.end();
        beginItr != endItr;
    std::string name(beginItr->Name().data(), beginItr->Name().length());
    std::cout << name << " " << beginItr->GetUnchecked<int64_t>()
                << std::endl;

// Array
JsonConstIterator colorsItr = jb.find("colors");
for (JsonConstIterator beginItr = colorsItr.begin(), endItr = colorsItr.end();
        beginItr != endItr;
    auto color = beginItr->GetUnchecked<std::string_view>();
    std::cout << color << std::endl;

Rendering to JSON

Using the built JsonBuilder object above as a starting point:

// Create a renderer and reserve 2048 bytes up front
JsonRenderer renderer;

// Render a json builder object to a string
std::string_view result = renderer.Render(_jsonBuilder);
std::string stl_string(, result.size());
std::cout << stl_string.c_str() << std::endl;


The Linux tests for this project depend on the uuid library. To develop with this project, install the development version of the library:

sudo apt-get install uuid-dev

If you checkout with submodules, you will receive a version of Catch2 for testing that can be used automatically. If you do not checkout this submodule, the build system will instead search for an installed version of Catch2 and use that to build the tests.


JsonBuilder builds as a static library and requires C++17. The project creates a CMake compatible 'jsonbuilder' target which you can use for linking against the library.

  1. Add this project as a subdirectory in your project, either as a git submodule or copying the code directly.
  2. Add that directory to your top-level CMakeLists.txt with 'add_subdirectory'. This will make the 'jsonbuilder' target available.
  3. Add the 'jsonbuilder' target to the target_link_libraries of any target that will use the JsonBuilder library.

Reporting Security Issues

Security issues and bugs should be reported privately, via email, to the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) at <>. You should receive a response within 24 hours. If for some reason you do not, please follow up via email to ensure we received your original message. Further information, including the MSRC PGP key, can be found in the Security TechCenter.

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Author: microsoft

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License:  View license


Data Efficiency: Compact Binary Format
1.15 GEEK