What is the best way to return data in the JSON format from PHP?

If you are running PHP 5.2 or greater, you can use the built-in json_encode function to return JSON formatted data from PHP. Here is an example of it’s usage:

Example of returning JSON from PHP

$tennisArray = array('Djokovic' => 1, 'Federer' => 2, 
'Nadal' => 3, 'Murray' => 4);

echo json_encode($tennisArray);

The code above will output the JSON formatted data like this:


If you are running a version before PHP 5.2, how to return JSON from PHP?

If you are running a version of PHP that came before 5.2 then you can use the PHP extension called PECL available here: JSON and PHP

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