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The right way to Import a JSON File in JavaScript/Node.js


JSON has turn into a well-liked knowledge format for its simplicity and compatibility with many programming languages, together with JavaScript. On this Byte, we’ll discover ways to simply import these recordsdata into your Node.js initiatives.

Why Import JSON Information?

So why import JSON into your code? Properly, JSON recordsdata are sometimes used to retailer knowledge in a structured, easy-to-access method. They’re light-weight, human-readable, and will be simply imported into most programming languages.

In JavaScript, JSON recordsdata are significantly helpful as a result of they are often parsed right into a native JavaScript object. This implies you may entry the information in a JSON file as if it have been an everyday JavaScript object, making it a breeze to work with.

As an illustration, in the event you’re engaged on an internet utility that should load configuration knowledge, you may select to retailer that knowledge in a JSON file since you may simply edit the file your self. This lets you hold not solely your config knowledge straightforward to entry, however your code quite simple.

The right way to Import JSON in Node.js

Utilizing the fs Module

Importing a JSON file in Node.js may be very straightforward to do since JSON is a local kind to JS. You should utilize the built-in fs (file system) module to learn the file, after which parse it right into a JavaScript object utilizing JSON.parse(). Here is a easy instance:

const fs = require('fs');

let rawdata = fs.readFileSync('college students.json');
let college students = JSON.parse(rawdata);
console.log(college students);

On this code, fs.readFileSync('college students.json') reads the file college students.json synchronously, and returns the uncooked knowledge (a string). JSON.parse(rawdata) then parses this string right into a JavaScript object, which we retailer within the college students variable.

Notice: The readFileSync operate reads recordsdata synchronously, which means it blocks the remainder of your code from executing till it is accomplished. In the event you’re studying a big file, or if you want to learn a number of recordsdata, you may wish to use fs.readFile() as a substitute, which is asynchronous.

Utilizing CommonJS’s require

One other methodology, and arguably a fair less complicated one, is to make use of CommonJS’s require() operate, which is often used to load different Node recordsdata/packages.

One other good characteristic of the require() methodology is that it can be used to load JSON recordsdata, and it will return the file contents as a JSON object, so it handles the parsing for you.

Here is learn how to do it, utilizing an identical instance as above:

let rawdata = require('college students.json');

console.log(college students);

As you may see, it solely takes one line to load the JSON.

The one downsides is that it could be slighly complicated to extra novice programmers since they may not bear in mind that require can be utilized on this approach and solely realize it as a option to load code. Additionally, require caches no matter it hundreds, so if you want to reload a JSON file later in your program execution, it’s going to nonetheless return the identical knowledge, even when the file modified.

Potential Errors and Fixes

Whereas importing JSON recordsdata in Node.js is mostly easy, you continue to must do correct error dealing with alongside the way in which. Let us take a look at a few of the most typical ones and learn how to repair them.

Error: JSON File Not Discovered

Most likely the obvious error you could possibly see is “Error: ENOENT: no such file or listing”. That is thrown when Node.js tries to learn a file that does not exist.

$ node app.js
    throw err;

Error: ENOENT: no such file or listing, open 'college students.json'

To repair this error, be certain the file you are attempting to learn truly exists, and that the trail to the file is appropriate. If the file is in the identical listing as your JavaScript file and present working listing, you may simply use the filename. If it is in a special listing, you will want to incorporate the relative or absolute path to the file, like so:

let rawdata = fs.readFileSync('./path/to/your/file.json');

Error: Invalid JSON Format

This error sometimes occurs when the construction of the JSON file does not adhere to the required syntax, which will be widespread for JSON recordsdata which are edited by hand. Bear in mind, JSON knowledge is written as key/worth pairs, and keys have to be strings, enclosed in double quotes. That is not like the syntax for JS objects, which might trigger confusion, regardless that the 2 are comparable.

Here is a standard mistake:

    identify: "John Doe", // Error: keys have to be in double quotes
    "age": 30,
    "metropolis": "New York"

The proper syntax could be:

    "identify": "John Doe",
    "age": 30,
    "metropolis": "New York"

Hyperlink: Instruments like JSONLint can assist validate your JSON knowledge and establish the place the errors lie.

Error: Import Assertion Not Appropriate

One other widespread hiccup whereas importing JSON in Node.js is the incompatibility of the import assertion. Node.js makes use of CommonJS modules by default, so it does not natively help ES6 import statements. In the event you attempt to use import to load your JSON file, you will seemingly encounter an error.

import knowledge from './knowledge.json'; // Error: Can't use import assertion outdoors a module

As a substitute, use the require() operate to import your JSON file:

const knowledge = require('./knowledge.json');

This can load the JSON file and parse the JSON right into a JavaScript object like we confirmed earlier.


We have explored a couple of widespread methods to load JSON and errors you may encounter whereas importing it in Node.js. Bear in mind, whereas require() is probably the most simple strategy, it won’t all the time be the perfect resolution—particularly when coping with massive or altering recordsdata.



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