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JSON Data Conversion for Mobile

The Opportunity: Bridging of Legacy Interfaces to Common REST Formats


Organizations are increasingly choosing JSON as the preferred data format for exposing application interfaces via RESTful endpoints. JSON has quickly replaced XML as the lingua franca of integration interfaces, especially when exposing data over bandwidth-limited networks or to memory-constrained mobile devices.

JSON shares many of the benefits of legacy formats like XML – it is human-readable, machine-readable and self-documenting – but it also has a number of advantages, including:

  • Lighter-weight syntax for fewer non-data characters
  • Direct mapping to native data objects in many programming languages
  • Native parsing support in every major desktop and mobile browser
  • Easy client-side manipulation using JavaScript

Enterprises are mainly exposing APIs using JSON for integration with mobile devices through native apps or mobile browsers. However, these new JSON-driven interfaces do not exist in a vacuum – the organizations often have existing internal services infrastructure, accessible via legacy XML formats.


The Solution: JSON Validation, Transformation & Adaptation


An enterprise can deploy JSON-based REST APIs more quickly by leveraging existing data and applications and performing on-the-fly transformation via a centrally-managed Gateway. Layer 7's SecureSpan Mobile Access Gateway treats JSON as a first-class citizen, offering all the validation and transformation functionality often reserved for XML-based APIs and Web services. Multiple backend services exposed using varied interfaces can be orchestrated and rendered as integrated REST APIs. Also, database tables can be quickly exposed as JSON data objects with full CRUD capabilities.

In addition to this high-level functionality, JSON-specific features can be incorporated into any Gateway policy:

  • JSON schema validation
    Validation of schemas prevents document structure and other format-based attacks
  • JSON-XML mapping
    Automated transformations between JSON and XML for mapping to legacy formats
  • JSON data extraction and filtering
    Filter or extract data using JSON Path to traverse and search JSON objects

The Layer 7 Value: Full-Featured JSON Support for Enterprise Integration


Layer 7 helps enterprises support the explosion in corporate mobile usage. The mobile experience, either in an app or a browser, can be tailored to the intended audience without re-implementation of the underlying services. Real-time transformation of message formats enables service versioning and dynamic format conversion based on user, device, application, message content or transaction metadata.

Whether securing and governing an existing JSON-based REST interface or adapting existing legacy technologies to support this new mobile-friendly data format, mobile workforce enablement and BYOD are simplified and secured. The SecureSpan Mobile Access Gateway adds value to existing infrastructure and prepares enterprises for the future of mobile computing.


Download the SecureSpan Mobile Access Gateway data sheet