Performance Test – JSON serializers

You can become a serverless blackbelt. Enrol to my 4-week online workshop Production-Ready Serverless and gain hands-on experience building something from scratch using serverless technologies. At the end of the workshop, you should have a broader view of the challenges you will face as your serverless architecture matures and expands. You should also have a firm grasp on when serverless is a good fit for your system as well as common pitfalls you need to avoid. Sign up now and get 15% discount with the code yanprs15!

NOTE: For an updated set of benchmarks, see the Benchmarks page.

For those of you who have worked with JSON data in .Net you should be familiar with the DataContractJsonSerializer class and the JavaScriptSerializer class already. Both allow you to serialize/deserialize an object to and from a piece of string in JSON format, though there are some notable differences.

Besides these two BCL (base class library) JSON serializers, there are popular third-party offering such as Json.Net and a relatively newer ServiceStack.Text which also offers its own serialization format called JSV (JSON + CSV).

It is claimed that ServiceStack.Text‘s JSON serializer is 3x faster than Json.Net and 3.6x faster than the BCL JSON serializers! So, naturally, I had to test it out for myself and here’s what I found.

Assumptions/Conditions of tests

  1. code is compiled in release mode, with optimization options turned on
  2. 5 runs of the same test is performed, with the top and bottom results excluded, the remaining three results is then averaged
  3. 100,000 instances of type SimpleObject (see below) is created, each with a different ID and Name, and then given to the serializers to serialize and deserialize
  4. serialization/deserialization of the objects happen sequentially in a loop (no concurrency)
 1: [DataContract]
 2: public class SimpleObject
 3: {
 4:     [DataMember]
 5:     public int Id { get; set; }
 6:
 7:     [DataMember]
 8:     public string Name { get; set; }
 9: }

Results

With these assumptions in mind, here are the average times (in milliseconds) I recorded for serialization and deserialization using each of five JSON serializers I tested:

image

image

Looking at these data, it would seem the ServiceStack.Text.JsonSerializer class offers the best speed in both serialization and deserialization cases, however the gains are much more modest than those advertised in the case of serialization. However, it really comes into its own when it comes to deserialization and the speed gains are quite impressive indeed!

Update 2011/09/12:

Turns out I had a typo in my performance test code and I was using Json.Net for the serialization test for SimpleJson, my bad, sorry folks… So I fixed the typo and ran the tests again and updated the data and graph above with the correct data. As Prabir Shrestha pointed out, by enabled Reflection.Emit you’re able to get much better performance out of SimpleJson and the new test results reflect this as the SimpleJson test was run whilst Reflection.Emit was enabled.

Liked this article? Support me on Patreon and get direct help from me via a private Slack channel or 1-2-1 mentoring.
Subscribe to my newsletter


Hi, I’m Yan. I’m an AWS Serverless Hero and I help companies go faster for less by adopting serverless technologies successfully.

Are you struggling with serverless or need guidance on best practices? Do you want someone to review your architecture and help you avoid costly mistakes down the line? Whatever the case, I’m here to help.

Hire me.


Skill up your serverless game with this hands-on workshop.

My 4-week Production-Ready Serverless online workshop is back!

This course takes you through building a production-ready serverless web application from testing, deployment, security, all the way through to observability. The motivation for this course is to give you hands-on experience building something with serverless technologies while giving you a broader view of the challenges you will face as the architecture matures and expands.

We will start at the basics and give you a firm introduction to Lambda and all the relevant concepts and service features (including the latest announcements in 2020). And then gradually ramping up and cover a wide array of topics such as API security, testing strategies, CI/CD, secret management, and operational best practices for monitoring and troubleshooting.

If you enrol now you can also get 15% OFF with the promo code “yanprs15”.

Enrol now and SAVE 15%.


Check out my new podcast Real-World Serverless where I talk with engineers who are building amazing things with serverless technologies and discuss the real-world use cases and challenges they face. If you’re interested in what people are actually doing with serverless and what it’s really like to be working with serverless day-to-day, then this is the podcast for you.


Check out my new course, Learn you some Lambda best practice for great good! In this course, you will learn best practices for working with AWS Lambda in terms of performance, cost, security, scalability, resilience and observability. We will also cover latest features from re:Invent 2019 such as Provisioned Concurrency and Lambda Destinations. Enrol now and start learning!


Check out my video course, Complete Guide to AWS Step Functions. In this course, we’ll cover everything you need to know to use AWS Step Functions service effectively. There is something for everyone from beginners to more advanced users looking for design patterns and best practices. Enrol now and start learning!