Converts a ColdFusion value into a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) string.

serializeJSON(data[, queryFormat[, useSecureJSONPrefix[, useCustomSerializer]]]) → returns string

Member Function Syntax

someVar.toJSON([queryFormat[, useSecureJSONPrefix[, useCustomSerializer]]])

Argument Reference

data any

A serializable ColdFusion data value

queryFormat any
Default: row

This specifies how to serialize ColdFusion queries. Prior to CF 11+, this would only accept Boolean values. If it is a Boolean, the false value is equivalent to 'row' and true is 'column'.
  • row
  • column
  • struct
  • false
  • true

useSecureJSONPrefix boolean
Default: false

CF 11+ When Prefix Serialized JSON is enabled in the ColdFusion Administrator, then by default this function inserts the secure JSON prefix at the beginning of the JSON.

useCustomSerializer boolean
Default: true



Version 8+ CF11+ Added useSecureJSONPrefix and useCustomSerializer arguments. Changed queryFormat (formerly known as serializeQueryByColumns) from a boolean type to also allowing strings, adding the 'struct' functionality in the process. The default for queryFormat can be set using the newly added Application.cfc setting this.serialization.serializeQueryAs. Also added Application.cfc settings this.serialization.preserveCaseForStructKey and this.serialization.preserveCaseForQueryColumn. CF2016+ Added member syntax.


Member syntax added for Lucee5.3.8+

Links more information about serializeJSON

Sample code invoking the serializeJSON function

Serialize a CF Struct into a JSON representation

person = {name="Pete Freitag", company="Foundeo"};
writeOutput( serializeJSON(person) );

Expected Result: {"COMPANY":"Foundeo","NAME":"Pete Freitag"}

Serialize a CF Struct into a JSON representation using toJSON

person = {name="Pete Freitag", company="Foundeo"};
writeOutput( person.toJSON() );

Expected Result: {"COMPANY":"Foundeo","NAME":"Pete Freitag"}

Same as above but they variable names are case-sensitive by quoting them.

person = {"name"="Pete Freitag", "company"="Foundeo"};
writeOutput( serializeJSON(person) );

Expected Result: {"company":"Foundeo","name":"Pete Freitag"}

Adobe ColdFusion may incorrectly serializes some strings if they can be automatically converted into other types, like numbers or booleans. One workaround is to use a CFC with cfproperty to specify types. Another workaround is to prepend chr(2) to the value and it will be forced to a string, however that is an unofficial / undocumented workaround.

person = { "phone"="123456789", "firstname"="no","lastname"="yes" };
writeOutput( serializeJson(person) );

Expected Result: {"phone":123456789,"firstname":false,"lastname":true}

As of CF 2016.0.2+ you can call setMetadata() as a member function on a struct to force a type

myStruct = {"zip"="00123"};
myStruct.setMetadata( { "zip": "string" } );

Expected Result: {"zip":"00123"}

Serialize a CF Query into a JSON representation of an array of structs

news = queryNew("id,title",
    [ {"id":1,"title":"Dewey defeats Truman"}, {"id":2,"title":"Man walks on Moon"} ]);
writeOutput(serializeJSON(news, "struct"));

Expected Result: [{"ID":1,"TITLE":"Dewey defeats Truman"},{"ID":2,"TITLE":"Man walks on Moon"}]

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