CSV vs XML - ByteScout


The most prevalent file formats used by developers are CSV and XML. However, there is still a conflict between their utility. So, in this article, we will compare the two formats and see which one is better.



CSV stands for “Comma Separated Values,” which signifies that the “columns” are separated by a delimiter in a standard text file. It is still a widely common file format for all sorts of data.

You can use CSV files most typically for importing and exporting vital data to and from your database, such as customer or order data. Furthermore, you may open CSV files in a variety of spreadsheet tools, including Microsoft Excel and Google Spreadsheets.


Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a programming language that you may use for a variety of purposes. This includes configuration files, data storage, and so on. It’s structured similarly to an HTML page, but it makes use of special tags to specify objects and the data contained within them. They’re still text files, but they have a highly specific syntax for defining nodes and associating data values or child nodes with them.

It fully supports hierarchical data structures and is ideal for receiving large amounts of data as a response. Although XML is a relatively legible format, it has the disadvantage of being quite large and containing tags, attributes, namespaces, and schemas. But wait, there’s more to compare between the two file types before we make a decision. So, let’s compare and evaluate the two.

CSV vs XML: Which is Better and Why?

Developers can use XML and CSV to store the information on the disc, in a database, or as a computer-readable interchange format. For some applications, CSV is ideal. It’s simpler to stream than XML, for example, as a “streaming” format for massive datasets.

When your data is simply tabular, and you know its format, CSV files are excellent. It does not, however, support data hierarchies.

XML tends to operate better as you start having relationships between different layers of your data. You might use it to store the same kind of data that you would in a CSV file, as well as configuration variables and other sophisticated data connections.

Even though XML is the most readable format of data to date, people still started looking at the alternatives. There are various problems with this format that can make it impractical, such as extreme verbosity.


CSV and XML are the two most common data formats. Developers use them to send data from a web server to a client nowadays. So, Keep compatibility with your system in mind while deciding between the two data formats. As a result, it relies on what you’re doing and what the underlying technology is capable of.

XML is a technology that you may use to connect systems and applications. CSV, on the other hand, may be used to store enormous amounts of data that must always be concatenated, such as log files, as well as for data streaming.


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