Amazon Ion is a richly-typed, self-describing, hierarchical data serialization format offering interchangeable binary and text representations. The text format (a superset of JSON) is easy to read and author, supporting rapid prototyping. The binary representation is efficient to store, transmit, and skip-scan parse. The rich type system provides unambiguous semantics for long-term preservation of business data which can survive multiple generations of software evolution.

Available Libraries: Ion JavaIon CIon PythonIon JavaScript


Latest News


Amazon Redshift Spectrum Adds Nested Ion Support
09 August 2018

You can now use Amazon Redshift to directly query nested data in Apache Parquet, Apache ORC, JSON and Amazon Ion file formats stored in external tables in Amazon S3.

Nested data support with Redshift Spectrum enables you to query complex data types such as struct, array, or map, without having to transform or load your data.

AWS Announcement

Developers’ Guide to Ion Symbols Released
06 August 2018

This document provides developer-focused commentary on the Symbols section of the specification and discusses the implementation of symbol table, symbol token, and catalog APIs.

Symbols Developer Guide

Visit the News page for more announcements about Amazon Ion.


Ion Text Example

/* Ion supports comments. */
// Here is a struct, which is similar to a JSON object.
{
  // Field names don't always have to be quoted.
  name: "fido",

  // This is an integer with a user annotation of 'years'.
  age: years::4,

  // This is a timestamp with day precision.
  birthday: 2012-03-01T,

  // Here is a list, which is like a JSON array.
  toys: [
    // These are symbol values, which are like strings,
    // but get encoded as integers in binary.
    ball,
    rope
  ],
}

The Specification gives an overview of the full list of the core data types.


More Information

Ion was built to address rapid development, decoupling, and efficiency challenges faced every day while engineering large-scale, service-oriented architectures. Ion has been addressing these challenges within Amazon for nearly a decade, and we believe others will benefit as well.

To find out more about the Ion format and for guides on using it, check out the Docs page. The Libs page contains links to the officially supported libraries as well as community supported tools. The Help page contains information on how to contribute, how to contact the Ion Team, and answers to the frequently asked questions.