See if value exists in deep nested json array

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Here I have my simple json response:

    [data] => Array
            [id] => 3
            [type] => workspace
            [attributes] => Array
                    [name] => testing
                    [slug] => testing
                    [data] =>
                    [created_at] => 
                    [updated_at] => 
                    [role] => Amazing
                    [last_accessed_at] =>



Is it possible to make a generic function that would simply look for the given value within the given path?.

For example I would like to make a function that would recursively search for a given value with a given key:

public function seeIfValueExistsInJson("data.attributes.slug", "testing"){


I would like to make it as generic as possible encase the first item of the response was not "data" and could be something else.

Has anyone seen/made anything similar and would be willing to share?

Thank you :)

Update: I have technically managed to do this. But I know this is not the best way possible as it just doesn't feel or look like it, and I would love to see your criticism on how it can be improved to help me improve my code even further:

public function extractData($fullPath, $value)

        $jsonString = json_encode($this->json());
        $paths = explode(".", $fullPath);
        $oldPos = 0;
        $len = sizeof($paths) - 1;
        foreach ($paths as $path) {
            if (strpos($jsonString, $path) !== false) {
                $currPos = strpos($jsonString, $path);
                if ($currPos > $oldPos) {
                    if ($len === 0) {
                        $valuePos = strpos($jsonString, $value);
                        PHPUnit::assertTrue($currPos < $valuePos);
                $oldPos = $currPos;
            } else {
                print("The path: '$path' is not within this Json response");

As you can see this function turns the given response json into a string and gets the positions of each of the "path" indexs you give it (after exploding them) and then makes sure that the previous position of the index was smaller than the next (this way it means the next index path you are looking for has to be after) and then once it has reached the end of the loop it will (in my case using phpunit) assert that the value you have given is further along the list than the last index path. This does seem to have many flaws in terms of same string being in the response etc. So I would be welcoming to any feeback on how I could improve this

Since you already have an array, you can explode $fullPath and search each of the keys in that array. If there is no such key, return false. Else, check if the value of the path is equal with $value:

$arr = ['data' => ['id' => 3, 'type' => 'workspace',
        'attributes' => ['name'=>'testing', 'slug'=>'testing', 
                         'data' => '', 'created_at' =>'',
                         'updated_at' => '', 'role' => 'Amazing',
                         'last_accessed_at' => '']]];

function seeIfValueExistsInJson($arr, $fullPath, $value){
    $tempArr = $arr;
    $keys = explode('.', $fullPath);
    foreach($keys as $key){
          $tempArr = $tempArr[$key];
      else return false;
    return $tempArr === $value;

$result = seeIfValueExistsInJson($arr, "data.attributes.slug", "testing");
echo 'Result: ' . $result;

This will return:

Result: 1 

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I strongly recommend against encoding the string as JSON and then searching the JSON. This strategy won't work in a generic sense. You need to traverse the data structure, probably using some kind of recursive function. (Which I won't attempt to write here.)

If the data comes in as JSON, you should first decode it into a data structure. (Treat the JSON string as a "black box.")

JavaScript, Given a JSON Object, the task is to check whether a key exists in Object or not using JavaScript. We're going to discuss Return value: It return a Example 2: This example checks for pro_1 of the obj by simple array access. filter_none. edit This is a short post intended to show the many different ways on how to safely access deeply nested values in JavaScript. The following examples all do the same thing and while they may vary in…

You can use array_walk_recursive PHP function.

$data = json_decode($json);
$hasData = false;
$searchString = "";
array_walk_recursive($data, function($value, $key) {
    $hasData = $hasData || $value == $searchString;

PS.: You may need to add a few tweaks for type checking. =D

PS. 2: I wasn't able to test this because I'm not on my PC atm.

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jonschlinkert/get-value, has-any: Returns true if an object has any of the specified keys. | homepage · has -value: Returns true if a value exists, false if empty. Works with deeply nested  Arrays in JSON are almost the same as arrays in JavaScript. In JSON, array values must be of type string, number, object, array, boolean or null. In JavaScript, array values can be all of the above, plus any other valid JavaScript expression, including functions, dates, and undefined.