I am using the SSJS Core Library HTTP.Post function to retrieve an SFMC authentication token. I have followed ssjs boilerplate from Zuzanna here: https://gist.github.com/zuzannamj/40f01efd553a08335c9d73c444fe80df#file-sfmc-api-v1-authentication-ssjs-js

The post function response is a JSON object with:

  • StatusCode
  • Response array with a stringified JSON object inside

Why is the object inside the response array a string?

This then requires using Platform.Function.ParseJSON(accessTokenRequest.Response[0]) to make it usable and assign variables, like in the github example code above.

If we were to Write(Stringify(accessTokenRequest)); the example API Response is below. Notice the slash character escape which indicates its a string.

{"StatusCode":200,"Response":["{\"access_token\":\"eyFdolvdfverv54544rbvf454SzpfzLpYDeOpF\",\"token_type\":\"Bearer\",\"expires_in\":1038,\"scope\":\"data_extensions_read data_extensions_write\",\"soap_instance_url\":\"https://xxx.soap.marketingcloudapis.com/\",\"rest_instance_url\":\"https://xxx.rest.marketingcloudapis.com/\"}"]}


Reponse[0] in your example is indeed a string. It could contain HTML, XML... whatever. In your example, it contains a string containing JSON. If you parse Reponse[0] you get a JavaScript object. If you Stringify Reponse[0], you get an escaped string (you're stringifying a string). If you Stringify the parsed Reponse[0] (JavaScript object), you get unescaped JSON:


The output would look similar to this:

  "StatusCode": 200,
  "Response": [{
    "access_token": "eyFdolvdfverv54544rbvf454SzpfzLpYDeOpF",
    "token_type": "Bearer",
    "expires_in": 1038,
    "scope": "data_extensions_read data_extensions_write",
    "soap_instance_url": "https: //xxx.soap.marketingcloudapis.com/",
    "rest_instance_url": "https://xxx.rest.marketingcloudapis.com/"
  • Cheers @Macca ! You've said in an easy to understand fashion, thank you. At the time I didn't actually realise (until you said) that I was stringifying a string. Do you know why the Response[0] is in fact a STRING that contains JSON (instead of a ready to go JavaScript object) ?
    – charliefay
    Sep 21 '20 at 8:10
  • 1
    As I said, what the remote server returns could be anything - maybe a pdf, a csv file or something else. If you're used to writing code in something like Node.js, you'll avail of middleware like body-parser to intercept the received stream and parse the content for you. SSJS doesn't do this for you. It just delivers you the content (as a string) and you have to figure out what to do with it, just like you would have to do with barebones Node.
    – Macca
    Sep 21 '20 at 10:01
  • On a related but slightly off-topic question, can you please confirm if the Results[0] property in a WS Proxy retrieve request returns an Object and therefore parseJson is not needed (because its not a string)?
    – charliefay
    Sep 21 '20 at 12:49
  • The response contains a string that you'd need to parse to get an object.
    – Macca
    Sep 21 '20 at 23:24

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