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3.3.0 • Public • Published



A wrapper around Fetch just for JSON

License:MIT npm Size Build

Why would you fetch anything but json? ;)

A) Make REST Easy

fetch-json is a lightweight JavaScript library to reduce the boilerplate code needed to make HTTP calls to JSON endpoints.

fetch-json automatically:

  1. Adds the HTTP header Content-Type: application/json to ensure the correct data type
  2. Runs .json() on the response
  3. Serializes the body payload with JSON.stringify()
  4. Appends params to the URL of GET requests
  5. Sets credentials to 'same-origin' (support user sessions in frameworks like Grails, Rails, PHP, Django, Flask, etc.)
  6. Converts the HTTP text response to JSON if it's not already JSON (convenient for handling HTTP errors)
  7. Maps HTTP response headers from a HEAD request into a simple object

fetch-json is ideal for a JAMstack architecture where "dynamic programming during the request/response cycle is handled by JavaScript, running entirely on the client".

B) Setup

1. Web browser

In a web page:

<script src=fetch-json.min.js></script>

or from the jsdelivr.com CDN:

<script src=https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/fetch-json@3.2/dist/fetch-json.min.js></script>

2. Node.js server

Install package for node:

$ npm install fetch-json

and then import:

import { fetchJson } from 'fetch-json';

Requires minimum node v18.

If you use GitHub Actions, ensure the version of node is set correclty:

- uses: actions/setup-node@v3
    node-version: 18

C) Examples


Fetch the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

const url =    'https://api.nasa.gov/planetary/apod';
const params = { api_key: 'DEMO_KEY' };
const handleData = (data) =>
   console.log('The NASA APoD for today is at:', data.url);
fetchJson.get(url, params).then(handleData);

Example output:

> The NASA APoD for today is at:
> https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/2107/LRVBPIX3M82Crop1024.jpg


Create a resource for the planet Jupiter:

// Create Jupiter
const resource = { name: 'Jupiter', position: 5 };
const handleData = (data) =>
   console.log('New planet:', data);  //http response body as an object literal
fetchJson.post('https://centerkey.com/rest/', resource)

For more examples, see the Mocha specification suite:
spec/node.spec.js (Mocha output for each build under Run npm test)

To see a website that incorporates fetch-json, check out DataDashboard:
data-dashboard.js.org 📊

D) Examples Using async/await


Fetch the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

const show = async () => {
   const url =    'https://api.nasa.gov/planetary/apod';
   const params = { api_key: 'DEMO_KEY' };
   const data =   await fetchJson.get(url, params);
   console.log('The NASA APoD for today is at: ' + data.url);


Create a resource for the planet Jupiter:

// Create Jupiter
const create = async (resource) => {
   const data = await fetchJson.post('https://centerkey.com/rest/', resource);
   console.log('New planet:', data);  //http response body as an object literal
create({ name: 'Jupiter', position: 5 });

E) Leverages Fetch API

fetch-json calls the native Fetch API.

For comparison, the POST example in section C) Examples to create a planet would be done calling the Fetch API directly with the code:

// Create Jupiter (WITHOUT fetch-json)
const resource = { name: 'Jupiter', position: 5 };
const options = {
   method: 'POST',
   headers: {
      'Content-Type': 'application/json',
      'Accept': 'application/json',
   body: JSON.stringify(resource),
const handleData = (data) =>
   console.log(data);  //http response body as an object literal
fetch('https://centerkey.com/rest/', options)
   .then(response => response.json())

The example with fetch-json and the example without fetch-json each produce the same output.


1. API — HTTP Request

The format for using fetch-json is:


fetchJson.get(url, params, options).then(callback);


fetchJson.post(url, resource, options).then(callback);


fetchJson.put(url, resource, options).then(callback);


fetchJson.patch(url, resource, options).then(callback);


fetchJson.delete(url, resource, options).then(callback);

HEAD (HTTP response headers)

fetchJson.head(url, params, options).then(callback);  //headers returned as an object


  1. Only the url parameter is required.  The other parameters are optional.
  2. The params object for fetchJson.get() is converted into a query string and appended to the url.
  3. The resource object is turned into the body of the HTTP request.
  4. The options parameter is passed through to the Fetch API (see the init documentation on MDN).
  5. options is enhanced with a boolean setting for strictErrors mode (default false) that throws an error to .catch() whenever the HTTP response status is 400 or higher.

Dynamic HTTP method

If you need to programmatically set the method, use the format:

fetchJson.request(method, url, data, options).then(callback);

Where method is 'GET', 'POST', 'PUT', 'PATCH', or 'DELETE', and data represents either params or resource.

2. API — logging

Turn on basic logging to the console with:


To use a custom logger, pass in a function that accepts 9 parameters to log.

To get an array containing the names of the parameters:

// 'Timestamp', 'HTTP', 'Method', 'Domain', 'URL', 'Ok', 'Status', 'Text', 'Type'

The default console output looks like:
2018-09-12T07:20:12.372Z – "request" - "GET" – "api.nasa.gov" – "https://api.nasa.gov/planetary/apod"
2018-09-12T07:20:13.009Z – "response" - "GET" – "api.nasa.gov" – "https://api.nasa.gov/planetary/apod" - true - 200 - "OK" - "application/json"

Turn off logging with:


G) Response Text and Errors Converted to JSON

The HTTP response body is considered to be JSON if the Content-Type is "application/json" or "text/javascript".  If the HTTP response body is not JSON, fetch-json passes back through the promise an object with a bodyText string field containing response body text.

In addition to the bodyText field, the object will have the fields: ok, status, statusText, contentType, and data.  If an HTML error response is JSON, the data will contain the parsed JSON.

For example, an HTTP response for an error status of 500 would be converted to an object similar to:

   ok:          false,
   status:      500,
   statusText:  'INTERNAL SERVER ERROR',
   contentType: 'text/html; charset=utf-8',
   bodyText:    '<!doctype html><html lang=en><body>Server Error</body></html>',
   data:        null,

Every response that is not JSON or is an HTTP error will be consistently formatted like the object above.  With fetch-json you know the response will always be passed back to you as a consistent, simple object literal.

H) Base Options

Use fetchJson.setBaseOptions() to configure options to be used on future fetchJson requests.

The example below sets the Authorization HTTP header so it is sent on the subsequent GET and DELETE requests:

fetchJson.setBaseOptions({ headers: { Authorization: 'Basic WE1MIGlzIGhpZGVvdXM=' } });
fetchJson.get('https://dna-engine.org/api/books/').then(display);  //with auth header
fetchJson.delete('https://dna-engine.org/api/books/3/');           //with auth header

To have multiple base options available at the same time, use the FetchJson class to instantiate multiple copies of fetchJson:

import { FetchJson } from 'fetch-json';

const fetchJsonA = new FetchJson({ headers: { From: 'aaa@example.com' } }).fetchJson;
const fetchJsonB = new FetchJson({ headers: { From: 'bbb@example.com' } }).fetchJson;
fetchJsonA.get('https://dna-engine.org/api/books/').then(display);  //from aaa@example.com
fetchJsonB.delete('https://dna-engine.org/api/books/3/');           //from bbb@example.com

I) TypeScript Declarations

See the TypeScript declarations at the top of the fetch-json.ts file.

The declarations provide type information about the API. For example, the fetchJson.post() function returns a Promise for a FetchResponse:

fetchJson.post(url: string, resource?: RequestData,
   options?: FetchOptions): Promise<FetchResponse>

J) Fetch polyfills

1. Add Fetch to JSDOM

JSDOM does not include fetch, so you need to add a polyfill.

$ npm install --save-dev whatwg-fetch

See usage of whatwg-fetch in spec/jsdom.spec.js.

2. Legacy Node.js

Native support for Fetch API was introduced in node v18 which became the Active LTS version on 2022-10-25.  If you're using an older version of node, stick with fetch-json v2.7 and in your package.json file declare a dependency on the node-fetch polyfill package.

$ npm install node-fetch

K) Build Environment

Check out the runScriptsConfig section in package.json for an interesting approach to organizing build tasks.

CLI Build Tools for package.json

  • 🎋 add-dist-headerPrepend a one-line banner comment (with license notice) to distribution files
  • 📄 copy-file-utilCopy or rename a file with optional package version number
  • 📂 copy-folder-utilRecursively copy files from one folder to another folder
  • 🪺 recursive-execRun a command on each file in a folder and its subfolders
  • 🔍 replacer-utilFind and replace strings or template outputs in text files
  • 🔢 rev-web-assetsRevision web asset filenames with cache busting content hash fingerprints
  • 🚆 run-scripts-utilOrganize npm package.json scripts into named groups of easy to manage commands
  • 🚦 w3c-html-validatorCheck the markup validity of HTML files using the W3C validator

"Stop trying to make fetch happen without #fetchJson!"

Feel free to submit questions at:

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