How to Loop Through a JSON Response in JavaScript

How to Loop Through a JSON Response in JavaScript

Learn how to use JavaScript to parse the server's JSON response to access the data you require. Data fetched from remote servers is often in JSON format.

Data fetched from remote servers is often in JSON format. Learn how to use JavaScript to parse the server's JSON response to access the data you require.

When fetching data from a remote server, the server’s response will often be in JSON format. In this quick tip, I’ll demonstrate how you can use JavaScript to parse the server’s response, so as to access the data you require.

This process will typically consist of two steps: decoding the data to a native structure (such as an array or an object), then using one of JavaScript’s in-built methods to loop through that data structure. In this article, I’ll cover both steps, using plenty of runnable examples.

What is JSON?

Before we look at how to deal with JSON, let’s take a second to understand what it is (and what it isn’t).

JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation. It’s a language-independent, text-based format, which is commonly used for transmitting data in web applications. JSON was inspired by the JavaScript Object Literal notation, but there are differences between the two. For example, in JSON keys must be quoted using double quotes, while in object literals this is not the case.

There are two ways data can be stored in JSON:

  • a collection of name/value pairs (aka a JSON object)
  • an ordered list of values (aka a JSON array)

When receiving data from a web server, the data is always a string, which means that it’s your job to convert it into a data structure you can work with.

If you’d like to find out more about how JSON works, please visit the JSON website.

Fetching JSON from a Remote API

In the following examples, we’ll use the fantastic icanhazdadjoke API. As you can read in its documentation, making a GET request where the Accept header is set to application/json will see the API return a JSON payload.

javascript json

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