Expected XContentParser Token START OBJECT in – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-7.15

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch expects a JSON object (denoted by XContentParser.Token.START_OBJECT) but doesn’t find it in the request body. This usually happens due to incorrect or malformed JSON syntax. To resolve this issue, you can: 1) Validate your JSON syntax using a JSON validator. 2) Ensure that your JSON starts with a ‘{‘ and ends with a ‘}’. 3) Check that all keys and string values are enclosed in double quotes. 4) Make sure that all nested JSON objects and arrays are correctly formatted and closed.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” Expected [” + XContentParser.Token.START_OBJECT + “] in [ ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: parser, search.

Log Context

Log “Expected [” + XContentParser.Token.START_OBJECT + “] in [” class name is SearchSourceBuilder.java. We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 this.ignoreFailure = ignoreFailure;
 this.fieldName = scriptFieldName;
 this.script = script;
 } else {
 throw new ParsingException(parser.getTokenLocation(); "Expected [" + XContentParser.Token.START_OBJECT + "] in ["
 + parser.currentName() + "] but found [" + token + "]"; parser.getTokenLocation());
 }  public String fieldName() {


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