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

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-7.15

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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.

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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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