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Always receive Date objects from a web api

One of the major downsides of JSON is that a date is received as a string. This usually leads to a lot of code that will cast a Date | string type to a Date object, but it can be done a lot easier.

Using a HttpInterceptor, you can make sure all your date strings will be cast to a Date object. Here is the code:

import {
} from '@angular/common/http';
import { Injectable } from '@angular/core';
import { Observable } from 'rxjs';
import { map } from 'rxjs/operators';

 * Interceptor which instructs Angular to not parse the JSON it receives and instead uses its own JSON parser.
 * Used to revive dates, which sounds a lot more dubious than it actually is.
export class JsonParserHttpInterceptor implements HttpInterceptor {
  constructor(private readonly jsonParser: JsonParser) {}

    httpRequest: HttpRequest<any>,
    next: HttpHandler
  ): Observable<HttpEvent<any>> {
    return httpRequest.responseType === 'json'
      ? this.handleJsonResponses(httpRequest, next)
      : next.handle(httpRequest);

  private handleJsonResponses(
    httpRequest: HttpRequest<any>,
    next: HttpHandler
  ): Observable<HttpEvent<any>> {
    return next
      .handle(httpRequest.clone({ responseType: 'text' })) // Tells Angular to not process this request as JSON.
      .pipe(map(event => this.parseResponse(event))); // Use the custom parser instead.

  private parseResponse(event: HttpEvent<any>): HttpEvent<any> {
    return event instanceof HttpResponse
      ? event.clone({ body: this.jsonParser.parse(event.body) })
      : event;

/** Custom JSON parser */
export abstract class JsonParser {
  abstract parse<T = any>(json: string): T;

/** JSON parser that can revive dates. Sounds more disturbing than it is. */
export class JsonDateParser implements JsonParser {
  parse<T = any>(json: string): T {
    return JSON.parse(json, jsonDateReviver);

// Matching any ISO8601 string with timezone notation. Milliseconds optional. See tests for examples.
const dateStringRegex = /^\d{4}-\d{2}-\d{2}T\d{2}:\d{2}:\d{2}(?:.\d+)?(?:Z|(\+|-)([\d|:]*))?$/;

/** Returns a date object for any ISO8601 string with timezone notation. Milliseconds optional. */
export function jsonDateReviver(_key: string, value: string): any {
  if (typeof value === 'string' && dateStringRegex.test(value)) {
    return new Date(value);

  return value;
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The HttpInterceptor is used to disable Angular's default JSON parsing and use our custom parsing. The custom parser uses the JSON.parse() reviver parameter to revive dates.

The Angular team has stated they will not provide JSON Date parsing out of the box, since it is easily solved using an interceptor. So use this solution!

A working example can be found on this stackblitz:

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