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Your integration needs to connect to a Constant Contact account in order to know where to add the email address. The way that your integration connects to the account is through oAuth; the end result of oAuth is to get an Access Token.
The API Key allows your integration to talk to our system. The Access Token tells our system which Constant Contact account to send/retrieve data from.
It sounds like you are making a type of sign-up form. In that situation all of the authentication would happen behind the scenes. The "client/people" that are signing up do not have to authenticate. Your integration aka script is what needs to authenticate. In the v2 API you did this by using the API Key and Access Token which you also may know as a Bearer number.
It may be beneficial at this point to have you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so you can provide us your specific information and we can give more detailed specifics that should not be shared publicly.
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All I want to do for right now is check to see if an email is already in Contacts for this account. To do that, I setup a JSON request with a single parameter: "email", is that correct?
You would do an HTTP GET request with the parameter of email. http://developer.constantcontact.com/docs/contacts-api/contacts-collection.html?method=GET
Also, when I say POST I'm talking about the POST mechanism from our server to the API server. Like POST vs. GET requests. Not talking about commands that Constant Contact understands.
Correct. This is also what we are referring to when our documentation uses GET, POST, PUT, etc. You would make a GET request, not a POST, to the endpoint with no body payload. If the contact exists, the response will be a JSON object. See the example response at the earlier link to see what this will look like. If the contact does not exist you will get back a Not Found response.
it wants JSON data only. I am having a really hard time finding any examples of what a JSON request looks like. Where is there a simple JSON request example?
There is an example body in our documentation for each endpoint. If you are creating a brand new contact, you can see that here: http://developer.constantcontact.com/docs/contacts-api/contacts-collection.html?method=POST#example-json-request-body
Regards, David B. Tier II API Support Engineer
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