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SSJS vs AMPscript – Which language should be preferred in SFMC?

SSJS vs AMPscript -Which language should be preferred in SFMC?

What’s the buzz in the market 

SSJS[Server side JavaScript] is the latest buzzword amongst the Salesforce Marketing Cloud developers and there is a divide amongst them regarding the resourcefulness/use cases of AMPscript and SSJS.

One school of thought believes that AMPscript is good enough for all the Salesforce Marketing Cloud use cases or scenarios while the other believes that SSJS is really powerful for a certain set of use cases or scenarios like exception handling and web developers are quite familiar with it due to its similarity with JavaScript

So, we will discuss all the arguments regarding the use cases or scenarios in this blog following this sequence:

JavaScript & SSJS – Introduction

SSJS is a server-side scripting language similar to JavaScript and it is executed at the Salesforce Marketing Cloud servers instead of client browsers i.e. client-side. 

JavaScript was designed & developed keeping in mind that it is to be embedded with other products and applications such as web browsers. Its main job is to help to create dynamic and interactive elements on the web browser. It works closely with HTML and CSS on the web browser. 

JavaScript is of two types i.e. server-side and client-side. Vanilla JS is common between the two types. 

For more information on JavaScript, please visit the link here.

Comparison between AMPscript & SSJS

There are three types of programmatic languages with the ambit of Salesforce Marketing Cloud 

Let’s now focus on the differences between AMPscript and SSJS.

Both SSJS & AMPscript are scripting languages within Salesforce Marketing Cloud ambit and used for the same purpose of content personalization. But if we go down a level deeper, we see that the similarity ends here and differences start to crop up.


AMPscript is used for content personalization for emails, landing pages, SMS, push notifications etc. AMPScript is executed by Salesforce Marketing Cloud at the end of the email send.

AMPscript has fixed set of pre-built functions to be used and some of the categories of functions that are used frequently with AMPscript

For more information on AMPscript, please visit the link here.

Server-Side JavaScript [SSJS] 

This is something web developers are quite familiar with due to its similarity to JavaScript. Web developers find it easier to adopt with a minimum learning curve. 

There are few more pointers which make the case for SSJS 

Use cases or scenarios  

Below are some use cases or scenarios where we identified the preferred programmatic language along with reasons as compared to other languages:

In general, AMPscript can handle the vast majority use cases or scenarios and is recommended to be used in all the aspects of Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Wrap Up

We have tried to put up all the  similarities as well as the differences in various aspects of JavaScript and SSJS.  Plus, we have jotted down the differences between AMPscript and SSJS and then looked into the various use cases or scenarios along with their reasoning behind preferring AMPscript over SSJS or vice versa. As a thumb of rule, we should prefer AMPscirpt over SSJS until there is a specific use [like mentioned above] for it.      

In case you wish to read and try it for yourself, please check out the Trailhead module for AMPscript and SSJS. For in-depth details, for both the programmatic languages, visit the link here

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