JSON functions in Standard SQL

BigQuery supports functions that help you retrieve data stored in JSON-formatted strings and functions that help you transform data into JSON-formatted strings.

JSON_EXTRACT or JSON_EXTRACT_SCALAR

JSON_EXTRACT(json_string_expr, json_path_format), which returns JSON values as STRINGs.

JSON_EXTRACT_SCALAR(json_string_expr, json_path_format), which returns scalar JSON values as STRINGs.

Description

Extracts JSON values or JSON scalar values as strings.

  • json_string_expr: A JSON-formatted string. For example:

    {"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "Jane"}]}}
    
  • json_path_format: The JSONpath format. This identifies the value or values you want to obtain from the JSON-formatted string. If json_path_format returns a JSON null, this is converted into a SQL NULL.

In cases where a JSON key uses invalid JSONPath characters, you can escape those characters using single quotes and brackets.

Return type

STRINGs

Examples

SELECT JSON_EXTRACT(json_text, '$') AS json_text_string
FROM UNNEST([
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "Jane"}]}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : []}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "John"}, {"name": "Jamie"}]}}'
  ]) AS json_text;

+-----------------------------------------------------------+
| json_text_string                                          |
+-----------------------------------------------------------+
| {"class":{"students":[{"name":"Jane"}]}}                  |
| {"class":{"students":[]}}                                 |
| {"class":{"students":[{"name":"John"},{"name":"Jamie"}]}} |
+-----------------------------------------------------------+
SELECT JSON_EXTRACT(json_text, '$.class.students[0]') AS first_student
FROM UNNEST([
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "Jane"}]}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : []}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "John"}, {"name": "Jamie"}]}}'
  ]) AS json_text;

+-----------------+
| first_student   |
+-----------------+
| {"name":"Jane"} |
| NULL            |
| {"name":"John"} |
+-----------------+
SELECT JSON_EXTRACT(json_text, '$.class.students[1].name') AS second_student_name
FROM UNNEST([
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "Jane"}]}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : []}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "John"}, {"name" : null}]}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "John"}, {"name": "Jamie"}]}}'
  ]) AS json_text;

+-------------------+
| second_student    |
+-------------------+
| NULL              |
| NULL              |
| NULL              |
| "Jamie"           |
+-------------------+
SELECT JSON_EXTRACT(json_text, "$.class['students']") AS student_names
FROM UNNEST([
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "Jane"}]}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : []}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "John"}, {"name": "Jamie"}]}}'
  ]) AS json_text;

+------------------------------------+
| student_names                      |
+------------------------------------+
| [{"name":"Jane"}]                  |
| []                                 |
| [{"name":"John"},{"name":"Jamie"}] |
+------------------------------------+
SELECT JSON_EXTRACT('{ "name" : "Jakob", "age" : "6" }', '$.name') as json_name,
  JSON_EXTRACT_SCALAR('{ "name" : "Jakob", "age" : "6" }', '$.name') as scalar_name,
  JSON_EXTRACT('{ "name" : "Jakob", "age" : "6" }', '$.age') as json_age,
  JSON_EXTRACT_SCALAR('{ "name" : "Jakob", "age" : "6" }', '$.age') as scalar;

+-----------+-------------+----------+--------+
| json_name | scalar_name | json_age | scalar |
+-----------+-------------+----------+--------+
| "Jakob"   | Jakob       | "6"      | 6      |
+-----------+-------------+----------+--------+

In cases where a JSON key uses invalid JSONPath characters, you can escape those characters using single quotes and brackets, [' ']. For example:

SELECT JSON_EXTRACT_SCALAR('{"a.b": {"c": "world"}}', "$['a.b'].c") as hello;

+-------+
| hello |
+-------+
| world |
+-------+

JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY

JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY(json_string_expr[, json_path_format])

Description

Extracts an array from a JSON-formatted string.

  • json_string_expr: A JSON-formatted string. For example:

    {"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "Jane"}]}}
    
  • json_path_format: The JSONpath format. This identifies the value or values you want to obtain from the JSON-formatted string. If this optional parameter is not provided, the JSONPath $ symbol is applied, which means that the entire JSON-formatted string is analyzed.

In cases where a JSON key uses invalid JSONPath characters, you can escape those characters using single quotes and brackets.

Return type

ARRAY<STRING>

Examples

This extracts the items in a JSON-formatted string to a string array:

SELECT JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY('[1,2,3]') as string_array

+----------------+
| string_array   |
+----------------+
| ['1','2','3']  |
+----------------+

This extracts a string array and converts it to an integer array:

SELECT ARRAY(
  SELECT CAST(integer_element as INT64)
  FROM UNNEST(
    JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY('[1,2,3]','$')
  ) AS integer_element
) AS integer_array

+---------------+
| integer_array |
+---------------+
| [1,2,3]       |
+---------------+

This extracts string values in a JSON-formatted string to an array:

-- Don't strip the double quotes
SELECT JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY('["apples","oranges","grapes"]', '$') as string_array

+--------------------------------------+
| string_array                         |
+--------------------------------------+
| ['"apples"','"oranges"','"grapes"']  |
+--------------------------------------+

-- Strip the double quotes
SELECT ARRAY(
  SELECT JSON_EXTRACT_SCALAR(string_element, '$')
  FROM UNNEST(JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY('["apples","oranges","grapes"]','$')) AS string_element
) AS string_array

+---------------------------------+
|  string_array                   |
+---------------------------------+
| ['apples', 'oranges', 'grapes'] |
+---------------------------------+

This extracts only the items in fruit to an array:

SELECT JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY(
  '{"fruit":[{"apples":5,"oranges":10},{"apples":2,"oranges":4}],"vegetables":[{"lettuce":7,"kale": 8}}',
  '$.fruit'
) as string_array

+----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| string_array                                                         |
+----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| ['{"apples" : 5, "oranges" : 10}' , '{"apples" : 2, "oranges" : 4}'] |
+----------------------------------------------------------------------+

These are equivalent:

JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY('{"fruits":["apples","oranges","grapes"]}','$[fruits]') as string_array

JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY('{"fruits":["apples","oranges","grapes"]}','$.fruits') as string_array

-- The queries above produce this result:
+---------------------------------------+
|  string_array                         |
+---------------------------------------+
| [""apples"", ""oranges"", ""grapes""] |
+---------------------------------------+

In cases where a JSON key uses invalid JSONPath characters, you can escape those characters using single quotes and brackets, [' ']. For example:

SELECT JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY('{"a.b": {"c": "world"}}', "$['a.b'].c") as hello;

+---------+
| hello   |
+---------+
| [world] |
+---------+

These examples explore how invalid requests and empty arrays are handled:

  • If a JSONPath is invalid, an error is thrown.
  • If a JSON-formatted string is invalid, the output is NULL.
  • It is okay to have empty arrays in the JSON-formatted string.
-- An error is thrown if you provide an invalid JSONPath.
JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY('["foo","bar","baz"]','INVALID_JSONPath') as result

-- If a key is not specified when a key is expected, the result is NULL.
JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY('{"a":"foo"}','$') as result

+--------+
| result |
+--------+
| NULL   |
+--------+

-- If a key that does not exist is specified, the result is NULL.
JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY('{"a":"foo"}','$.b') as result

+--------+
| result |
+--------+
| NULL   |
+--------+

-- Empty arrays in JSON-formatted strings are supported.
JSON_EXTRACT_ARRAY('{"a":"foo","b":[]}','$.b') as result

+--------+
| result |
+--------+
| []     |
+--------+

JSON_QUERY or JSON_VALUE

JSON_QUERY(json_string_expr, json_path_format), which returns JSON values as STRINGs.

JSON_VALUE(json_string_expr, json_path_format), which returns scalar JSON values as STRINGs.

Description

Extracts JSON values or JSON scalar values as strings.

  • json_string_expr: A JSON-formatted string. For example:

    {"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "Jane"}]}}
    
  • json_path_format: The JSONpath format. This identifies the value or values you want to obtain from the JSON-formatted string. If json_path_format returns a JSON null, this is converted into a SQL NULL.

In cases where a JSON key uses invalid JSONPath characters, you can escape those characters using double quotes.

Examples

SELECT JSON_QUERY(json_text, '$') AS json_text_string
FROM UNNEST([
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "Jane"}]}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : []}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "John"}, {"name": "Jamie"}]}}'
  ]) AS json_text;

+-----------------------------------------------------------+
| json_text_string                                          |
+-----------------------------------------------------------+
| {"class":{"students":[{"name":"Jane"}]}}                  |
| {"class":{"students":[]}}                                 |
| {"class":{"students":[{"name":"John"},{"name":"Jamie"}]}} |
+-----------------------------------------------------------+
SELECT JSON_QUERY(json_text, '$.class.students[0]') AS first_student
FROM UNNEST([
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "Jane"}]}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : []}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "John"}, {"name": "Jamie"}]}}'
  ]) AS json_text;

+-----------------+
| first_student   |
+-----------------+
| {"name":"Jane"} |
| NULL            |
| {"name":"John"} |
+-----------------+
SELECT JSON_QUERY(json_text, '$.class.students[1].name') AS second_student_name
FROM UNNEST([
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "Jane"}]}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : []}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "John"}, {"name" : null}]}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "John"}, {"name": "Jamie"}]}}'
  ]) AS json_text;

+-------------------+
| second_student    |
+-------------------+
| NULL              |
| NULL              |
| NULL              |
| "Jamie"           |
+-------------------+
SELECT JSON_QUERY(json_text, '$.class."students"') AS student_names
FROM UNNEST([
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "Jane"}]}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : []}}',
  '{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "John"}, {"name": "Jamie"}]}}'
  ]) AS json_text;

+------------------------------------+
| student_names                      |
+------------------------------------+
| [{"name":"Jane"}]                  |
| []                                 |
| [{"name":"John"},{"name":"Jamie"}] |
+------------------------------------+
SELECT JSON_QUERY('{ "name" : "Jakob", "age" : "6" }', '$.name') as json_name,
  JSON_VALUE('{ "name" : "Jakob", "age" : "6" }', '$.name') as scalar_name,
  JSON_QUERY('{ "name" : "Jakob", "age" : "6" }', '$.age') as json_age,
  JSON_VALUE('{ "name" : "Jakob", "age" : "6" }', '$.age') as scalar;

+-----------+-------------+----------+--------+
| json_name | scalar_name | json_age | scalar |
+-----------+-------------+----------+--------+
| "Jakob"   | Jakob       | "6"      | 6      |
+-----------+-------------+----------+--------+

In cases where a JSON key uses invalid JSONPath characters, you can escape those characters using double quotes. For example:

SELECT JSON_VALUE('{"a.b": {"c": "world"}}', '$."a.b".c') as hello;

+-------+
| hello |
+-------+
| world |
+-------+

TO_JSON_STRING

TO_JSON_STRING(value[, pretty_print])

Description

Returns a JSON-formatted string representation of value. This function supports an optional boolean parameter called pretty_print. If pretty_print is true, the returned value is formatted for easy readability.

Input data type Returned value
NULL of any type null
BOOL true or false.
INT64

Same as CAST(value AS STRING) when value is in the range of [-253, 253], which is the range of integers that can be represented losslessly as IEEE 754 double-precision floating point numbers. Values outside of this range are represented as quoted strings. For example:

-1
0
12345678901
9007199254740992
-9007199254740992
"9007199254740993"

9007199254740993 is greater than 253, so it is represented as a quoted string.

NUMERIC

Same as CAST(value AS STRING) when value is in the range of [-253, 253] and has no fractional part. Values outside of this range are represented as quoted strings. For example:

-1
0
"9007199254740993"
"123.56"
FLOAT64 +/-inf and NaN are represented as Infinity, -Infinity, and NaN, respectively.

Otherwise, the same as CAST(value AS STRING).

STRING Quoted string value, escaped according to the JSON standard. Specifically, ", \, and the control characters from U+0000 to U+001F are escaped.
BYTES

Quoted RFC 4648 base64-escaped value. For example:

"R29vZ2xl" is the base64 representation of bytes b"Google"

DATE

Quoted date. For example:

"2017-03-06"
TIMESTAMP

Quoted ISO 8601 date-time, where T separates the date and time and Zulu/UTC represents the time zone. For example:

"2017-03-06T12:34:56.789012Z"
DATETIME

Quoted ISO 8601 date-time, where T separates the date and time. For example:

"2017-03-06T12:34:56.789012"
TIME

Quoted ISO 8601 time. For example:

"12:34:56.789012"
ARRAY

Array of zero or more elements. Each element is formatted according to its type.

Example without formatting:

["red", "blue", "green"]

Example with formatting:

[
  "red",
  "blue",
  "green"
]
STRUCT

Object that contains zero or more key/value pairs. Each value is formatted according to its type.

Example without formatting:

{"colors":["red","blue"],"purchases":12,"inStock": true}

Example with formatting:

{
  "color":[
    "red",
    "blue"
   ]
  "purchases":12,
  "inStock": true
}

Fields with duplicate names might result in unparseable JSON. Anonymous fields are represented with "". If a field is a non-empty array or object, elements/fields are indented to the appropriate level.

Invalid UTF-8 field names might result in unparseable JSON. String values are escaped according to the JSON standard. Specifically, ", \, and the control characters from U+0000 to U+001F are escaped.

Return type

JSON string representation of the value.

Examples

Convert rows in a table to JSON.

With CoordinatesTable AS (
    (SELECT 1 AS id, [10,20] AS coordinates) UNION ALL
    (SELECT 2 AS id, [30,40] AS coordinates) UNION ALL
    (SELECT 3 AS id, [50,60] AS coordinates))
SELECT id, coordinates, TO_JSON_STRING(t) AS json_data
FROM CoordinatesTable as t;

+--------+-------------+--------------------------------+
| id     | coordinates | json_data                      |
+--------+-------------+--------------------------------+
| 1      | [10,20]     | {"id":1,"coordinates":[10,20]} |
| 2      | [30,40]     | {"id":2,"coordinates":[30,40]} |
| 3      | [50,60]     | {"id":3,"coordinates":[50,60]} |
+--------+-------------+--------------------------------+

Convert rows in a table to JSON with formatting.

With CoordinatesTable AS (
    (SELECT 1 AS id, [10,20] AS coordinates) UNION ALL
    (SELECT 2 AS id, [30,40] AS coordinates)
SELECT id, coordinates, TO_JSON_STRING(t, true) AS json_data
FROM CoordinatesTable as t;

+--------+-------------+---------------------+
| id     | coordinates | json_data           |
+--------+-------------+---------------------+
| 1      | [10,20]     | {                   |
|        |             |   "id":1,           |
|        |             |   "coordinates":[   |
|        |             |     10,             |
|        |             |     20              |
|        |             |   ]                 |
|        |             | }                   |
| 2      | [30,40]     | {                   |
|        |             |   "id":2,           |
|        |             |   "coordinates":[   |
|        |             |     30,             |
|        |             |     40              |
|        |             |   ]                 |
|        |             | }                   |
+--------+-------------+---------------------+

JSONPath format

Most JSON functions pass in a json_string_expr and json_path_format parameter. The json_string_expr parameter passes in a JSON-formatted string, and the json_path_format parameter identifies the value or values you want to obtain from the JSON-formatted string.

The json_string_expr parameter must be a JSON string that is formatted like this:

{"class" : {"students" : [{"name" : "Jane"}]}}

You construct the json_path_format parameter using the JSONPath format. As part of this format, this parameter must start with a $ symbol, which refers to the outermost level of the JSON-formatted string. You can identify child values using dots. If the JSON object is an array, you can use brackets to specify the array index. If the keys contain $, dots, or brackets, refer to each JSON function for how to escape them.

JSONPath Description Example Result using the above json_string_expr
$ Root object or element "$" {"class":{"students":[{"name":"Jane"}]}}
. Child operator "$.class.students" [{"name":"Jane"}]
[] Subscript operator "$.class.students[0]" {"name":"Jane"}

A JSON functions returns NULL if the json_path_format parameter does not match a value in json_string_expr. If the selected value for a scalar function is not scalar, such as an object or an array, the function returns NULL.

If the JSONPath is invalid, the function raises an error.