Link Search Menu Expand Document

Map data from JSON records to a table

Throughout this section, we use a common example set of JSON records that can result from a website’s logs or web-analytics platform, and the Firebolt table into which that JSON record is ingested. We start with a simple example that becomes more involved and realistic as we present new concepts.

Each record in the source data represents a “visit” or “session” on the website. Records are stored in an “Object per line” file. Each line is a JSON object, although the file as a whole is not a valid JSON. These files are usually stored in a data lake in compressed form.

Source JSON record structure

Assume we have the following two records in the source data lake file.

// 1st record
    "id": 1,
    "StartTime": "2020-01-06 17:00:00",
    "Duration": 450,
    "tags": ["summer-sale","sports"],
        "agent": "Mozilla/5.0",
        "platform": "Windows NT 6.1",
        "resolution": "1024x4069"

// 2nd record
    "id": 2,
    "StartTime": "2020-01-05 12:00:00",
    "Duration": 959,
    "tags": ["gadgets","audio"],
        "agent": "Safari",
        "platform": "iOS 14"

Important characteristics of the JSON records:

  • Each record has mandatory scalar fields id, StartTime, and Duration.
  • There is an array of tags of arbitrary length, potentially empty.
  • There is a map of user_agent properties. These properties can change from record to record, and the full set of potential properties is not known when you create the Firebolt table.

Corresponding Firebolt table structure

The JSON records above are represented in a Firebolt table that is created with the DDL example below. A fact table example is shown (a dimension table would be acceptable as well) and the PRIMARY INDEX definition is arbitrary.

    id INT,
    start_time DATETIME,
    tags ARRAY(TEXT),
    agent_props_keys ARRAY(TEXT),
    agent_props_vals ARRAY(TEXT)
PRIMARY INDEX start_time;

With the JSON records above ingested into the table, table data appears as shown below. For more information about using Firebolt semi-structured functions to transform JSON records into table rows, see Ingesting semi-structured data.

The data type is shown in capital letters beside the column name for clarity and is not part of the column name.

id INT start_time DATETIME duration INT tags ARRAY(TEXT) agent_props_keys agent_props_vals
1 2020-01-06 17:00:00 450 [“summer-sale”,”sports”] [“agent”, “platform”, “resolution”] [“Mozilla/5.0”, “Windows NT 6.1”, “1024x4069”]
2 2020-01-05 12:00:00 959 [“gadgets”,”audio”] [“agent”, “platform”] [“Safari”, “iOS 14”]

Important characteristics of the table:

  • The mandatory scalar fields correspond to regular columns.
  • For the tags array, we define a column with the data type ARRAY(TEXT).
  • For the user_agent properties map, we define two columns: one for the keys and one for the values. This is a common pattern used in Firebolt to represent maps (also known as dictionaries).