JSONB

Warning:
This version of CockroachDB is no longer supported. For more details, see the Release Support Policy.

The JSONB data type stores JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) data as a binary representation of the JSONB value, which eliminates whitespace, duplicate keys, and key ordering. JSONB supports inverted indexes.

Tip:
For a hands-on demonstration of storing and querying JSON data from a third-party API, see the JSON tutorial.
Note:

Vectorized execution is currently not supported for this data type.

Alias

In CockroachDB, JSON is an alias for JSONB.

Note:
In PostgreSQL, JSONB and JSON are two different data types. In CockroachDB, the JSONB / JSON data type is similar in behavior to the JSONB data type in PostgreSQL.

Considerations

Syntax

The syntax for the JSONB data type follows the format specified in RFC8259. A constant value of type JSONB can be expressed using an interpreted literal or a string literal annotated with type JSONB.

There are six types of JSONB values:

  • null
  • Boolean
  • String
  • Number (i.e., decimal, not the standard int64)
  • Array (i.e., an ordered sequence of JSONB values)
  • Object (i.e., a mapping from strings to JSONB values)

Examples:

  • '{"type": "account creation", "username": "harvestboy93"}'
  • '{"first_name": "Ernie", "status": "Looking for treats", "location" : "Brooklyn"}'
Note:
If duplicate keys are included in the input, only the last value is kept.

Size

The size of a JSONB value is variable, but it's recommended to keep values under 1 MB to ensure performance. Above that threshold, write amplification and other considerations may cause significant performance degradation.

Functions

Function Description Example
jsonb_array_elements(<jsonb>) Expands a JSONB array to a set of JSONB values. SELECT jsonb_array_elements('[1,true, 2,false]');
jsonb_build_object(<any_element>...) Builds a JSONB object out of a variadic argument list that alternates between keys and values. SELECT json_build_object('Zoo',1,'Enter',2);
jsonb_each(<jsonb>) Expands the outermost JSONB object into a set of key-value pairs. SELECT * from json_each('{"a":"Apple", "b":"ball"}');
jsonb_object_keys(<jsonb>) Returns sorted set of keys in the outermost JSONB object. SELECT * from jsonb_object_keys('{"fb1":"abc123","fb2":{"fb3":"ant", "f4":"ball"}}');
jsonb_pretty(<jsonb>) Returns the given JSONB value as a STRING indented and with newlines. See the example below.

For the full list of supported JSONB functions, see Functions and Operators.

Operators

Operator Description Example
-> Access a JSONB field, returning a JSONB value. SELECT '[{"foo":"bar"}]'::JSONB->0->'foo' = '"bar"'::JSONB;
->> Access a JSONB field, returning a string. SELECT '{"foo":"bar"}'::JSONB->>'foo' = 'bar'::STRING;
@> Tests whether the left JSONB field contains the right JSONB field. SELECT ('{"foo": {"baz": 3}, "bar": 2}'::JSONB @> '{"foo": {"baz":3}}'::JSONB ) = true;

For the full list of supported JSONB operators, see Functions and Operators.

Known limitations

If the execution of a join query exceeds the limit set for memory-buffering operations (i.e., the value set for the sql.distsql.temp_storage.workmem cluster setting), CockroachDB will spill the intermediate results of computation to disk. If the join operation spills to disk, and at least one of the columns is of type JSON, CockroachDB returns the error unable to encode table key: *tree.DJSON. If the memory limit is not reached, then the query will be processed without error.

For details, see tracking issue.

Examples

Create a Table with a JSONB Column

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> CREATE TABLE users (
    profile_id UUID PRIMARY KEY DEFAULT gen_random_uuid(),
    last_updated TIMESTAMP DEFAULT now(),
    user_profile JSONB
  );
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> SHOW COLUMNS FROM users;
+--------------+-----------+-------------+-------------------+-----------------------+-------------+
| column_name  | data_type | is_nullable |  column_default   | generation_expression |   indices   |
+--------------+-----------+-------------+-------------------+-----------------------+-------------+
| profile_id   | UUID      |    false    | gen_random_uuid() |                       | {"primary"} |
| last_updated | TIMESTAMP |    true     | now()             |                       | {}          |
| user_profile | JSON      |    true     | NULL              |                       | {}          |
+--------------+-----------+-------------+-------------------+-----------------------+-------------+
(3 rows)
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> INSERT INTO users (user_profile) VALUES
    ('{"first_name": "Lola", "last_name": "Dog", "location": "NYC", "online" : true, "friends" : 547}'),
    ('{"first_name": "Ernie", "status": "Looking for treats", "location" : "Brooklyn"}');
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> SELECT * FROM users;
+--------------------------------------+----------------------------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|              profile_id              |           last_updated           |                               user_profile                               |
+--------------------------------------+----------------------------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| 33c0a5d8-b93a-4161-a294-6121ee1ade93 | 2018-02-27 16:39:28.155024+00:00 | {"first_name": "Lola", "friends": 547, "last_name": "Dog", "location":   |
|                                      |                                  | "NYC", "online": true}                                                   |
| 6a7c15c9-462e-4551-9e93-f389cf63918a | 2018-02-27 16:39:28.155024+00:00 | {"first_name": "Ernie", "location": "Brooklyn", "status": "Looking for   |
|                                      |                                  | treats"}                                                                 |
+--------------------------------------+----------------------------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Retrieve formatted JSONB data

To retrieve JSONB data with easier-to-read formatting, use the jsonb_pretty() function. For example, retrieve data from the table you created in the first example:

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> SELECT profile_id, last_updated, jsonb_pretty(user_profile) FROM users;
+--------------------------------------+----------------------------------+------------------------------------+
|              profile_id              |           last_updated           |            jsonb_pretty            |
+--------------------------------------+----------------------------------+------------------------------------+
| 33c0a5d8-b93a-4161-a294-6121ee1ade93 | 2018-02-27 16:39:28.155024+00:00 | {                                  |
|                                      |                                  |     "first_name": "Lola",          |
|                                      |                                  |     "friends": 547,                |
|                                      |                                  |     "last_name": "Dog",            |
|                                      |                                  |     "location": "NYC",             |
|                                      |                                  |     "online": true                 |
|                                      |                                  | }                                  |
| 6a7c15c9-462e-4551-9e93-f389cf63918a | 2018-02-27 16:39:28.155024+00:00 | {                                  |
|                                      |                                  |     "first_name": "Ernie",         |
|                                      |                                  |     "location": "Brooklyn",        |
|                                      |                                  |     "status": "Looking for treats" |
|                                      |                                  | }                                  |
+--------------------------------------+----------------------------------+------------------------------------+

Retrieve specific fields from a JSONB value

To retrieve a specific field from a JSONB value, use the -> operator. For example, retrieve a field from the table you created in the first example:

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> SELECT user_profile->'first_name',user_profile->'location' FROM users;
+----------------------------+--------------------------+
| user_profile->'first_name' | user_profile->'location' |
+----------------------------+--------------------------+
| "Lola"                     | "NYC"                    |
| "Ernie"                    | "Brooklyn"               |
+----------------------------+--------------------------+

You can also use the ->> operator to return JSONB field values as STRING values:

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> SELECT user_profile->>'first_name', user_profile->>'location' FROM users;
+-----------------------------+---------------------------+
| user_profile->>'first_name' | user_profile->>'location' |
+-----------------------------+---------------------------+
| Lola                        | NYC                       |
| Ernie                       | Brooklyn                  |
+-----------------------------+---------------------------+

You can use the @> operator to filter the values in key-value pairs to return JSONB field values:

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> SELECT user_profile->'first_name', user_profile->'location' FROM users WHERE user_profile @> '{"location":"NYC"}';
+-----------------------------+---------------------------+
| user_profile->>'first_name' | user_profile->>'location' |
+-----------------------------+---------------------------+
| Lola                        | NYC                       |
+-----------------------------+---------------------------+

For the full list of functions and operators we support, see Functions and Operators.

Group and order JSONB values

To organize your JSONB field values, use the GROUP BY and ORDER BY clauses with the ->> operator. For example, organize the first_name values from the table you created in the first example:

For this example, we will add a few more records to the existing table. This will help us see clearly how the data is grouped.

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> INSERT INTO users (user_profile) VALUES
    ('{"first_name": "Lola", "last_name": "Kim", "location": "Seoul", "online": false, "friends": 600}'),
    ('{"first_name": "Parvati", "last_name": "Patil", "location": "London", "online": false, "friends": 500}');
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> SELECT user_profile->>'first_name' AS first_name, user_profile->>'location' AS location FROM users;
  first_name | location
-------------+-----------
  Ernie      | Brooklyn
  Lola       | NYC
  Parvati    | London
  Lola       | Seoul

Now let’s group and order the data.

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> SELECT user_profile->>'first_name' first_name, count(*) total FROM users group by user_profile->>'first_name' order by total;
  first_name | total
-------------+-------
  Ernie      | 1
  Parvati    | 1
  Lola       | 2

The ->> operator returns STRING and uses string comparison rules to order the data. If you want numeric ordering, cast the resulting data to FLOAT.

For the full list of functions and operators we support, see Functions and Operators.

Create a table with a JSONB column and a computed column

In this example, create a table with a JSONB column and a computed column:

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> CREATE TABLE student_profiles (
    id STRING PRIMARY KEY AS (profile->>'id') STORED,
    profile JSONB
);

Then, insert a few rows of data:

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> INSERT INTO student_profiles (profile) VALUES
    ('{"id": "d78236", "name": "Arthur Read", "age": "16", "school": "PVPHS", "credits": 120, "sports": "none"}'),
    ('{"name": "Buster Bunny", "age": "15", "id": "f98112", "school": "THS", "credits": 67, "clubs": "MUN"}'),
    ('{"name": "Ernie Narayan", "school" : "Brooklyn Tech", "id": "t63512", "sports": "Track and Field", "clubs": "Chess"}');
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> SELECT * FROM student_profiles;
+--------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|   id   |                                                       profile                                                       |
+--------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| d78236 | {"age": "16", "credits": 120, "id": "d78236", "name": "Arthur Read", "school": "PVPHS", "sports": "none"}           |
| f98112 | {"age": "15", "clubs": "MUN", "credits": 67, "id": "f98112", "name": "Buster Bunny", "school": "THS"}               |
| t63512 | {"clubs": "Chess", "id": "t63512", "name": "Ernie Narayan", "school": "Brooklyn Tech", "sports": "Track and Field"} |
+--------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

The primary key id is computed as a field from the profile column.

Supported casting and conversion

JSONB values can be cast to the following data type:

  • STRING

See also

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