FOR JSON

Creating custom nested JSON structure

If you need some complex JSON structure that cannot be created using FOR JSON PATH or FOR JSON AUTO, you can customize your JSON output by putting FOR JSON sub-queries as column expressions:

SELECT top 5 o.object_id, o.name,
        (SELECT column_id, c.name
            FROM sys.columns c WHERE o.object_id = c.object_id
            FOR JSON PATH) as columns,
        (SELECT parameter_id, name
            FROM sys.parameters p WHERE o.object_id = p.object_id
            FOR JSON PATH) as parameters
FROM sys.objects o
FOR JSON PATH

Each sub-query will produce JSON result that will be included in the main JSON content.

FOR JSON AUTO

Automatically nests values from the second table as a nested sub-array of JSON objects:

SELECT top 5 o.object_id, o.name, c.column_id, c.name
FROM sys.objects o
    JOIN sys.columns c ON o.object_id = c.object_id 
FOR JSON AUTO

Result of the query would be array of JSON objects:

[
  {
   "object_id":3,
   "name":"sysrscols",
   "c":[
        {"column_id":12,"name":"bitpos"},
        {"column_id":6,"name":"cid"}
       ]
  },
  {
    "object_id":5,
    "name":"sysrowsets",
    "c":[
         {"column_id":13,"name":"colguid"},
         {"column_id":3,"name":"hbcolid"},
         {"column_id":8,"name":"maxinrowlen"}
     ]
  }
]

FOR JSON clause without array wrapper (single object in output)

WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER option enables you to generate a single object instead of the array. Use this option if you know that you will return single row/object:

SELECT top 3 object_id, name, type, principal_id
FROM sys.objects
WHERE object_id = 3
FOR JSON PATH, WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER

Single object will be returned in this case:

{"object_id":3,"name":"sysrscols","type":"S "}

FOR JSON PATH

Formats results of SELECT query as JSON text. FOR JSON PATH clause is added after query:

SELECT top 3 object_id, name, type, principal_id FROM sys.objects
FOR JSON PATH

Column names will be used as keys in JSON, and cell values will be generated as JSON values. Result of the query would be an array of JSON objects:

[
  {"object_id":3,"name":"sysrscols","type":"S "},       
  {"object_id":5,"name":"sysrowsets","type":"S "},
  {"object_id":6,"name":"sysclones","type":"S "}
]

NULL values in principal_id column will be ignored (they will not be generated).

FOR JSON PATH with column aliases

FOR JSON PATH enables you to control format of the output JSON using column aliases:

SELECT top 3 object_id as id, name as [data.name], type as [data.type]
FROM sys.objects
FOR JSON PATH

Column alias will be used as a key name. Dot-separated column aliases (data.name and data.type) will be generated as nested objects. If two column have the same prefix in dot notation, they will be grouped together in single object (data in this example):

[
  {"id":3,"data":{"name":"sysrscols","type":"S "}},
  {"id":5,"data":{"name":"sysrowsets","type":"S "}},
  {"id":6,"data":{"name":"sysclones","type":"S "}}
]

INCLUDE_NULL_VALUES

FOR JSON clause ignores NULL values in cells. If you want to generate "key": null pairs for cells that contain NULL values, add INCLUDE_NULL_VALUES option in the query:

SELECT top 3 object_id, name, type, principal_id
FROM sys.objects
FOR JSON PATH, INCLUDE_NULL_VALUES

NULL values in principal_id column will be generated:

[
  {"object_id":3,"name":"sysrscols","type":"S ","principal_id":null},
  {"object_id":5,"name":"sysrowsets","type":"S ","principal_id":null},
  {"object_id":6,"name":"sysclones","type":"S ","principal_id":null}
]

Wrapping results with ROOT object

Wraps returned JSON array in additional root object with specified key:

SELECT top 3 object_id, name, type FROM sys.objects
FOR JSON PATH, ROOT('data')

Result of the query would be array of JSON objects inside the wrapper object:

{
  "data":[
           {"object_id":3,"name":"sysrscols","type":"S "},
           {"object_id":5,"name":"sysrowsets","type":"S "},
           {"object_id":6,"name":"sysclones","type":"S "}
         ]
}


2016-07-29
2016-09-20
Microsoft SQL Server Pedia
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