October 24, 2013

JSON in Teradata

I coined the term schema-on-need last month. More precisely, I coined it while being briefed on JSON-in-Teradata, which was announced earlier this week, and is slated for availability in the first half of 2014.

The basic JSON-in-Teradata story is as you expect:

JSON virtual columns are referenced a little differently than ordinary physical columns are. Thus, if you materialize a virtual column, you have to change your SQL. If you’re doing business intelligence through a semantic layer, or otherwise have some kind of declarative translation, that’s probably not a big drawback. If you’re coding analytic procedures directly, it still may not be a big drawback — hopefully you won’t reference the virtual column too many times in code before you decide to materialize it instead.

My Bobby McFerrin* imitation notwithstanding, Hadapt illustrates a schema-on-need approach that is slicker than Teradata’s in two ways. First, Hadapt has full SQL transparency between virtual and physical columns. Second, Hadapt handles not just JSON, but anything represented by key-value pairs. Still, like XML before it but more concisely, JSON is a pretty versatile data interchange format. So JSON-in-Teradata would seem to be useful as it stands.

*The singer in the classic 1988 music video Don’t Worry Be Happy. The other two performers, of course, were Elton John and Robin Williams.

Comments

2 Responses to “JSON in Teradata”

  1. sreeni on October 24th, 2013 7:39 pm

    super article. i got a link about your site while googling i.e without any reference. you insights are amazing. you should really charge for the info provided free of cost.

    hats off monash

  2. Dan Graham on October 30th, 2013 11:05 am

    Curt,
    some minor corrections. During our talk a couple weeks ago:
    — JSON is stored in a column EITHER as a Varchar or LOB based on the object size. This is handled automatically
    — There is no need to retrieve the entire JSON document. Individual name-value pairs are directly accessible.
    –Whether its a partially shredded name-value pair or left in JSON, yes, someone has to do something with SQL to access the data. I do not see it as a shortcoming as implied that you have to point SQL at the data. The DBA can use JSON shredded or unshredded.
    Hope that helps

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