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A library for working with Table Schema.

Version v1.0 includes various important changes. Please read a migration guide.


  • Table class for working with data and schema
  • Schema class for working with schemas
  • Field class for working with schema fields
  • validate function for validating schema descriptors
  • infer function that creates a schema based on a data sample

Getting started


The package use semantic versioning. It means that major versions could include breaking changes. It's highly recommended to specify tableschema version range in your package.json file e.g. tabulator: ^1.0 which will be added by default by npm install --save.


$ npm install jsontableschema # v0.2
$ npm install tableschema@latest # v1.0-alpha


<script src="//"></script>


Code examples in this readme requires Node v8.0+ or proper modern browser . Also you have to wrap code into async function if there is await keyword used. You could see even more example in examples directory.

const {Table} = require('tableschema')
const table = await Table.load('data.csv')
await table.infer() // infer a schema 
await{keyed: true}) // read the data 
await // save the schema 
await // save the data 



A table is a core concept in a tabular data world. It represents a data with a metadata (Table Schema). Let's see how we could use it in practice.

Consider we have some local csv file. It could be inline data or remote link - all supported by Table class (except local files for in-brower usage of course). But say it's data.csv for now:


Let's create and read a table. We use static Table.load method and method with a keyed option to get array of keyed rows:

const table = await Table.load('data.csv')
table.headers // ['city', 'location'] 
await{keyed: true})
// [ 
//   {city: 'london', location: '51.50,-0.11'}, 
//   {city: 'paris', location: '48.85,2.30'}, 
//   {city: 'rome', location: 'N/A'}, 
// ] 

As we could see our locations are just a strings. But it should be geopoints. Also Rome's location is not available but it's also just a N/A string instead of JavaScript null.

Let's fix not available location first. There is a missingValues property in Table Schema specification. As a first try we set missingValues to N/A in table.schema.descriptor. Schema descriptor could be changed in-place but all changes sould be commited by table.schema.commit():

table.schema.descriptor['missingValues'] = 'N/A'
table.schema.valid // false 
// Error: Descriptor validation error: 
//   Invalid type: string (expected array) 
//    at "/missingValues" in descriptor and 
//    at "/properties/missingValues/type" in profile 

As a good citiziens we've decided to check out schema descriptor validity. And it's not valid! We sould use an array for missingValues property. Also don't forget to have an empty string as a missing value:

table.schema.descriptor['missingValues'] = ['', 'N/A']
table.schema.valid // true 

This time it's good enough. Now we want to make our locations to be geopoints. Based on our experience it will be better also to check for validation errors:

table.schema.descriptor['fields'][1]['type'] = 'geopoint'
table.schema.valid // true 

All good. It looks like we're ready to read our data again:

await{keyed: true})
// [ 
//   {city: 'london', location: [51.50,-0.11]}, 
//   {city: 'paris', location: [48.85,2.30]}, 
//   {city: 'rome', location: null}, 
// ] 

Now we see that:

  • locations are arrays with numeric lattide and longitude
  • Rome's location is a native JavaScript null

And because there are no errors on data reading we could be sure that our data is valid againt our schema. Let's save it:


Our data.csv looks the same because it has been stringified back to csv format. But now we have schema.json:

    "fields": [
            "name": "city",
            "type": "string",
            "format": "default"
            "name": "location",
            "type": "geopoint",
            "format": "default"
    "missingValues": [

If we decide to improve it even more we could update the schema file and then open it again. But now providing a schema path and iterating thru the data using Node Streams:

const table = await Table.load('data.csv', {scheme: 'schema.json'})
const stream = await table.iter({stream: true})
stream.on('data', (row) => {
  // handle row ['london', [51.50,-0.11]] etc 
  // keyed/extended/cast supported in a stream mode too 

It was onle basic introduction to the Table class. To learn more let's take a look on Table class API reference.

async Table.load(source, {schema, headers=1, strict=false})

Factory method to instantiate Table class. This method is async and it should be used with await keyword or as a Promise.

  • source (String/Array[]/Function) - data source (one of):
    • local CSV file (path)
    • remote CSV file (url)
    • array of arrays representing the rows
    • function returning readable stream with CSV file contents
  • schema (Object) - data schema in all forms supported by Schema class
  • headers (Integer/String[]) - data source headers (one of):
    • row number containing headers (source should contain headers rows)
    • array of headers (source should NOT contain headers rows)
  • strict (Boolean) - strictness option to pass to Schema constructor
  • (Error) - raises any error occured in table creation process
  • (Table) - returns data table class instance


  • (Schema) - returns schema class instance


  • (String[]) - returns data source headers

async table.iter({keyed, extended, cast=true, stream=false})

Iter through the table data and emits rows cast based on table schema (async for loop). With a stream flag instead of async iterator a Node stream will be returned. Data casting could be disabled.

  • keyed (Boolean) - iter keyed rows
  • extended (Boolean) - iter extended rows
  • cast (Boolean) - disable data casting if false
  • stream (Boolean) - return Node Readable Stream of table rows
  • (Error) - raises any error occured in this process
  • (AsyncIterator/Stream) - async iterator/stream of rows:
    • [value1, value2] - base
    • {header1: value1, header2: value2} - keyed
    • [rowNumber, [header1, header2], [value1, value2]] - extended

async{keyed, extended, cast=true, limit})

Read the whole table and returns as array of rows. Count of rows could be limited.

  • keyed (Boolean) - flag to emit keyed rows
  • extended (Boolean) - flag to emit extended rows
  • cast (Boolean) - flag to disable data casting if false
  • limit (Number) - integer limit of rows to return
  • (Error) - raises any error occured in this process
  • (Array[]) - returns array of rows (see table.iter)

async table.infer({limit=100})

Infer a schema for the table. It will infer and set Table Schema to table.schema based on table data.

  • limit (Number) - limit rows samle size
  • (Schema) - returns Schema instance


Save data source to file locally in CSV format with , (comma) delimiter

  • target (String) - path where to save a table data
  • (Error) - raises an error if there is saving problem
  • (Boolean) - returns true on success


A model of a schema with helpful methods for working with the schema and supported data. Schema instances can be initialized with a schema source as a url to a JSON file or a JSON object. The schema is initially validated (see validate below), and will raise an exception if not a valid Table Schema.

const {Schema} = require('tableschema')
const descriptor = {
  fields: [
    {name: 'name', type: 'string'},
    {name: 'age', type: 'integer'},
try {
  const schema = await Schema.load(descriptor)
  schema.valid // true 
  schema.errors // [] 
  schema.descriptor // {fields: [...]} 
} catch (errors) {
  errors // list of validation errors 

async Schema.load(descriptor, {strict=false})

Factory method to instantiate Schema class. This method is async and it should be used with await keyword or as a Promise.

  • descriptor (String/Object) - schema descriptor:
    • local path
    • remote url
    • object
  • strict (Boolean) - flag to alter validation behaviour:
    • if false error will not be raised and all error will be collected in schema.errors
    • if strict is true any validation error will be raised immediately
  • (Error) - raises error if schema can't be instantiated
  • (Error[]) - raises list of validation errors if strict is true
  • (Schema) - returns schema class instance

List of actions on descriptor:

  • retrieved (if path/url)
  • expanded (with profile defaults)
  • validated (against table-schema profile)


  • (Boolean) - returns validation status. It always true in strict mode.


  • (Error[]) - returns validation errors. It always empty in strict mode.


  • (Object) - returns schema descriptor


  • (str[]) - returns schema primary key


  • (Object[]) - returns schema foreign keys


  • (String[]) - returns an array of field names.


Add new field to schema. The schema descriptor will be validated with newly added field descriptor.

  • descriptor (Object) - field descriptor
  • (Error[]) - raises list of validation errors
  • (Error) - raises any field creation error
  • (Field/null) - returns added Field instance or null if not added


Get schema field by name.

  • name (String) - schema field name
  • (Field/null) - returns Field instance or null if not found


Remove field resource by name. The schema descriptor will be validated after field descriptor removal.

  • name (String) - schema field name
  • (Error[]) - raises list of validation errors
  • (Field/null) - returns removed Field instances or null if not found


Cast row based on field types and formats.

  • row (any[]) - data row as an array of values
  • (any[]) - returns cast data row

schema.infer(rows, {headers=1})

Infer and set schema.descriptor based on data sample.

  • rows (Array[]) - array of arrays representing rows.
  • headers (Integer/String[]) - data sample headers (one of):
    • row number containing headers (rows should contain headers rows)
    • array of headers (rows should NOT contain headers rows)
  • {Object} - returns Table Schema descriptor


Update schema instance if there are in-place changes in the descriptor.

  • (Error[]) - raises list of validation errors
  • (Error) - raises any resource creation error
  • (Boolean) - returns true on success and false if not modified
const descriptor = {fields: [{name: 'field', type: 'string'}]}
const schema = await Schema.load(descriptor)
schema.getField('name').type // string 
schema.descriptor.fields[0].type = 'number'
schema.getField('name').type // string 
schema.getField('name').type // number 


Save schema descriptor to target destination.

  • target (String) - path where to save a descriptor
  • (Error) - raises an error if there is saving problem
  • (Boolean) - returns true on success


Class represents field in the schema.

Data values can be cast to native Javascript types. Casting a value will check the value is of the expected type, is in the correct format, and complies with any constraints imposed by a schema.

    'name': 'birthday',
    'type': 'date',
    'format': 'default',
    'constraints': {
        'required': True,
        'minimum': '2015-05-30'

Following code will not raise the exception, despite the fact our date is less than minimum constraints in the field, because we do not check constraints of the field descriptor

var dateType = field.castValue('2014-05-29')

And following example will raise exception, because we set flag 'skip constraints' to false, and our date is less than allowed by minimum constraints of the field. Exception will be raised as well in situation of trying to cast non-date format values, or empty values

try {
    var dateType = field.castValue('2014-05-29', false)
} catch(e) {
    // uh oh, something went wrong 

Values that can't be cast will raise an Error exception. Casting a value that doesn't meet the constraints will raise an Error exception.

Available types, formats and resultant value of the cast:

Type Formats Casting result
any default Any
array default Array
boolean default Boolean
date default, any, Date
datetime default, any, Date
duration default moment.Duration
geojson default, topojson Object
geopoint default, array, object [Number, Number]
integer default Number
number default Number
object default Object
string default, uri, email, binary String
time default, any, Date
year default Number
yearmonth default [Number, Number]

new Field(descriptor, {missingValues=['']})

Constructor to instantiate Field class.

  • descriptor (Object) - schema field descriptor
  • missingValues (String[]) - an array with string representing missing values
  • (Error) - raises error if field can't be instantiated
  • (Field) - returns field class instance

List of actions on descriptor:

  • expanded (with profile defaults)

  • (String) - returns field name


  • (String) - returns field type


  • (String) - returns field format


  • (Boolean) - returns true if field is required


  • (Object) - returns an object with field constraints


  • (Object) - returns field descriptor

field.castValue(value, {constraints=true})

Cast given value according to the field type and format.

  • value (any) - value to cast against field
  • constraints (Boolean/String[]) - gets constraints configuration
    • it could be set to true to disable constraint checks
    • it could be an Array of constraints to check e.g. ['minimum', 'maximum']
  • (Error) - raises cast error if happens
  • (any) - returns cast value

field.testValue(value, {constraints=true})

Test if value is compliant to the field.

  • value (any) - value to cast against field
  • constraints (Boolean/String[]) - constraints configuration
  • (Boolean) - returns if value is compliant to the field


validate() validates whether a schema is a validate Table Schema accordingly to the specifications. It does not validate data against a schema.

Given a schema descriptor validate returns Promise, which success for a valid Table Schema, or reject with array of errors:

const {validate} = require('tableschema')
try {
} catch (errors) {
  // uh oh, some validation errors in the errors array 

async validate(descriptor)

This funcion is async so it has to be used with await keyword or as a Promise.

  • descriptor (String/Object) - schema descriptor (one of):
    • local path
    • remote url
    • object
  • (Error[]) - raises list of validation errors for invalid
  • (Boolean) - returns true for valid

List of actions on descriptor:

  • retrieved (if path/url)
  • expanded (with profile defaults)
  • validated (against table-schema profile)


Given data source and headers infer will return a Table Schema as a JSON object based on the data values.

Given the data file, example.csv:


Call infer with headers and values from the datafile:

const descriptor = await infer('data.csv')

The descriptor variable is now a JSON object:

  fields: [
      name: 'id',
      title: '',
      description: '',
      type: 'integer',
      format: 'default'
      name: 'age',
      title: '',
      description: '',
      type: 'integer',
      format: 'default'
      name: 'name',
      title: '',
      description: '',
      type: 'string',
      format: 'default'

async infer(source, {headers=1})

This funcion is async so it has to be used with await keyword or as a Promise.

  • source (String/Array[]) - data source
  • headers (String[]) - array of headers
  • (Error) - raises any error occured
  • (Object) - returns schema descriptor


The project follows the Open Knowledge International coding standards. There are common commands to work with the project:

$ npm install
$ npm run test
$ npm run build


Here described only breaking and the most important changes. The full changelog could be found in nicely formatted commit history.


This version includes various big changes. A migration guide is under development and will be published here.


First stable version of the library.