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x2node-rsparser

X2 Framework for Node.js | Result Set Parser

This module provides a parser for parsing SQL SELECT query result sets into complex data structures supported by JSON. The module is a part of X2 Framework.

The concept behind this parser is yet another take at the problem of mapping rigidly two-dimensional grids of values that are results produced by SQL SELECT queries into richly hierarchical, tree-like data structures, with which applications normally operate. The idea is to use particularly structured result sets with special syntax in the result set column labels that maps the column values to certain properties in the produced records on one hand. On the other hand, the parser is provided with the description of the supported records structure via the use of X2 Framework's x2node-records module. The parser then can be fed with the result set rows one by one and build an array of the extracted records. In the simplest case, each row in the result set represents a single record of the given type and each column's label is the name of the record property, to which the column value maps. The parser implementation, however, supports far more complex cases including multiple levels of nested objects, polymorphic objects, reference properties and simulteneous fetch of the referred records, arrays and maps.

See module's API Reference Documentation.

Table of Contents

Usage

Instances of the ResultSetParser class provided by the module are created using the module's getResultSetParser function. An instance of the ResultSetParser can be configured once for a specific result set structure and then used to parse one result set at a time, accumulating extracted records in an internal array. Here is a simple example that uses mysql:

const mysql = require('mysql');
const records = require('x2node-records');
const rsparser = require('x2node-rsparser');
 
// create record types library 
const recordTypes = records.with(rsparser).buildLibrary({
    'Person': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'firstName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'lastName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            }
        }
    }
});
 
// create parser to extract Person records 
const parser = rsparser.getResultSetParser(recordTypes, 'Person');
 
// connect to the database 
const connection = mysql.createConnection({
    host: 'localhost',
    user: 'me',
    password: 'secret',
    database: 'my_db'
});
connection.connect(function(err) {
    if (err)
        throw err;
});
 
// create and run the query 
connection.query(
    'SELECT id, fname AS firstName, lname AS lastName FROM persons'
)
.on('error', function(err) {
    throw err;
})
.on('fields', function(fields) {
 
    // configure the parser with the columns markup 
    parser.init(fields.map(field => field.name));
})
.on('result', function(row) {
 
    // feed the row to the parser 
    parser.feedRow(row);
})
.on('end', function() {
 
    // end connection to the database 
    connection.end();
 
    // print extracted records 
    console.log(JSON.stringify(parser.records));
});

The getResultSetParser function takes two arguments: the application's record types library and the name of the record type being extracted from the result set.

Note the first requirement to the result set structure: the first column of the result set must always be the record id.

Then note how the parser is initialized in the fields event handler where it's fed with an array containing the property names for each result set column. The property names are specified as column labels in the SELECT query.

In the result event handler we feed the parser with the received result set rows.

When the query execution is complete, in the end event handler we have an array with extracted records available in the parser's records property.

The API

The module exposes the following functions:

  • getResultSetParser(recordTypes, topRecordTypeName) - Used to create a new parser. The first argument is an instance of RecordTypesLibrary provided by the x2node-records module. The second argument is a string that specifies the name of the record type extracted bu the parser from the result set.

    Note, that before a new parser instance can be used, it must be initialized with the result set column labels called the columns markup.

  • registerValueExtractor(type, extractorFunc) - Register a custom result set column value extractor. The first argument is the extractor type (one of "string", "number", "boolean", "datetime" or "isNull") and the second argument is the extractor function. After a value extractor is registered, all subsequent parsers created by the module will use the new extractor. The value extractors are discussed later in this section.

  • extractValue(type, rawVal, [rowNum], [colInd]) - Allows to call a registred value extractor function directly. If rowNum and colInd are not provided (which usually makes sense only in a context of parsing a result set row and not a direct extractor function call from the application code), they are assumed to be zeros.

The ResultSetParser exposes the following properties and methods:

  • init(markup) - Initialize the parser with columns markup. The markup is normally extracted from the result set column labels. The markup argument is an array of strings, one string per result set column. The markup syntax is discussed in detail later in this manual. Once the parser is initialized, result set rows can start to be fed to it for parsing.

  • feedRow(row) - Feed a result set row to the parser. The row argument can be either an array of corresponding column values, or an object with keys being column labels (which are the column markup) and values being the corresponding values. Using array yields slightly better performance.

  • reset() - Reset the parser so it can be used again for the same query. The reset does not erase the markup, so once the parser is initialized, it can only be used for the same result set structure. The reset only clears the perser's internal state and the accumulated records collections.

  • recordTypes - Read-only property the provides reference to the record types library used to create the parser.

  • records - A read-only property, which is an array of extracted records. Normally, it is accessed after all of the result set rows are fed to the parser. The reset() method creates a new instance of the array, so that the reference to the previous parsing results can still be used outside of the parser.

  • referredRecords - The parser supports fetching records referred to by reference properties, all within the same result set as discussed later in this manual. The extracted referred records end up in this read-only property, which is an object with keys being the reference values (record type, hash sign, record id) and values being the record objects. It is a parsing result collection supplementary to the records property. The reset() method create a new instance of the referred records collection.

  • merge(otherParser) - Merge records and referredRecords in the specified other parser into this one. The otherParser must be an instance of ResultSetParser containing the same number of records of the same record type with the same ids and in the same order. Merging multiple parsers is used primarily to support loading data structures with multiple multi-element tree branches (having multiple array and/or map properties on the same nesting level). This topic is discussed later in this manual.

When the feedRow(row) method is called, the values in the provided row argument are considered "raw". Before a value from a result set column is set into the corresponding record property it is passed through a function called value extractor. The default value extractors can be overridden by providing custom extraction functions using the modules registerValueExtractor function. The following extractor types are used:

  • string - Used to extract string record properties. The default extractor simply returns the raw value as String(rawValue) unless it is null.
  • number - Used to extract number record properties. The default extractor simply returns the raw value as Number(rawValue) unless it is null.
  • boolean - Used to extract Boolean record properties. The default extractor returns null if the raw value is null, otherwise it returns the result of (rawValue ? true : false) conditional operator.
  • datetime - Used to extract datetime record properties. The default extractor assumes the raw value to be an instance of Date (or null) and returns the result of calling toISOString() method on it.
  • isNull - Special extractor used to test if the property value is null. The default extractor returns true if the raw value is null, or false if it is not.

The extractor functions receive the following arguments:

  • rawVal - The raw value from the row argument provided to the parser's feedRow(row) method.
  • rowNum - Zero-based result set row number.
  • colNum - Zero-based result set column number.

For example, the default extractor can be overridden (with an identical one) like this:

rsparser.registerValueExtractor('number', function(rawVal) {
    return (rawVal === null ? null : Number(rawVal));
});

Record Types Library Extensions

The result set parser module extends the record types library with some specific features that it needs in order to be able to parse the rows. First of all, the module itself must be added as an extension when the record types library is built:

const records = require('x2node-records');
const rsparser = require('x2node-rsparser');
 
const recordTypes = records.with(rsparser).buildLibrary({
    ...
});

Then, there are certain requirements and additional property definition attributes.

Nested Object Record Ids

For the module's merge functionality to function correctly, there is one requirement for nested object arrays: the nested objects must have an id property. For example:

{
    ...
    'Order': {
        properties: {
            ...
            'lineItems': {
                valueType: 'object[]',
                properties: {
                    'id': {
                        valueType: 'number',
                        role: 'id'
                    },
                    'productRef': {
                        valueType: 'ref(Product)'
                    },
                    'quantity': {
                        valueType: 'number'
                    }
                }
            },
            ...
        }
    },
    ...
}

The line item id in the example above uniquely identifies the line item record within the collection of the order's line items.

Note that scalar nested objects may not have an id property (their id is the parent record id). And for the maps it doesn't matter.

Map Keys

Another requirement is that the parser must know the value type of the key for map properties when it comes from the database. The key is always converted to a string when it is set into the resulting record JSON object, but the parser still needs to use a correct value extractor when it receives the key value in a result set row.

There are two ways of specifying the map key value type. One is to use keyValueType property definition attribute:

{
    ...
    'Student': {
        properties: {
            ...
            'scores': {
                valueType: 'number{}',
                keyValueType: 'string'
            },
            ...
        }
    },
    ...
}

The key value type be "string", "number", "boolean", "datetime" or a reference.

Alternatively, for nested object and reference map properties, the key can be specified by naming a property in the nested object or the reference target record type that acts as the map key. To do that, keyPropertyName attribute can be used:

{
    ...
    'Student': {
        properties: {
            ...
            'scores': {
                valueType: 'object{}',
                keyPropertyName: 'courseCode',
                properties: {
                    'courseCode': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'score': {
                        valueType: 'number'
                    }
                }
            },
            ...
        }
    },
    ...
}

Either keyValueType or keyPropertyName attribute can be used, but not both.

The module also adds a few additional properties to the records module's PropertyDescriptor class:

  • keyValueType - For a map property provides scalar value type of the map keys. May be "string", "number", "boolean", "datetime" or "ref".

  • keyRefTarget - If keyValueType is "ref", this is the target record type name.

  • keyPropertyName - If provided in the definition, this is the name of the property in the nested object or referred record type that acts as the key for a nested object or reference map property.

The Columns Markup

The result set column position and associated markup string drive the parser's logic of building records from the result set rows. The first column in the result set must always be for the record id property. Other record properties follow it. Different record structure scenarios are discussed next.

Scalar Properties

When only scalar properties are used (no arrays and no maps) each row in the result set produces exactly one record. In each result set row the first column, which is always the record id, changes its value. Let's look at different scalar value types.

Simple Scalar Properties

In the case of simple scalar (single value) properties the column markup is simply the property name. For example, given a Person record type definition:

{
    ...
    'Person': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'firstName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'lastName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            }
        }
    },
    ...
}

the markup for the columns can be simply:

[ 'id', 'firstName', 'lastName' ]

If the table for storing Person records looks like:

CREATE TABLE persons (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    fname VARCHAR(30),
    lname VARCHAR(30)
)

the markup embedded in the query as column labels could be:

SELECT id, fname AS firstName, lname AS lastName FROM persons

The columns with NULL values leave the corresponding properties in the resulting record unset.

Nested Objects

With nested object properties we introduce the notion of nesting levels. The markup syntax uses a prefix string for properties that belong to the same object on a given nesting level. The prefix string is prepended to the property names in the markup and is separated from the property names with a dollar sign. Prefix string for a deeper nesting level must be longer than the prefix of the parent level. Let's consider the following record type definition with a nested object property:

{
    ...
    'Person': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'firstName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'lastName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'address': {
                valueType: 'object',
                properties: {
                    'street': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'city': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'state': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'zip': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    },
    ...
}

To select all these properties the markup can be:

[
    'id', 'firstName', 'lastName', 'address',
        'a$street', 'a$city', 'a$state', 'a$zip'
]

The address column in the result set is special. It does not carry a value that ends up being set in a resulting record property, but it tells the parser if the address nested object property in the resulting record is present. If the value in the column is not NULL, a new object is created, set as the value of the parent record address property, and the following nested object property columns are parsed. If the value in the address column is NULL, the address nested object property is not set in the Person record.

The address nested object property could have further nested object properties, in which case the same markup pattern is repeated recursively adding longer prefixes. Here is a complex example with nested objects:

{
    ...
    'Person': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'firstName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'lastName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'shippingAddress': {
                valueType: 'object',
                properties: {
                    'street': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'city': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'state': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'zip': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    }
                }
            },
            'paymentInfo': {
                valueType: 'object',
                properties: {
                    'ccLast4Digits': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'billingAddress': {
                        valueType: 'object',
                        properties: {
                            'street': {
                                valueType: 'string'
                            },
                            'city': {
                                valueType: 'string'
                            },
                            'state': {
                                valueType: 'string'
                            },
                            'zip': {
                                valueType: 'string'
                            }
                        }
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    },
    ...
}

Then the markup could be:

[
    'id', 'firstName', 'lastName', 'shippingAddress',
        'a$street', 'a$city', 'a$state', 'a$zip',
    'paymentInfo',
        'b$ccLast4Digits', 'b$billingAddress',
            'ba$street', 'ba$city', 'ba$state', 'ba$zip'
]

Columns shippingAddress, paymentInfo and b$billingAddress are checked by the parser for being NULL or not to determine if the corresponding nested object exists.

Polymorphic Nested Objects

Similarly to the regular nested object properties, polymorphic nested objects use prefixed nesting levels in the markup. However, an additional nesting level is added between the parent and the level of the object properties. This additional level is used for the common properties and the subtypes. The subtype name is used as a property name in the markup as if it were a nested object property. Consider the following example:

{
    ...
    'Person': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'firstName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'lastName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'paymentInfo': {
                valueType: 'object?',
                typePropertyName: 'type',
                properties: {
                    'active': {
                        valueType: 'boolean'
                    }
                },
                subtypes: {
                    'CREDIT_CARD': {
                        properties: {
                            'last4Digits': {
                                valueType: 'string'
                            },
                            'expDate': {
                                valueType: 'string'
                            }
                        }
                    },
                    'ACH_TRANSFER': {
                        properties: {
                            'accountType': {
                                valueType: 'string'
                            },
                            'last4Digits': {
                                valueType: 'string'
                            }
                        }
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    },
    ...
}

The markup then could be:

[
    'id', 'firstName', 'lastName', 'paymentInfo',
        'a$active',
        'a$CREDIT_CARD',
            'aa$last4Digits', 'aa$expDate',
        'a$ACH_TRANSFER',
            'ab$accountType', 'ab$last4Digits'
]

The value in the paymentInfo column is used by the parser to determine if the polymorphic object is present: if it is NULL, the object is assumed to be absent and the paymentInfo property in the resulting Person record is left unset. Otherwise, only one of a$CREDIT_CARD and a$ACH_TRANSFER columns is allowed to have a non-NULL value. An object of the subtype whose type column is not NULL is created by the parser and the following nested object properties markup is used to populate it.

For example, if we had the following tables:

CREATE TABLE persons (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    fname VARCHAR(30),
    lname VARCHAR(30)
);
 
CREATE TABLE credit_cards (
    person_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    last4digits CHAR(4),
    expdate CHAR(6),
    UNIQUE (person_id),
    FOREIGN KEY (person_id) REFERENCES persons (id)
);
 
CREATE TABLE bank_accounts (
    person_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    accounttype VARCHAR(10),
    last4digits CHAR(4),
    UNIQUE (person_id),
    FOREIGN KEY (person_id) REFERENCES persons (id)
);

then a query with embedded markup could be:

SELECT
    p.id                                  AS 'id',
    p.fname                               AS 'firstName',
    p.lname                               AS 'lastName',
    COALESCE(cc.person_idba.person_id)  AS 'paymentInfo',
    cc.person_id                          AS   'a$CREDIT_CARD',
    cc.last4digits                        AS     'aa$last4Digits',
    cc.expdate                            AS     'aa$expDate',
    ba.person_id                          AS   'a$ACH_TRANSFER',
    ba.accounttype                        AS     'ab$accountType',
    ba.last4digits                        AS     'ab$last4Digits'
FROM
    persons AS p
    LEFT JOIN credit_cards AS cc ON cc.person_id = p.id
    LEFT JOIN bank_accounts AS ba ON ba.person_id = p.id

Naturally, the above will work correctly only if a person can have either a single credit card or a single bank account, or none.

References

To receive a reference property value, the corresponding result set column value must be the target record id. For example:

{
    ...
    'Person': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            ...
            'locationRef': {
                valueType: 'ref(Location)'
            },
            ...
        }
    },
    'Location': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'name': {
                valueType: 'number'
            },
            'latitude': {
                'valueType': 'number'
            },
            'longitude': {
                'valueType': 'number'
            }
        }
    }
    ...
}

Then a query could be:

SELECT id, location_id AS locationRef FROM persons

This will yield records that look like:

[
  {
    "id": 1,
    "locationRef": "Location#25"
  },
  {
    "id": 2,
    "locationRef": "Location#354"
  }
]

What if we also want to fetch the referred location record in the same query? The parser supports it via the fetched references feature. To request a fetched reference, the reference property markup must end with a colon. Then, as if it were a nested object, the referred record property columns markup must follow. Here is a query:

SELECT
    p.id           AS 'id',
    p.location_id  AS 'locationRef:'-- note the colon 
    l.id           AS   'a$id',
    l.name         AS   'a$name',
    l.lat          AS   'a$latitude',
    l.lng          AS   'a$longitude'
FROM
    persons AS p
    JOIN locations AS l ON l.id = p.location_id

The fetched Location records will end up in the parser's referredRecords property, which may look like:

{
  "Location#25": {
    "id": 25,
    "name": "Home",
    "latitude": 51.5074,
    "longitude": 0.1278
  },
  "Location#354": {
    "id": 354,
    "name": "Work",
    "latitude": 40.7128,
    "longitude": 74.0059
  }
}

Polymorphic References

As with nested objects, the references can be polymoprhic allowing referencing records of different types in the same reference property. The markup syntax for the polymorphic references is similar to that for the polymorphic nested objects. The difference is that instead of subtype names record type names are used in the markup (plus, of course, no shared properties).

For example, given the record type definitions:

{
    ...
    'Account': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'lastInterestedInRef': {
                valueType: 'ref(Product|Service)'
            }
        }
    },
    'Product': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'name': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'price': {
                valueType: 'number'
            }
        }
    },
    'Service': {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'name': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'rate': {
                valueType: 'number'
            }
    },
    ...
}

and tables:

CREATE TABLE products (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    name VARCHAR(50) NOT NULL,
    price DECIMAL(5,2) NOT NULL
);
 
CREATE TABLE services (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    name VARCHAR(50) NOT NULL,
    rate DECIMAL(5,2) NOT NULL
);
 
CREATE TABLE accounts (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    -- only one can have value, the other one must be NULL 
    interest_product_id INTEGER,
    interest_service_id INTEGER,
    FOREIGN KEY (interest_product_id) REFERENCES products (id),
    FOREIGN KEY (interest_service_id) REFERENCES services (id)
);

to fetch accounts with the lastInterestedInRef references the query could be:

SELECT
    id                   AS 'id',
    TRUE                 AS 'lastInterestedInRef',
    interest_product_id  AS   'a$Product',
    interest_service_id  AS   'a$Service'
FROM
    accounts

Or, to also fetch the referred Product and Service records:

SELECT
    a.id                   AS 'id',
    TRUE                   AS 'lastInterestedInRef',
    a.interest_product_id  AS   'a$Product:',  -- note the colon 
    p.id                   AS     'aa$id',
    p.name                 AS     'aa$name',
    p.price                AS     'aa$price',
    a.interest_service_id  AS   'a$Service:',  -- note the colon 
    s.id                   AS     'ab$id',
    s.name                 AS     'ab$name',
    s.rate                 AS     'ab$rate'
FROM
    accounts AS a
    LEFT JOIN products AS p ON p.id = a.interest_product_id
    LEFT JOIN services AS s ON s.id = a.interest_service_id

The queries above assume that one of the interest_product_id and interest_service_id columns is always set. If the reference is optional, the lastInterestedInRef column must contain an expression that evaluates to NULL if none of the references are set.

Collection Properties

Collection properties, such as arrays and maps, introduce a higher level of complexity to the problem of mapping two-dimensional result set grids into the record objects. Unless we want to issue a separate SQL query to fetch collection properties for each record in our main result set, which may prove to be exceptionally inefficient, we want to include the collection values in the same result set with the top records. SQL allows it with table joins, which leads, however, to a situation when we no longer can say that each single row corresponds to one single record. Instead, multiple rows may belong to the same record and what's even worse, we don't know in advance how many rows.

To solve this problem, the ResultSetParser introduces the concept of anchor columns. The SELECT query is written in such way that rows that belong to the same record (or nested object) are groupped together in the result set and all share the same value in the anchor column. When the parser progresses through the result set rows, as soon as the value in the anchor column changes it knows that the row belongs to the new object anchored at that column. Every result set has at least one anchor column and that's the first columnn, which contains the top record id. When only scalar properties are used, every row in the result set will have a different record id in the first column and that's why every row results in a new record. However, adding an array property to the result set will result in the parent record properties to be duplicated in the subsequent rows, including the record id, and that is how the parser will know that the rows belong to the same parent record.

Another important concept is collection axis. Because of the way how SQL joins work, it is impossible to select multiple collections on the same nesting level in a single query. Multiple collections can be selected, but only if they lay along a single collection axis. That is a collection of nested objects can have nested properties that are collections themselves and so on. In that case, multiple anchor columns are specified in the markup and a single query can be used. When tree-like data structures need to be loaded from the database with multiple collection properties on the same nesting level, several queries must be used, one for each collection axis, and the parsers can be merged to form the final result. This merge functionality is discussed later in this manual.

Let's consider different scenarios case by case.

Simple Value Arrays and Maps

Given a record type like the following:

{
    ...
    'Person': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'firstName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'lastName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'scores': {
                valueType: 'number[]'
            }
        }
    },
    ...
}

and the tables in the database:

CREATE TABLE persons (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    fname VARCHAR(30),
    lname VARCHAR(30)
);
 
CREATE TABLE person_scores (
    person_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    score DECIMAL(3,1),
    FOREIGN KEY (person_id) REFERENCES persons (id)
);

we can fetch records together with the scores property using a query like this:

SELECT
    p.id         AS 'id',
    p.fname      AS 'firstName',
    p.lname      AS 'lastName',
    v.person_id  AS 'scores',
    v.score      AS 'a$'        -- no property name, only prefix 
FROM
    persons AS p
    LEFT JOIN person_scores AS v ON v.person_id = p.id
ORDER BY
    p.id                        -- group person record rows together 

Several important points about the example above:

  • Columns that belong to the collection properties must always be at the end of the columns list. Given that only one collection property can be fetched at a given nesting level, no column that belongs to the parent object can appear after the collection property column and the columns that belong to the collection elements.

  • In the example above, the anchor column is the person id column (the first column in the list). The ORDER BY clause is used to make sure that rows that belong to the same person record follow each other in an unbroken chunk. As long as the value in the id column does not change, the parser will be adding the values in the a$ column to the scores array on the same person record. As soon as the id changes, it knows that the row now belongs to the next person record.

    In some databases, strictly speaking, there is no need for the ORDER BY clause, because it is one of the join side-effects that the rows are grouped by the id, but it is good to have the clause nonetheless to underscore the importance of it. Also, the result set can be ordered using other criteria as well as long as the rows for the same record are still grouped together. For example, if we wanted to sort the person records by last and first name, the clause would be ORDER BY p.lname, p.fname, p.id. The id is still needed for cases when the last and first names are identical for different records.

  • If the scores column contains NULL, it means that the person record does not have scores property and it is left unset. Note, that if it is NULL, only one row belongs to the person record and in the next row the person id must change.

  • The array value column, which is the last column in the list, has a prefix, which takes to the next nesting level, but does not have a property name, because array elements do not have their own names.

Similarly to an array, a map property is fetched the same way except that the map property column is used for the entry key. For example, for a record type:

{
    ...
    'Person': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'firstName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'lastName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'scores': {
                valueType: 'number{}',
                keyValueType: 'string' // map key type must be specified 
            }
        }
    },
    ...
}

and the tables:

CREATE TABLE persons (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    fname VARCHAR(30),
    lname VARCHAR(30)
);
 
CREATE TABLE person_scores (
    person_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    class_code VARCHAR(10) NOT NULL,
    score DECIMAL(3,1),
    UNIQUE (person_id, class_code),
    FOREIGN KEY (person_id) REFERENCES persons (id)
);

we can fetch records like this:

SELECT
    p.id         AS 'id',
    p.fname      AS 'firstName',
    p.lname      AS 'lastName',
    v.class_code AS 'scores',   -- this is the map key 
    v.score      AS 'a$'
FROM
    persons AS p
    LEFT JOIN person_scores AS v ON v.person_id = p.id
ORDER BY
    p.id

Note, that in both arrays and maps, if the value column contains NULL, an element is still created and its value is set to JavaScript null.

Nested Object Collections

Nested object collections are similar to the simple value collections except that instead of a single value column without a property name in its markup at the very end of the columns list for the objects we have prefixed nested object property columns. For example, given the record type:

{
    ...
    'Person': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'firstName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'lastName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'addresses': {
                valueType: 'object[]',
                properties: {
                    'id': { // objects in nested arrays must have an id 
                        valueType: 'number',
                        role: 'id'
                    },
                    'street': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'city': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'state': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'zip': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    },
    ...
}

and tables:

CREATE TABLE persons (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    fname VARCHAR(30),
    lname VARCHAR(30)
);
 
CREATE TABLE person_addresses (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    person_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    street VARCHAR(50),
    city VARCHAR(30),
    state CHAR(2),
    zip CHAR(5),
    FOREIGN KEY (person_id) REFERENCES persons (id)
);

the query with embedded markup would be:

SELECT
    p.id      AS 'id',
    p.fname   AS 'firstName',
    p.lname   AS 'lastName',
    a.id      AS 'addresses',
    a.street  AS   'a$street',
    a.city    AS   'a$city',
    a.state   AS   'a$state',
    a.zip     AS   'a$zip'
FROM
    persons AS p
    LEFT JOIN person_addresses AS a ON a.person_id = p.id
ORDER BY
    p.id

And we can fetch multiple nested collections along a single collection axis as well. So, if to the example above we add nested delivery event objects to the address objects:

{
    ...
    'Person': {
        properties: {
            ...
            'addresses': {
                valueType: 'object[]',
                properties: {
                    ...
                    'deliveries': {
                        valueType: 'object[]',
                        properties: {
                            'id': {
                                valueType: 'number',
                                role: 'id'
                            },
                            'date': {
                                valueType: 'string'
                            },
                            'orderRef': {
                                valueType: 'ref(Order)'
                            }
                        }
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    },
    ...
}

with an additional table:

CREATE TABLE person_address_deliveries (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    person_address_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    date CHAR(10),
    order_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    FOREIGN KEY (person_address_id) REFERENCES person_addresses (id),
    FOREIGN KEY (order_id) REFERENCES orders (id)
);

then the query could:

SELECT
    p.id        AS 'id',        -- first anchor 
    p.fname     AS 'firstName',
    p.lname     AS 'lastName',
    a.id        AS 'addresses'-- second anchor 
    a.street    AS   'a$street',
    a.city      AS   'a$city',
    a.state     AS   'a$state',
    a.zip       AS   'a$zip',
    d.id        AS   'a$deliveries',
    d.date      AS     'aa$date',
    d.order_id  AS     'aa$orderRef'
FROM
    persons AS p
    LEFT JOIN person_addresses AS a ON a.person_id = p.id
    LEFT JOIN person_address_deliveries AS d ON d.person_address_id = a.id
ORDER BY
    p.ida.id

Note, that now we have two anchors in the markup and we also add the second anchor to the ORDER BY clause to ensure correct row grouping.

Polymorphic nested objects can be fetched similarly. However, the anchor column (the column with the markup matching the polymorphic nested object property in the parent object) must have a value that's unique between all the subtypes. Sometimes, it is tricky to achieve that in a query if objects of different subtypes can have the same id in the database. The subtype identifier must be somehow mixed in to the anchor column value in that case. For example, given slightly modified Person record type:

{
    ...
    'Person': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'firstName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'lastName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'addresses': {
                valueType: 'object[]',
                typePropertyName: 'type',
                subtypes: {
                    'US': {
                        'id': {
                            valueType: 'number',
                            role: 'id'
                        },
                        'street': {
                            valueType: 'string'
                        },
                        'city': {
                            valueType: 'string'
                        },
                        'state': {
                            valueType: 'string'
                        },
                        'zip': {
                            valueType: 'string'
                        }
                    },
                    'INTERNATIONAL': {
                        'id': {
                            valueType: 'number',
                            role: 'id'
                        },
                        'street': {
                            valueType: 'string'
                        },
                        'city': {
                            valueType: 'string'
                        },
                        'postalCode': {
                            valueType: 'string'
                        },
                        'country': {
                            valueType: 'string'
                        }
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    },
    ...
}

and tables:

CREATE TABLE persons (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    fname VARCHAR(30),
    lname VARCHAR(30)
);
 
CREATE TABLE person_us_addresses (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    person_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    street VARCHAR(50),
    city VARCHAR(30),
    state CHAR(2),
    zip CHAR(5),
    FOREIGN KEY (person_id) REFERENCES persons (id)
);
 
CREATE TABLE person_intl_addresses (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    person_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    street VARCHAR(50),
    city VARCHAR(30),
    postal_code VARCHAR(20),
    country CHAR(2),
    FOREIGN KEY (person_id) REFERENCES persons (id)
);

the query could be:

SELECT
    p.id                AS 'id',
    p.fname             AS 'firstName',
    p.lname             AS 'lastName',
    a.anchor            AS 'addresses',
    a.us_id             AS   'a$US'
    a.us_street         AS     'aa$street',
    a.us_city           AS     'aa$city',
    a.us_state          AS     'aa$state',
    a.us_zip            AS     'aa$zip',
    a.intl_id           AS   'a$INTERNATIONAL',
    a.intl_street       AS     'ab$street',
    a.intl_city         AS     'ab$city',
    a.intl_postal_code  AS     'ab$postalCode',
    a.intl_country      AS     'ab$country',
FROM
    persons AS p
    LEFT JOIN (
        SELECT
            CONCAT('US#', id) AS 'anchor',
            person_id,
            id AS 'us_id',
            street AS 'us_street',
            city AS 'us_city',
            state AS 'us_state',
            zip AS 'us_zip',
            NULL,
            NULL,
            NULL,
            NULL,
            NULL
        FROM
            person_us_addresses
        UNION
        SELECT
            CONCAT('INTL#', id) AS 'anchor',
            person_id,
            NULL,
            NULL,
            NULL,
            NULL,
            NULL,
            id AS 'intl_id',
            street AS 'intl_street',
            city AS 'intl_city',
            postal_code AS 'intl_postal_code',
            country AS 'intl_country'
        FROM
            person_intl_addresses
    ) AS a ON a.person_id = p.id
ORDER BY
    p.id

The above somewhat complicated query is just an example. With a different database schema, such as use of link tables, the query could be much more elegant and providing better performance. The point of the above query is to demonstrate that the polymorphic nested object collection property anchor column must contain a value that is unique among all of the subtypes. Also, technically, that would matter only if we had further nested collection properties in the address objects.

All of the above examples deal with nested object array properties. The only change that needs to be made to make them nested object maps is to have the map keys in the anchor columns.

Reference Collections

Reference collection properties are similar to simple value collections when they are not fetched. When they are fetched, they are similar to nested object collections. Here is an example:

{
    ...
    'Account': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'firstName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'lastName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'orderRefs': {
                valueType: 'ref(Order)[]'
            }
        }
    },
    'Order': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'date': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'productRef': {
                valueType: 'ref(Product)'
            }
        }
    }
    ...
}

and the tables:

CREATE TABLE accounts (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    fname VARCHAR(30),
    lname VARCHAR(30)
);
 
CREATE TABLE orders (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    account_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    date CHAR(10),
    product_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    FOREIGN KEY (account_id) REFERENCES accounts (id),
    FOREIGN KEY (product_id) REFERENCES products (id)
);

The query then is simply:

SELECT
    a.id     AS 'id',
    a.fname  AS 'firstName',
    a.lname  AS 'lastName',
    o.id     AS 'orderRefs',
    o.id     AS   'a$'
FROM
    accounts AS a
    LEFT JOIN orders AS o ON o.account_id = a.id
ORDER BY
    a.id

For an array, the orderRefs column is only checked if it is NULL or not. If it were a map, the orderRefs column would contain the map keys.

Now, if we also want to fetch the referred Order records, the query would be:

SELECT
    a.id          AS 'id',
    a.fname       AS 'firstName',
    a.lname       AS 'lastName',
    o.id          AS 'orderRefs:'-- note the colon 
    o.id          AS   'a$id',     -- must be the referred record id 
    o.date        AS   'a$date',
    o.product_id  AS   'a$productRef'
FROM
    accounts AS a
    LEFT JOIN orders AS o ON o.account_id = a.id
ORDER BY
    a.id

For fetched reference arrays and maps the first column following the anchor (orderRefs: in the example above) must be the referred record id. Also, in the tables configuration used in the above example it is not possible to have the same referred record appear more than once in the collection. However, if a link table were used, it becomes possible. In that case, the query must make sure that the values in the anchor column do not repeat. In case of a map that's not a problem as the anchor column is used for the map key, which must not repeat anyway. For an array, however, it becomes a problem as the referred record id column can no longer be used as the anchor, because it may repeat. One way to solve the problem is to have an additional column in the link table for the array element index and have either the appliction or the database (via autogenerated id column) maintain unique values in that column within every references array. For example, for tables:

CREATE TABLE accounts (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    fname VARCHAR(30),
    lname VARCHAR(30)
);
 
CREATE TABLE orders (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    account_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    date CHAR(10),
    product_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    FOREIGN KEY (account_id) REFERENCES accounts (id),
    FOREIGN KEY (product_id) REFERENCES products (id)
);
 
CREATE TABLE account_orders (
    account_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    order_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    ind INTEGER NOT NULL,
    FOREIGN KEY (account_id) REFERENCES accounts (id),
    FOREIGN KEY (order_id) REFERENCES orders (id),
    UNIQUE (account_id, ind)
);

The query then would be:

SELECT
    a.id          AS 'id',
    a.fname       AS 'firstName',
    a.lname       AS 'lastName',
    ao.ind        AS 'orderRefs:',
    o.id          AS   'a$id',
    o.date        AS   'a$date',
    o.product_id  AS   'a$productRef'
FROM
    accounts AS a
    LEFT JOIN account_orders AS ao ON ao.account_id = a.id
    LEFT JOIN orders AS o ON o.id = ao.order_id
ORDER BY
    a.id

Alternatively, if reference values in the collection are not allowed to repeat, it can be enforced with a UNIQUE (account_id, order_id) constraint in the link table and then the order_id can be used for the anchor column.

Polymorphic references work similarly to the polymorphic nested objects. For example, given the following record types:

{
    ...
    'Account': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'firstName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'lastName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'orderRefs': {
                valueType: 'ref(Order)[]'
            }
        }
    },
    'Order': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'date': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'items': {
                valueType: object[],
                properties: {
                    'id': {
                        valueType: 'number',
                        role: 'id'
                    },
                    'quantity': {
                        valueType: 'number'
                    },
                    'productOrServiceRef': {
                        valueType: 'ref(Product|Service)'
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    },
    'Product': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'name': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'price': {
                valueType: 'number'
            }
        }
    },
    'Service': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'name': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'rate': {
                valueType: 'number'
            }
        }
    }
    ...
}

and tables:

CREATE TABLE accounts (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    fname VARCHAR(30),
    lname VARCHAR(30)
);
 
CREATE TABLE products (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    name VARCHAR(30),
    price DECIMAL(5,2)
);
 
CREATE TABLE services (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    name VARCHAR(30),
    rate DECIMAL(5,2)
);
 
CREATE TABLE orders (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    account_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    date CHAR(10),
    FOREIGN KEY (account_id) REFERENCES accounts (id)
);
 
CREATE TABLE order_items (
    id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
    order_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
    quantity INTEGER,
    -- only one product_id or service_id must be set, the other must be NULL 
    product_id INTEGER,
    service_id INTEGER,
    FOREIGN KEY (order_id) REFERENCES orders (id),
    FOREIGN KEY (product_id) REFERENCES products (id),
    FOREIGN KEY (service_id) REFERENCES services (id)
);

To fetch the accounts with orders, order items and the polymorphic product or service reference the query could be:

SELECT
    a.id           AS 'id',
    a.fname        AS 'firstName',
    a.lname        AS 'lastName',
    o.id           AS 'orderRefs:',                 -- anchor 
    o.id           AS   'a$id',
    o.date         AS   'a$date',
    oi.id          AS   'a$items',
    oi.id          AS     'aa$id',
    oi.quantity    AS     'aa$quantity',
    TRUE           AS     'aa$productOrServiceRef'-- one must be present 
    oi.product_id  AS       'aaa$Product',
    oi.service_id  AS       'aaa$Service'
FROM
    accounts AS a
    LEFT JOIN orders AS o ON o.account_id = a.id
    LEFT JOIN order_items AS oi ON oi.order_id = o.id
ORDER BY
    a.ido.id

Now, if we also want to fetch the referred Product or Service records, then the query would be:

SELECT
    a.id           AS 'id',
    a.fname        AS 'firstName',
    a.lname        AS 'lastName',
    o.id           AS 'orderRefs:'-- anchor 
    o.id           AS   'a$id',
    o.date         AS   'a$date',
    oi.id          AS   'a$items',
    oi.id          AS     'aa$id',
    oi.quantity    AS     'aa$quantity',
    CASE
        WHEN oi.product_id IS NOT NULL THEN CONCAT('P'oi.product_id)
        WHEN oi.service_id IS NOT NULL THEN CONCAT('S'oi.service_id)
    END            AS     'aa$productOrServiceRef',
    oi.product_id  AS       'aaa$Product:',
    p.id           AS         'aaaa$id',
    p.name         AS         'aaaa$name',
    p.price        AS         'aaaa$price',
    oi.service_id  AS       'aaa$Service:',
    s.id           AS         'aaab$id',
    s.name         AS         'aaab$name',
    s.rate         AS         'aaab$rate'
FROM
    accounts AS a
    LEFT JOIN orders AS o ON o.account_id = a.id
    LEFT JOIN order_items AS oi ON oi.order_id = o.id
    LEFT JOIN products AS p ON p.id = oi.product_id
    LEFT JOIN services AS s ON s.id = oi.service_id
ORDER BY
    a.ido.id

Note, that the query above absolutely relies on that every order item has either product or service reference set, but never both (technically, allows none).

Also note the trick in the aa$productOrServiceRef column that makes sure that the anchor values are unique among both products and services in case a product and a service share the same id value. The uniqueness is provided by adding a "P" or "S" prefix to the id depending on which reference is available.

Multiple Collection Axes and Results Merging

As mentioned earlier in this manual, there is one prominent limitation to the ResultSetParser capabilities when it comes to fetching collection properties: it can only fetch collection properties along a single collection axis. That is it does not allow fetching more than one collection property (an array or a map) on a single object nesting level. This limitation stems from the fact that SQL query result sets are strictly two-dimensional grids, while a data structure with multiple collection properties in the same object is more like a multi-branch tree and cannot be efficiently mapped to a 2D grid. To fetch such data structure, the tree must be "disassembled" into separate branch paths (the individual collection axes), each one then fetched with its own query and parsed with its own parser, and then the results can be merged together into a single data structure. The ResultSetParser exposes merge(otherParser) method just for that. This method takes another parser, assumes that it contains the same records in the same order but with different properties set, and merges the properties record by record into the first parser (leaving the other parser unchanged).

Let's consider the following record type with two collection properties on the same level:

{
    ...
    'Person': {
        properties: {
            'id': {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            },
            'firstName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'lastName': {
                valueType: 'string'
            },
            'addresses': {
                valueType: 'object[]',
                properties: {
                    'id': {
                        valueType: 'number',
                        role: 'id'
                    },
                    'street': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'city': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'state': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    },
                    'zip': {
                        valueType: 'string'
                    }
                }
            },
            'orderRefs': {
                valueType: 'ref(Order)[]'
            }
        }
    },
    ...
}

It is impossible to fetch both addresses and orderRefs properties in a single query, so we have to split it up into two. The first query will fetch all the person data plus the addresses array:

SELECT
    p.id      AS 'id',
    p.fname   AS 'firstName',
    p.lname   AS 'lastName',
    a.id      AS 'addresses',
    a.street  AS   'a$street',
    a.city    AS   'a$city',
    a.state   AS   'a$state',
    a.zip     AS   'a$zip'
FROM
    persons AS p
    LEFT JOIN person_addresses AS a ON a.person_id = p.id
WHERE
    p.fname = 'John'
ORDER BY
    p.id

The second query will fetch the order references (and we add fetching the referred Order records for fun):

SELECT
    p.id          AS 'id',
    o.id          AS 'orderRefs:',
    o.id          AS   'a$id',
    o.date        AS   'a$date',
    o.product_id  AS   'a$productRef'
FROM
    persons AS p
    LEFT JOIN orders AS o ON o.person_id = p.id
WHERE
    p.fname = 'John'
ORDER BY
    p.id

Note, that we have the same condition in the WHERE clause and the same ORDER BY clause. This will ensure that the result set will yield the same Person records and in the same order as the first query.

Now, the second query parser, after completing parsing the rows, can be merged into the first one:

parser1.merge(parser2);

after which, the parser1 will contain the merged Person records in its records property and the fetched Order records in its referredRecords property. The parser2 now can be discarded.