Remove Square Brackets from JSON - WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER Option

APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server yesAzure SQL Database noAzure SQL Data Warehouse noParallel Data Warehouse

To remove the square brackets that surround the JSON output of the FOR JSON clause by default, specify the WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER option. Use this option with a single-row result to generate a single JSON object as output instead of an array with a single element.

If you use this option with a multiple-row result, the resulting output is not valid JSON because of the multiple elements and the missing square brackets.

Example (single-row result)

The following example shows the output of the FOR JSON clause with and without the WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER option.

Query

SELECT 2015 as year, 12 as month, 15 as day  
FOR JSON PATH, WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER 

Result with the WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER option

{
	"year": 2015,
	"month": 12,
	"day": 15
} 

Result (default) without the WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER option

[{
	"year": 2015,
	"month": 12,
	"day": 15
}]

Example (multiple-row result)

Here's another example of a FOR JSON clause with and without the WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER option. This example produces a multiple-row result. The output is not valid JSON because of the multiple elements and the missing square brackets.

Query

SELECT TOP 3 SalesOrderNumber, OrderDate, Status  
FROM Sales.SalesOrderHeader  
ORDER BY ModifiedDate  
FOR JSON PATH, WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER 

Result with the WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER option

{
	"SalesOrderNumber": "SO43662",
	"OrderDate": "2011-05-31T00:00:00",
	"Status": 5
}, {
	"SalesOrderNumber": "SO43661",
	"OrderDate": "2011-05-31T00:00:00",
	"Status": 5
}, {
	"SalesOrderNumber": "SO43660",
	"OrderDate": "2011-05-31T00:00:00",
	"Status": 5
} 

Result (default) without the WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER option

[{
	"SalesOrderNumber": "SO43662",
	"OrderDate": "2011-05-31T00:00:00",
	"Status": 5
}, {
	"SalesOrderNumber": "SO43661",
	"OrderDate": "2011-05-31T00:00:00",
	"Status": 5
}, {
	"SalesOrderNumber": "SO43660",
	"OrderDate": "2011-05-31T00:00:00",
	"Status": 5
}]

Learn more about JSON in SQL Server and Azure SQL Database

Microsoft videos

For a visual introduction to the built-in JSON support in SQL Server and Azure SQL Database, see the following videos:

See Also

FOR Clause (Transact-SQL)