Use OPENJSON with an Explicit Schema (SQL Server)

THIS TOPIC APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server (starting with 2016)yesAzure SQL DatabasenoAzure SQL Data Warehouse noParallel Data Warehouse

Use OPENJSON with an explicit schema to return a table that's formatted as you specify in the WITH clause.

Here are some examples that use OPENJSON with an explicit schema. For more info and more examples, see OPENJSON (Transact-SQL).

Example - Use the WITH clause to format the output

The following query returns the results shown in the following table. Notice how the AS JSON clause causes values to be returned as JSON objects instead of scalar values in col5 and array_element.

          {"k1": 11, "k2": null, "k3": "text"},  
          {"k1": 21, "k2": "text2", "k4": { "data": "text4" }},  
          {"k1": 31, "k2": 32},  
          {"k1": 41, "k2": null, "k4": { "data": false }}     

 OPENJSON(@json, N'lax $.someObject.someArray')  
WITH ( k1 int,   
        k2 varchar(100),  
        col3 varchar(6) N'$.k3',  
        col4 varchar(10) N'lax $',  
        col5 nvarchar(MAX) N'lax $.k4' AS JSON, 
        array_element nvarchar(MAX) N'$' AS JSON  


k1 k2 col3 col4 col5 array_element
11 NULL "text" NULL NULL {"k1": 11, "k2": null, "k3": "text"}
21 "text2" NULL "text4" { "data": "text4" } {"k1": true, "k2": "text2", "k4": { "data": "text4" } }
31 "32" NULL NULL NULL {"k1": 31, "k2": 32 }
41 NULL NULL false { "data": false } {"k1": 41, "k2": null, "k4": { "data": false } }

Example - Load JSON into a SQL Server table.

The following example loads an entire JSON object into a SQL Server table.

  "id" : 2,  
  "firstName": "John",  
  "lastName": "Smith",  
  "isAlive": true,  
  "age": 25,  
  "dateOfBirth": "2015-03-25T12:00:00",  
  "spouse": null  

  INSERT INTO Person  
  SELECT *   
  FROM OPENJSON(@json)  
  WITH (id int,  
        firstName nvarchar(50), lastName nvarchar(50),   
        isAlive bit, age int,  
        dateOfBirth datetime2, spouse nvarchar(50))  

Learn more about the built-in JSON support in SQL Server

For lots of specific solutions, use cases, and recommendations, see the blog posts about the built-in JSON support in SQL Server and in Azure SQL Database by Microsoft Program Manager Jovan Popovic.

See Also