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From "Paul Rogers (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Updated] (DRILL-6062) Simplify JSON input format
Date Thu, 28 Dec 2017 21:17:13 GMT

     [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/DRILL-6062?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:all-tabpanel

Paul Rogers updated DRILL-6062:
    Summary: Simplify JSON input format  (was: Simplify, Document JSON input format)

> Simplify JSON input format
> --------------------------
>                 Key: DRILL-6062
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/DRILL-6062
>             Project: Apache Drill
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>            Reporter: Paul Rogers
> DRILL-6035 defines the limitations with Drill's 1.12 and 1.13 JSON readers. Many of these
limitations are due to the difficulty of mapping arbitrary JSON documents into a relational
model. Drill has many ad-hoc, partial solutions, but those do not provide complete, production-quality
> Solutions for full JSON schema mapping are likely beyond what Drill can (or should) achieve.
This ticket suggests we take a different, more realistic approach and simply acknowledge that
Parquet is the best format for Drill, while providing minimal (but solid) JSON support.
> h4. Redefine Drill's Target Data Model
> Change the Drill web site to explain that Parquet is Drill's target data model. Drill
supports other formats to the degree that they mimic (a subset of) Parquet.
> More specifically:
> * Drill is a relational, columnar engine.
> * Each Drill column must have a single, known data type.
> * Drill arrays cannot contain null values.
> * Drill supports maps (Parquet structs) and repeated maps
> * Drill assumes that the file schema is the same across all files in a data set.
> As it turns out, this is exactly the Parquet model.
> h4. Redefine Drill's JSON Support
> Given the above, redefine the JSON that Drill support to that which follows the Parquet
model. Drill provides no external schema. Instead, the JSON must be structured to provide
a single, clear mapping from the JSON to Drill's internal Parquet format, with no ambiguities:
> * Every file consists of a fixed set of objects.
> * Lists of scalars (without nulls) or objects.
> * Single, consistent type for each name/value pair.
> * No null values. (For key/value pairs, omit the pair if the value is null.)
> * No empty files.
> Of particular concern are files with high "null density": many nulls without declaring
a type. Drill cannot effectively support such files.
> h4. External ETL for Non-Compliant JSON
> Rather than either a) invest in JSON mapping, or b) allow queries to fail, Drill should
encourage the use of external ETL tools to convert non-compliant JSON into Parquet files.
Since most JSON is ad-hoc, created by and for specific applications, this means most JSON
should pass through an ETL layer into Parquet before being used with Drill.
> h4. Simplify the JSON Reader
> The JSON reader today attempts to use many partial, ad-hoc fixes to work around some
JSON ambiguity. These hacks are hard to test and maintain, requiring effort that would be
better invested elsewhere. Once we adopt Parquet as the reference format, and define the small,
simpler form of JSON, we can remove the hacks:
> * Drop support for unions. (Unions are poorly supported and very complex.)
> * Drop support for the {{ListVector}} (which is, essentially, a list of unions and does
not even work.)
> * Drop support for multi-dimensional lists. (These do not have any well-defined mapping
to relational tables.)
> * Drop support for leading nulls that span batches. (That is, the type of every value
must be revealed within the first batch.)
> * Drop support for empty files. (Drill needs a schema internally. Drill invents a fake
schema today, but that just causes a schema change later. If desired, simply ignore such files
rather than failing the query.)
> h4. Implications for Drill 1.13 "Result Set Loader"
> Much work was done to try to extend the result set loader to handle JSON ambiguities.
The List Vector, Repeated List Vector and Union Vectors were all implemented, leading to a
vast increase in complexity. If we adopt the above, this work can be backed out, resulting
in a smaller, more efficient, streamlined core. In short, remove the poorly-supported components
used only by JSON, keeping the types and mechanisms needed for Parquet (and Drill's internal

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