I'm trying to go from a table like this:

1  | test | '{"a":"x","b":"y"}'

where the metadata column is a JSON string. What I'd like to end up with is this:

ID | NAME | A | B
1  | test | x | y

where the JSON "keys" are merged in-line as column names and the corresponding JSON "values" as the fields. So far, I have managed to parse the JSON and create a "pivot" table like this:

A | B
x | y

but I can't work out how to append the other columns from the original table. My code so far:

        SUBSTR(TRIM (REGEXP_SUBSTR (STR, '[^,]+', 1, LEVEL)), 1, INSTR(TRIM (REGEXP_SUBSTR (STR, '[^,]+', 1, LEVEL)),':') - 1) COL_NAME,     
        SUBSTR(TRIM (REGEXP_SUBSTR (STR, '[^,]+', 1, LEVEL)),    INSTR(TRIM (REGEXP_SUBSTR (STR, '[^,]+', 1, LEVEL)),':') + 1) COL_VAL  
    FROM   (SELECT REPLACE (REPLACE (REPLACE (:json, '}'), '{'),  '"') AS str FROM DUAL)
    CONNECT BY LEVEL < LENGTH (str) - LENGTH (REPLACE (str, ',', NULL)) + 2
  FOR COL_NAME IN ('a' AS A, 'b' AS B)

This is where my SQL knowledge fails.

Note: I know the JSON parsing is ugly, but I can't use a 3rd-party library and I'm running on 11g so don't have any built-in JSON support.

Thanks in advance for any help!

  • 1
    Please clarify possible typo in first table data: should this: '{"a":"x","b","y"} actually be this: '{"a":"x","b":"y"} ?? (2nd : between "b" and "y") ? – Ditto Feb 10 '16 at 21:23
  • @Ditto, yes, thanks for spotting that. Edited. – Justin Lewis Feb 10 '16 at 21:54

I don't really understand why you're trying to pivot anything, so maybe I'm missing your point. But try this:

  id, name
, regexp_replace(metadata, '.*"a":"([^"]+)".*', '\1') m_a
, regexp_replace(metadata, '.*"b":"([^"]+)".*', '\1') m_b
from foo;

Doesn't rely on the order of the JSON attributes to always be the same. It's not completely safe - doesn't handle quoted " in particular, but it does the job for your sample.

  • Great, thanks! That works. I was overcomplicating the situation. – Justin Lewis Feb 11 '16 at 9:29

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