The PXF object store connectors support reading JSON-format data. This section describes how to use PXF to access JSON data in an object store, including how to create and query an external table that references a JSON file in the store.

Note: Accessing JSON-format data from an object store is very similar to accessing JSON-format data in HDFS. This topic identifies object store-specific information required to read JSON data, and links to the PXF HDFS JSON documentation where appropriate for common information.


Ensure that you have met the PXF Object Store Prerequisites before you attempt to read data from an object store.

Working with JSON Data

Refer to Working with JSON Data in the PXF HDFS JSON documentation for a description of the JSON text-based data-interchange format.

Creating the External Table

Use the <objstore>:json profile to read JSON-format files from an object store. PXF supports the following <objstore> profile prefixes:

Object Store Profile Prefix
Azure Blob Storage wasbs
Azure Data Lake adl
Google Cloud Storage gs
MinIO s3
S3 s3

The following syntax creates a Greenplum Database readable external table that references a JSON-format file:

    ( <column_name> <data_type> [, ...] | LIKE <other_table> )
LOCATION ('pxf://<path-to-file>?PROFILE=<objstore>:json&SERVER=<server_name>[&<custom-option>=<value>[...]]')
FORMAT 'CUSTOM' (FORMATTER='pxfwritable_import');

The specific keywords and values used in the Greenplum Database CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE command are described in the table below.

Keyword Value
<path‑to‑file> The path to the directory or file in the object store. When the <server_name> configuration includes a pxf.fs.basePath property setting, PXF considers <path‑to‑file> to be relative to the base path specified. Otherwise, PXF considers it to be an absolute path. <path‑to‑file> must not specify a relative path nor include the dollar sign ($) character.
PROFILE=<objstore>:json The PROFILE keyword must identify the specific object store. For example, s3:json.
SERVER=<server_name> The named server configuration that PXF uses to access the data.
<custom‑option>=<value> JSON supports the custom option named IDENTIFIER as described in the PXF HDFS JSON documentation
FORMAT ‘CUSTOM’ Use FORMAT 'CUSTOM' with the <objstore>:json profile. The CUSTOM FORMAT requires that you specify (FORMATTER='pxfwritable_import').

If you are accessing an S3 object store, you can provide S3 credentials via custom options in the CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE command as described in Overriding the S3 Server Configuration with DDL.


Refer to Loading the Sample JSON Data to HDFS and Example: Reading a JSON File with Single Line Records in the PXF HDFS JSON documentation for a JSON example. Modifications that you must make to run the example with an object store include:

  • Copying the file to the object store instead of HDFS. For example, to copy the file to S3:

    $ aws s3 cp /tmp/singleline.json s3://BUCKET/pxf_examples/
    $ aws s3 cp /tmp/multiline.json s3://BUCKET/pxf_examples/
  • Using the CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE syntax and LOCATION keywords and settings described above. For example, if your server name is s3srvcfg:

    CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE singleline_json_s3(
      created_at TEXT,
      id_str TEXT,
      "" INTEGER,
      "user.location" TEXT,
      "coordinates.values" TEXT[]
    FORMAT 'CUSTOM' (FORMATTER='pxfwritable_import');
  • If you want to access specific elements of the coordinates.values array, you can specify the array subscript number in square brackets:

    SELECT "coordinates.values"[1], "coordinates.values"[2] FROM singleline_json_s3;
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