ARRAY JOIN Clause 

It is a common operation for tables that contain an array column to produce a new table that has a column with each individual array element of that initial column, while values of other columns are duplicated. This is the basic case of what ARRAY JOIN clause does.

Its name comes from the fact that it can be looked at as executing JOIN with an array or nested data structure. The intent is similar to the arrayJoin function, but the clause functionality is broader.

Syntax:

SELECT <expr_list>
FROM <left_subquery>
[LEFT] ARRAY JOIN <array>
[WHERE|PREWHERE <expr>]
...

You can specify only one ARRAY JOIN clause in a SELECT query.

Supported types of ARRAY JOIN are listed below:

  • ARRAY JOIN - In base case, empty arrays are not included in the result of JOIN.
  • LEFT ARRAY JOIN - The result of JOIN contains rows with empty arrays. The value for an empty array is set to the default value for the array element type (usually 0, empty string or NULL).

Basic ARRAY JOIN Examples 

The examples below demonstrate the usage of the ARRAY JOIN and LEFT ARRAY JOIN clauses. Let’s create a table with an Array type column and insert values into it:

CREATE TABLE arrays_test
(
    s String,
    arr Array(UInt8)
) ENGINE = Memory;

INSERT INTO arrays_test
VALUES ('Hello', [1,2]), ('World', [3,4,5]), ('Goodbye', []);
┌─s───────────┬─arr─────┐
│ Hello       │ [1,2]   │
│ World       │ [3,4,5] │
│ Goodbye     │ []      │
└─────────────┴─────────┘

The example below uses the ARRAY JOIN clause:

SELECT s, arr
FROM arrays_test
ARRAY JOIN arr;
┌─s─────┬─arr─┐
│ Hello │   1 │
│ Hello │   2 │
│ World │   3 │
│ World │   4 │
│ World │   5 │
└───────┴─────┘

The next example uses the LEFT ARRAY JOIN clause:

SELECT s, arr
FROM arrays_test
LEFT ARRAY JOIN arr;
┌─s───────────┬─arr─┐
│ Hello       │   1 │
│ Hello       │   2 │
│ World       │   3 │
│ World       │   4 │
│ World       │   5 │
│ Goodbye     │   0 │
└─────────────┴─────┘

Using Aliases 

An alias can be specified for an array in the ARRAY JOIN clause. In this case, an array item can be accessed by this alias, but the array itself is accessed by the original name. Example:

SELECT s, arr, a
FROM arrays_test
ARRAY JOIN arr AS a;
┌─s─────┬─arr─────┬─a─┐
│ Hello │ [1,2]   │ 1 │
│ Hello │ [1,2]   │ 2 │
│ World │ [3,4,5] │ 3 │
│ World │ [3,4,5] │ 4 │
│ World │ [3,4,5] │ 5 │
└───────┴─────────┴───┘

Using aliases, you can perform ARRAY JOIN with an external array. For example:

SELECT s, arr_external
FROM arrays_test
ARRAY JOIN [1, 2, 3] AS arr_external;
┌─s───────────┬─arr_external─┐
│ Hello       │            1 │
│ Hello       │            2 │
│ Hello       │            3 │
│ World       │            1 │
│ World       │            2 │
│ World       │            3 │
│ Goodbye     │            1 │
│ Goodbye     │            2 │
│ Goodbye     │            3 │
└─────────────┴──────────────┘

Multiple arrays can be comma-separated in the ARRAY JOIN clause. In this case, JOIN is performed with them simultaneously (the direct sum, not the cartesian product). Note that all the arrays must have the same size. Example:

SELECT s, arr, a, num, mapped
FROM arrays_test
ARRAY JOIN arr AS a, arrayEnumerate(arr) AS num, arrayMap(x -> x + 1, arr) AS mapped;
┌─s─────┬─arr─────┬─a─┬─num─┬─mapped─┐
│ Hello │ [1,2]   │ 1 │   1 │      2 │
│ Hello │ [1,2]   │ 2 │   2 │      3 │
│ World │ [3,4,5] │ 3 │   1 │      4 │
│ World │ [3,4,5] │ 4 │   2 │      5 │
│ World │ [3,4,5] │ 5 │   3 │      6 │
└───────┴─────────┴───┴─────┴────────┘

The example below uses the arrayEnumerate function:

SELECT s, arr, a, num, arrayEnumerate(arr)
FROM arrays_test
ARRAY JOIN arr AS a, arrayEnumerate(arr) AS num;
┌─s─────┬─arr─────┬─a─┬─num─┬─arrayEnumerate(arr)─┐
│ Hello │ [1,2]   │ 1 │   1 │ [1,2]               │
│ Hello │ [1,2]   │ 2 │   2 │ [1,2]               │
│ World │ [3,4,5] │ 3 │   1 │ [1,2,3]             │
│ World │ [3,4,5] │ 4 │   2 │ [1,2,3]             │
│ World │ [3,4,5] │ 5 │   3 │ [1,2,3]             │
└───────┴─────────┴───┴─────┴─────────────────────┘

ARRAY JOIN with Nested Data Structure 

ARRAY JOIN also works with nested data structures:

CREATE TABLE nested_test
(
    s String,
    nest Nested(
    x UInt8,
    y UInt32)
) ENGINE = Memory;

INSERT INTO nested_test
VALUES ('Hello', [1,2], [10,20]), ('World', [3,4,5], [30,40,50]), ('Goodbye', [], []);
┌─s───────┬─nest.x──┬─nest.y─────┐
│ Hello   │ [1,2]   │ [10,20]    │
│ World   │ [3,4,5] │ [30,40,50] │
│ Goodbye │ []      │ []         │
└─────────┴─────────┴────────────┘
SELECT s, `nest.x`, `nest.y`
FROM nested_test
ARRAY JOIN nest;
┌─s─────┬─nest.x─┬─nest.y─┐
│ Hello │      1 │     10 │
│ Hello │      2 │     20 │
│ World │      3 │     30 │
│ World │      4 │     40 │
│ World │      5 │     50 │
└───────┴────────┴────────┘

When specifying names of nested data structures in ARRAY JOIN, the meaning is the same as ARRAY JOIN with all the array elements that it consists of. Examples are listed below:

SELECT s, `nest.x`, `nest.y`
FROM nested_test
ARRAY JOIN `nest.x`, `nest.y`;
┌─s─────┬─nest.x─┬─nest.y─┐
│ Hello │      1 │     10 │
│ Hello │      2 │     20 │
│ World │      3 │     30 │
│ World │      4 │     40 │
│ World │      5 │     50 │
└───────┴────────┴────────┘

This variation also makes sense:

SELECT s, `nest.x`, `nest.y`
FROM nested_test
ARRAY JOIN `nest.x`;
┌─s─────┬─nest.x─┬─nest.y─────┐
│ Hello │      1 │ [10,20]    │
│ Hello │      2 │ [10,20]    │
│ World │      3 │ [30,40,50] │
│ World │      4 │ [30,40,50] │
│ World │      5 │ [30,40,50] │
└───────┴────────┴────────────┘

An alias may be used for a nested data structure, in order to select either the JOIN result or the source array. Example:

SELECT s, `n.x`, `n.y`, `nest.x`, `nest.y`
FROM nested_test
ARRAY JOIN nest AS n;
┌─s─────┬─n.x─┬─n.y─┬─nest.x──┬─nest.y─────┐
│ Hello │   1 │  10 │ [1,2]   │ [10,20]    │
│ Hello │   2 │  20 │ [1,2]   │ [10,20]    │
│ World │   3 │  30 │ [3,4,5] │ [30,40,50] │
│ World │   4 │  40 │ [3,4,5] │ [30,40,50] │
│ World │   5 │  50 │ [3,4,5] │ [30,40,50] │
└───────┴─────┴─────┴─────────┴────────────┘

Example of using the arrayEnumerate function:

SELECT s, `n.x`, `n.y`, `nest.x`, `nest.y`, num
FROM nested_test
ARRAY JOIN nest AS n, arrayEnumerate(`nest.x`) AS num;
┌─s─────┬─n.x─┬─n.y─┬─nest.x──┬─nest.y─────┬─num─┐
│ Hello │   1 │  10 │ [1,2]   │ [10,20]    │   1 │
│ Hello │   2 │  20 │ [1,2]   │ [10,20]    │   2 │
│ World │   3 │  30 │ [3,4,5] │ [30,40,50] │   1 │
│ World │   4 │  40 │ [3,4,5] │ [30,40,50] │   2 │
│ World │   5 │  50 │ [3,4,5] │ [30,40,50] │   3 │
└───────┴─────┴─────┴─────────┴────────────┴─────┘

Implementation Details 

The query execution order is optimized when running ARRAY JOIN. Although ARRAY JOIN must always be specified before the WHERE/PREWHERE clause in a query, technically they can be performed in any order, unless result of ARRAY JOIN is used for filtering. The processing order is controlled by the query optimizer.

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