Extraction Configuration

To configure your first Generic Extractor, follow our tutorial. Use Parameter Map to help you navigate among various configuration options.

The config section of Generic Extractor configuration describes the actual extraction, including properties of HTTP requests, and mapping between source JSON and target CSV.

A sample config configuration can look like this:

{
    ...,
    "config": {
        "debug": false,
        "outputBucket": "ge-tutorial",
        "incrementalOutput": false,
        "compatLevel": 2,
        "jobs": [
            ...
        ],
        "mappings": {
            ...
        },
        "http": {
            ...
        },
        "userData": {
            ...
        }
    }
}

Apart from the properties listed below, the config section can contain any number of other properties which are not used by Generic Extractor itself, but may be referenced from within functions.

The keys prefixed by the hash character # are automatically encrypted when the configuration is saved. It is advisable to store sensitive information in such fields. Note, however, they are not automatic aliases to un-encrypted fields. That means that when using a #password field, you must always refer to it as #password (for instance, in functions). Also, you cannot encrypt any Generic Extractor configuration fields (such as jobs, mappings, …).

Jobs

The Jobs configuration describes the API endpoints (resources) which will be extracted. This includes configuring the HTTP method and parameters. The jobs configuration is required and is described in a separate article.

Output Bucket

The outputBucket option defines the name of the Storage Bucket in which the extracted tables will be stored. The configuration is required unless the extractor is registered as a standalone component with the Default Bucket option.

The following configuration will make Generic Extractor put all extracted tables in the ge-tutorial bucket (the names of the tables are defined by the dataType setting):

{
    ...,
    "config": {
        "outputBucket": "ge-tutorial",
        ...
    }
}

If you omit the outputBucket configuration, you will receive an error similar to this:

CSV file 'campaigns' file name is not a valid table identifier, either set output mapping for 'campaigns' or make sure that the file name is a valid Storage table identifier.

Mappings

The Mappings configuration describes how the JSON response is converted into CSV files that will be imported into Storage. The mappings configuration is optional and is described in a separate article.

Debug

The debug boolean option allows you to turn on more verbose logging which shows all HTTP requests sent by Generic Extractor. The default value is false. Read more about running Generic Extractor in a separate article.

HTTP

The http option allows you to set the HTTP headers sent with every request. This primarily serves the purpose of providing values for api.http.requiredHeaders option. It is also possible to use the http option without api.http.requiredHeaders in which case it is essentially equal to api.http.headers.

{
    ...,
    "config": {
        "http": {
            "headers": {
                "X-AppKey": "ThisIsSecret"
            }
        },
        ...        
    }
}

See example [EX074].

Incremental Output

The incrementalOutput boolean option allows you to load the extracted data into Storage incrementally. This flag in no way affects the data extraction. When incrementalOutput is set to true, the contents of the target table in Storage will not be cleared. The default value is false.

How to configure Generic Extractor to extract data in increments from an API is described in a dedicated article.

See example [EX075].

User Data

The userData option allows you to add arbitrary data to extracted records. It is an object with arbitrary property names which are added as columns to all records extracted from parent jobs. The property values are the columns values. It is also possible to use functions as userData property values.

The following configuration:

{
    "config": {
        "userData": {
            "tag": "fullExtract",
            "mode": "development"
        }
    }
}

and the following response:

[
    {
        "id": 123,
        "name": "John Doe"
    },
    {
        "id": 234,
        "name": "Jane Doe"
    }
]

will produce the following users table:

id name tag mode
123 John Doe fullExtract development
234 Jane Doe fullExtract development

The userData values are added to the parent jobs only. They will not affect the child jobs. If the result table contains columns with the same names as the userData properties. If there is already a column with the same name, the userData column will be renamed.

See example [EX076].

Compatibility Level

As we develop the Generic Extractor, some of the new features might lead to minor differences in extraction results. When such a situation arises, a new compatibility level is introduced. The compatLevel setting allows you to force the old compatibility level and temporarily maintain the old behavior. The current compatibility level is 3. The compatLevel setting is intended only to ease updates and migrations, never use it in new configurations (any version of old behavior is considered unsupported).

When a new Level is introduced, the following will happen:

  • Configurations that explicitly specify compatLevel will stay unchanged.
  • All other configurations will automatically use the latest level.

Note that there is an exception: all configurations running before Level 3 was introduced will use compatibility Level 1. This means that they use the legacy (Level 1) JSON parser, and you will see the following warning in events: Using legacy JSON parser, because it is in configuration state.

Level 2

Level 2 has different behavior in responseFilter handling. In current behavior (level 3 and above), a filtered JSON property consistently produces a valid JSON. Previously (level 2 and below), a scalar value was not filtered. Given the data:

[
    {
        "id": 1,
        "data": {
            "a": "b"
        }
    },
    {
        "id": 2,
        "data": "c"
    }
]

With responseFilter set to data, the level 2 version produces the following table:

id data
1 {“a”:”b”}
2 c

Level 3 and above produces:

id data
1 {“a”:”b”}
2 “c”

That means that the data column is always a valid JSON string. Compare the results of examples EX121 and EX122. using compatibility level 2 with the result produced by examples EX016 and EX018 which use the current JSON parser.

Level 1

Level 1 uses a JSON parser which cannot handle duplicate columns properly. This applies to a number of situations:

  • The response contains properties which are evaluated to the same name, e.g.:
{
    "some.property": "first",
    "some_property": "second"
}
  • The response contains nested properties which are evaluated to the same name, e.g.:
{
    "some_property": "first",
    "some": {
        "property": "second"
    }
}
  • The response contains names which are generated internally by Generic Extractor (parent_id, JSON_parentId), e.g. – in a child job:
{
    "parent_id": 1,
    "name": "someName"
}
  • The user data contains a column which is present in the response.

In either of these situations, the Level 1 extractor generates an empty column with hash, and the original (or first encountered) column values are overwritten. In the current version (Level 2 and above), both columns are retained. The second encountered column has a numbered suffix. If you are upgrading from a Level 1 extractor, delete the column with hash from the target Storage table, otherwise you’ll get an error (Some columns are missing in the csv files).

There are also some differences in the naming of very long columns. For example, a property data.modules.#DistributionGroups.outputs.groupCharacteristics.persistent is shortened to d__m__DistributionGroups_outputs_groupCharacteristics_persistent in a Level 1 extractor, and to DistributionGroups_outputs_groupCharacteristics_persistent in Level 2 and above.

Compare the results of examples EX124 and EX125, using compatibility level 1 with the result produced by examples EX025 and EX076 which use the current JSON parser.