Working with Data in BigQuery using Node.js

Working with Data in BigQuery using Node.js

This tutorial will get into the actual usage of BigQuery and show how to read and write data using Node.js. In BigQuery, you have entities called datasets. BigQuery defines the columns/fields of a table schema via four different properties.Google BigQuery is a relational database and uses a table structure to organize individual records in rows, while each record consists of columns that are also called fields.

This article will get into the actual usage of BigQuery and show how to read and write data using Node.js.

BigQuery Terms

Before starting with any implementation, some basic terms used in BigQuery need to be clarified.

Datasets

In BigQuery, you have entities called datasets. A dataset is nothing more than a container on the top level of your project used to organize and control access to your tables and views. Thus, a table has to have a dataset it belongs to, so before building your first table, you first have to create a dataset.

When getting started, it’s okay to see datasets as a simple grouping mechanism, even though under the hood, it is, of course, a bit more.

Tables and table schemas

Google BigQuery is a relational database and uses a table structure to organize individual records in rows, while each record consists of columns that are also called fields.

Also, typical for RDBMS, Google defines BigQuery tables by a table schema composed of the columns and their definition. A table’s schema can either be applied at table creation or auto-detected by BigQuery when the first set of data populates the table, even though I would always recommend defining the schema beforehand.

If you have experience using SQL-based RDBMS, you will quickly get into BigQuery.

Columns

BigQuery defines the columns/fields of a table schema via four different properties.

Column name

The column name has to be a case-insensitive alphanumerical string with a maximum of 128 characters. Underscores are also allowed, and the name has to start with either a letter or underscore.

Even though there are three names columns are not allowed to have:

  • TABLE
  • FILE
  • __PARTITION_

Column description

The column description is an optional string describing the column with a maximum of 1,024 characters.

Type

The type is a mandatory field describing the data type of the column. Possible values are, e.g.:

  • INT64
  • FLOAT64
  • BOOL
  • STRING

You can find a list of all possible values in the official BigQuery docs.

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