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Data queries in DataJoint comprise two distinct steps:

  1. Construct the query object to represent the required data using tables and operators.

  2. Fetch the data from query into the workspace of the host language – described in this section.

Note that entities returned by fetch methods are not guaranteed to be sorted in any particular order unless specifically requested. Furthermore, the order is not guaranteed to be the same in any two queries, and the contents of two identical queries may change between two sequential invocations unless they are wrapped in a transaction. Therefore, if you wish to fetch matching pairs of attributes, do so in one fetch call.

The examples below are based on the example schema for this part of the documentation.

Entire table

The following statement retrieves the entire table as a NumPy recarray.

data = query.fetch()

To retrieve the data as a list of dict:

data = query.fetch(as_dict=True)

In some cases, the amount of data returned by fetch can be quite large; in these cases it can be useful to use the size_on_disk attribute to determine if running a bare fetch would be wise. Please note that it is only currently possible to query the size of entire tables stored directly in the database at this time.

As separate variables

name, img = query.fetch1('name', 'image')  # when query has exactly one entity
name, img = query.fetch('name', 'image')  # [name, ...] [image, ...]

Primary key values

keydict = tab.fetch1("KEY")  # single key dict when tab has exactly one entity
keylist = tab.fetch("KEY")  # list of key dictionaries [{}, ...]

KEY can also used when returning attribute values as separate variables, such that one of the returned variables contains the entire primary keys.

Sorting and limiting the results

To sort the result, use the order_by keyword argument.

# ascending order:
data = query.fetch(order_by='name')
# descending order:
data = query.fetch(order_by='name desc')
# by name first, year second:
data = query.fetch(order_by=('name desc', 'year'))
# sort by the primary key:
data = query.fetch(order_by='KEY')
# sort by name but for same names order by primary key:
data = query.fetch(order_by=('name', 'KEY desc'))

The order_by argument can be a string specifying the attribute to sort by. By default the sort is in ascending order. Use 'attr desc' to sort in descending order by attribute attr. The value can also be a sequence of strings, in which case, the sort performed on all the attributes jointly in the order specified.

The special attribute name 'KEY' represents the primary key attributes in order that they appear in the index. Otherwise, this name can be used as any other argument.

If an attribute happens to be a SQL reserved word, it needs to be enclosed in backquotes. For example:

data = query.fetch(order_by='`select` desc')

The order_by value is eventually passed to the ORDER BY clause.

Similarly, the limit and offset arguments can be used to limit the result to a subset of entities.

For example, one could do the following:

data = query.fetch(order_by='name', limit=10, offset=5)

Note that an offset cannot be used without specifying a limit as well.

Usage with Pandas

The pandas library is a popular library for data analysis in Python which can easily be used with DataJoint query results. Since the records returned by fetch() are contained within a numpy.recarray, they can be easily converted to pandas.DataFrame objects by passing them into the pandas.DataFrame constructor. For example:

import pandas as pd
frame = pd.DataFrame(tab.fetch())

Calling fetch() with the argument format="frame" returns results as pandas.DataFrame objects indexed by the table’s primary key attributes.

frame = tab.fetch(format="frame")

Returning results as a DataFrame is not possible when fetching a particular subset of attributes or when as_dict is set to True.

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