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Accessing nested JavaScript objects with string key

Posted by: admin November 3, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I have a data structure like this :

var someObject = {
    'part1' : {
        'name': 'Part 1',
        'size': '20',
        'qty' : '50'
    },
    'part2' : {
        'name': 'Part 2',
        'size': '15',
        'qty' : '60'
    },
    'part3' : [
        {
            'name': 'Part 3A',
            'size': '10',
            'qty' : '20'
        }, {
            'name': 'Part 3B',
            'size': '5',
            'qty' : '20'
        }, {
            'name': 'Part 3C',
            'size': '7.5',
            'qty' : '20'
        }
    ]
};

And I would like to access the data using these variable :

var part1name = "part1.name";
var part2quantity = "part2.qty";
var part3name1 = "part3[0].name";

part1name should be filled with someObject.part1.name ‘s value, which is “Part 1”. Same thing with part2quantity which filled with 60.

Is there anyway to achieve this with either pure javascript or JQuery?

Answers:

I just made this based on some similar code I already had, it appears to work:

Object.byString = function(o, s) {
    s = s.replace(/\[(\w+)\]/g, '.$1'); // convert indexes to properties
    s = s.replace(/^\./, '');           // strip a leading dot
    var a = s.split('.');
    for (var i = 0, n = a.length; i < n; ++i) {
        var k = a[i];
        if (k in o) {
            o = o[k];
        } else {
            return;
        }
    }
    return o;
}

Usage::

Object.byString(someObj, 'part3[0].name');

See a working demo at http://jsfiddle.net/alnitak/hEsys/

EDIT some have noticed that this code will throw an error if passed a string where the left-most indexes don’t correspond to a correctly nested entry within the object. This is a valid concern, but IMHO best addressed with a try / catch block when calling, rather than having this function silently return undefined for an invalid index.

Questions:
Answers:

This is the solution I use:

Object.resolve = function(path, obj) {
    return path.split('.').reduce(function(prev, curr) {
        return prev ? prev[curr] : undefined
    }, obj || self)
}

Example usage:

Object.resolve("document.body.style.width")
// or
Object.resolve("style.width", document.body)
// or even use array indexes
// (someObject has been defined in the question)
Object.resolve("part3.0.size", someObject) 
// returns undefined when intermediate properties are not defined:
Object.resolve('properties.that.do.not.exist', {hello:'world'})

Limitations:

  • Can’t use brackets ([]) for array indices (though specifying array indices between periods works fine as shown above)
  • Properties with periods in their name cannot be accessed: {'my.favorite.number':42}
Questions:
Answers:

This is now supported by lodash using _.get(obj, property). See https://lodash.com/docs#get

Example from the docs:

var object = { 'a': [{ 'b': { 'c': 3 } }] };

_.get(object, 'a[0].b.c');
// → 3

_.get(object, ['a', '0', 'b', 'c']);
// → 3

_.get(object, 'a.b.c', 'default');
// → 'default'

Questions:
Answers:

You’d have to parse the string yourself:

function getProperty(obj, prop) {
    var parts = prop.split('.');

    if (Array.isArray(parts)) {
        var last = parts.pop(),
        l = parts.length,
        i = 1,
        current = parts[0];

        while((obj = obj[current]) && i < l) {
            current = parts[i];
            i++;
        }

        if(obj) {
            return obj[last];
        }
    } else {
        throw 'parts is not valid array';
    }
}

This required that you also define array indexes with dot notation:

var part3name1 = "part3.0.name";

It makes the parsing easier.

DEMO

Questions:
Answers:

Works for arrays / arrays inside the object also.
Defensive against invalid values.

/**
 * Retrieve nested item from object/array
 * @param {Object|Array} obj
 * @param {String} path dot separated
 * @param {*} def default value ( if result undefined )
 * @returns {*}
 */
function path(obj, path, def){
    var i, len;

    for(i = 0,path = path.split('.'), len = path.length; i < len; i++){
        if(!obj || typeof obj !== 'object') return def;
        obj = obj[path[i]];
    }

    if(obj === undefined) return def;
    return obj;
}

//////////////////////////
//         TEST         //
//////////////////////////

var arr = [true, {'sp ace': true}, true]

var obj = {
  'sp ace': true,
  arr: arr,
  nested: {'dotted.str.ing': true},
  arr3: arr
}

shouldThrow(`path(obj, "arr.0")`);
shouldBeDefined(`path(obj, "arr[0]")`);
shouldBeEqualToNumber(`path(obj, "arr.length")`, 3);
shouldBeTrue(`path(obj, "sp ace")`);
shouldBeEqualToString(`path(obj, "none.existed.prop", "fallback")`, "fallback");
shouldBeTrue(`path(obj, "nested['dotted.str.ing'])`);
<script src="https://cdn.rawgit.com/coderek/e7b30bac7634a50ad8fd/raw/174b6634c8f57aa8aac0716c5b7b2a7098e03584/js-test.js"></script>

Questions:
Answers:

using eval:

var part1name = eval("someObject.part1.name");

wrap to return undefined on error

function path(obj, path) {
    try {
        return eval("obj." + path);
    } catch(e) {
        return undefined;
    }
}

http://jsfiddle.net/shanimal/b3xTw/

Please use common sense and caution when wielding the power of eval. It’s a bit like a light saber, if you turn it on there’s a 90% chance you’ll sever a limb. Its not for everybody.

Questions:
Answers:

ES6: Only one line in Vanila JS (it return null if don’t find instead of giving error):

'path.string'.split('.').reduce((p,c)=>p&&p[c]||null, MyOBJ)

or exemple:

'a.b.c'.split('.').reduce((p,c)=>p&&p[c]||null, {a:{b:{c:1}}})

For a ready to use function that also recognizes false, 0 and negative number and accept default values as parameter:

const resolvePath = (object, path, defaultValue) => path
   .split('.')
   .reduce((o, p) => o ? o[p] : defaultValue, object)

Exemple to use:

resolvePath(window,'document.body') => <body>
resolvePath(window,'document.body.xyz') => undefined
resolvePath(window,'document.body.xyz', null) => null
resolvePath(window,'document.body.xyz', 1) => 1

Bonus:

To set a path (Requested by @rob-gordon) you can use:

const setPath = (object, path, value) => path
   .split('.')
   .reduce((o,p) => o[p] = path.split('.').pop() === p ? value : o[p] || {}, object)

Example:

let myVar = {}
setPath(myVar, 'a.b.c', 42) => 42
console.log(myVar) => {a: {b: {c: 42}}}

Access array with []:

const resolvePath = (object, path, defaultValue) => path
   .split(/[\.\[\]\'\"]/)
   .filter(p => p)
   .reduce((o, p) => o ? o[p] : defaultValue, object)

exemple

const myVar = {a:{b:[{c:1}]}}
resolvePath(myVar,'a.b[0].c') => 1
resolvePath(myVar,'a["b"][\'0\'].c') => 1

Questions:
Answers:

Here I offer more ways, which seem faster in many respects:

Option 1: Split string on . or [ or ] or ‘ or “, reverse it, skip empty items.

function getValue(path, origin) {
    if (origin === void 0 || origin === null) origin = self ? self : this;
    if (typeof path !== 'string') path = '' + path;
    var parts = path.split(/\[|\]|\.|'|"/g).reverse(), name; // (why reverse? because it's usually faster to pop off the end of an array)
    while (parts.length) { name=parts.pop(); if (name) origin=origin[name]; }
    return origin;
}

Option 2 (fastest of all, except eval): Low level character scan (no regex/split/etc, just a quick char scan).
Note: This one does not support quotes for indexes.

function getValue(path, origin) {
    if (origin === void 0 || origin === null) origin = self ? self : this;
    if (typeof path !== 'string') path = '' + path;
    var c = '', pc, i = 0, n = path.length, name = '';
    if (n) while (i<=n) ((c = path[i++]) == '.' || c == '[' || c == ']' || c == void 0) ? (name?(origin = origin[name], name = ''):(pc=='.'||pc=='['||pc==']'&&c==']'?i=n+2:void 0),pc=c) : name += c;
    if (i==n+2) throw "Invalid path: "+path;
    return origin;
} // (around 1,000,000+/- ops/sec)

Option 3: (new: option 2 expanded to support quotes – a bit slower, but still fast)

function getValue(path, origin) {
    if (origin === void 0 || origin === null) origin = self ? self : this;
    if (typeof path !== 'string') path = '' + path;
    var c, pc, i = 0, n = path.length, name = '', q;
    while (i<=n)
        ((c = path[i++]) == '.' || c == '[' || c == ']' || c == "'" || c == '"' || c == void 0) ? (c==q&&path[i]==']'?q='':q?name+=c:name?(origin?origin=origin[name]:i=n+2,name='') : (pc=='['&&(c=='"'||c=="'")?q=c:pc=='.'||pc=='['||pc==']'&&c==']'||pc=='"'||pc=="'"?i=n+2:void 0), pc=c) : name += c;
    if (i==n+2 || name) throw "Invalid path: "+path;
    return origin;
}

JSPerf: http://jsperf.com/ways-to-dereference-a-delimited-property-string/3

“eval(…)” is still king though (performance wise that is). If you have property paths directly under your control, there shouldn’t be any issues with using ‘eval’ (especially if speed is desired). If pulling property paths “over the wire” (on the line!? lol :P), then yes, use something else to be safe. Only an idiot would say to never use “eval” at all, as there ARE good reasons when to use it. Also, “It is used in Doug Crockford’s JSON parser.” If the input is safe, then no problems at all. Use the right tool for the right job, that’s it.

Questions:
Answers:

You can manage to obtain value of a deep object member with dot notation without any external JavaScript library with the simple following trick:

new Function('_', 'return _.' + path)(obj);

In your case to obtain value of part1.name from someObject just do:

new Function('_', 'return _.part1.name')(someObject);

Here is a simple fiddle demo: https://jsfiddle.net/harishanchu/oq5esowf/

Questions:
Answers:

I think you are asking for this:

var part1name = someObject.part1.name;
var part2quantity = someObject.part2.qty;
var part3name1 =  someObject.part3[0].name;

You could be asking for this:

var part1name = someObject["part1"]["name"];
var part2quantity = someObject["part2"]["qty"];
var part3name1 =  someObject["part3"][0]["name"];

Both of which will work


Or maybe you are asking for this

var partName = "part1";
var nameStr = "name";

var part1name = someObject[partName][nameStr];

Finally you could be asking for this

var partName = "part1.name";

var partBits = partName.split(".");

var part1name = someObject[partBits[0]][partBits[1]];

Questions:
Answers:

Speigg’s approach is very neat and clean, though I found this reply while searching for the solution of accessing AngularJS $scope properties by string path and with a little modification it does the job:

$scope.resolve = function( path, obj ) {
    return path.split('.').reduce( function( prev, curr ) {
        return prev[curr];
    }, obj || this );
}

Just place this function in your root controller and use it any child scope like this:

$scope.resolve( 'path.to.any.object.in.scope')

Questions:
Answers:

Here are performance tests for all 4, with @TheZver and @Shanimal being the winners:

http://jsfiddle.net/Jw8XB/3/

Part 1
60
Part 3A
Object.byString: 2.536ms 
Part 1
60
Part 3A
getProperty: 0.274ms
Part 1
60
undefined
eval: 0.657ms
Part 1
60
Part 3A
path: 0.256ms

Questions:
Answers:

I haven’t yet found a package to do all of the operations with a string path, so I ended up writing my own quick little package which supports insert(), get() (with default return), set() and remove() operations.

You can use dot notation, brackets, number indices, string number properties, and keys with non-word characters. Simple usage below:

> var jsocrud = require('jsocrud');

...

// Get (Read) ---
> var obj = {
>     foo: [
>         {
>             'key w/ non-word chars': 'bar'
>         }
>     ]
> };
undefined

> jsocrud.get(obj, '.foo[0]["key w/ non-word chars"]');
'bar'

https://www.npmjs.com/package/jsocrud

https://github.com/vertical-knowledge/jsocrud

Questions:
Answers:

There is an npm module now for doing this: https://github.com/erictrinh/safe-access

Example usage:

var access = require('safe-access');
access(very, 'nested.property.and.array[0]');

Questions:
Answers:
/**
 * Access a deep value inside a object 
 * Works by passing a path like "foo.bar", also works with nested arrays like "foo[0][1].baz"
 * @author Victor B. https://gist.github.com/victornpb/4c7882c1b9d36292308e
 * Unit tests: http://jsfiddle.net/Victornpb/0u1qygrh/
 */
function getDeepVal(obj, path) {
    if (typeof obj === "undefined" || obj === null) return;
    path = path.split(/[\.\[\]\"\']{1,2}/);
    for (var i = 0, l = path.length; i < l; i++) {
        if (path[i] === "") continue;
        obj = obj[path[i]];
        if (typeof obj === "undefined" || obj === null) return;
    }
    return obj;
}

Works with

getDeepVal(obj,'foo.bar')
getDeepVal(obj,'foo.1.bar')
getDeepVal(obj,'foo[0].baz')
getDeepVal(obj,'foo[1][2]')
getDeepVal(obj,"foo['bar'].baz")
getDeepVal(obj,"foo['bar']['baz']")
getDeepVal(obj,"foo.bar.0.baz[1]['2']['w'].aaa[\"f\"].bb")

Questions:
Answers:

It’s a one liner with lodash.

const deep = { l1: { l2: { l3: "Hello" } } };
const prop = "l1.l2.l3";
const val = _.reduce(prop.split('.'), function(result, value) { return result ? result[value] : undefined; }, deep);
// val === "Hello"

Plunkr

Questions:
Answers:

If you need to access different nested key without knowing it at coding time (it will be trivial to address them) you can use the array notation accessor:

var part1name = someObject['part1']['name'];
var part2quantity = someObject['part2']['qty'];
var part3name1 =  someObject['part3'][0]['name'];

They are equivalent to the dot notation accessor and may vary at runtime, for example:

var part = 'part1';
var property = 'name';

var part1name = someObject[part][property];

is equivalent to

var part1name = someObject['part1']['name'];

or

var part1name = someObject.part1.name;

I hope this address your question…

EDIT

I won’t use a string to mantain a sort of xpath query to access an object value.
As you have to call a function to parse the query and retrieve the value I would follow another path (not :

var part1name = function(){ return this.part1.name; }
var part2quantity = function() { return this['part2']['qty']; }
var part3name1 =  function() { return this.part3[0]['name'];}

// usage: part1name.apply(someObject);

or, if you are uneasy with the apply method

var part1name = function(obj){ return obj.part1.name; }
var part2quantity = function(obj) { return obj['part2']['qty']; }
var part3name1 =  function(obj) { return obj.part3[0]['name'];}

// usage: part1name(someObject);

The functions are shorter, clearer, the interpreter check them for you for syntax errors and so on.

By the way, I feel that a simple assignment made at right time will be sufficent…

Questions:
Answers:

Just had the same question recently and successfully used https://npmjs.org/package/tea-properties which also set nested object/arrays :

get:

var o = {
  prop: {
    arr: [
      {foo: 'bar'}
    ]
  }
};

var properties = require('tea-properties');
var value = properties.get(o, 'prop.arr[0].foo');

assert(value, 'bar'); // true

set:

var o = {};

var properties = require('tea-properties');
properties.set(o, 'prop.arr[0].foo', 'bar');

assert(o.prop.arr[0].foo, 'bar'); // true

Questions:
Answers:

What about this solution:

setJsonValue: function (json, field, val) {
  if (field !== undefined){
    try {
      eval("json." + field + " = val");
    }
    catch(e){
      ;
    }
  }  
}

And this one, for getting:

getJsonValue: function (json, field){
  var value = undefined;
  if (field !== undefined) {
    try {
      eval("value = json." + field);
    } 
    catch(e){
      ;
    }
  }
  return value;
};

Probably some will consider them unsafe, but they must be much faster then, parsing the string.

Questions:
Answers:

Underscore has a function available called getNested(obj, chain, def, opts) seen here…

https://github.com/dsc/underscore.nested/blob/master/underscore.nested.js#L182

Questions:
Answers:

With coffeescript you can use the ? symbol to check if the object exist, and if so, follow the chain like this:

part1name = someObject.part1?.name;
part2quantity = someObject.part2?.qty;
part3name1 = part3?[0]?.name;

If some property on the chain doesn’t exists, the value will be undefined 🙂

Questions:
Answers:

The solutions here are just for accessing the deeply nested keys. I needed one for accessing, adding, modifying and deleting the keys. This is what I came up with:

var deepAccessObject = function(object, path_to_key, type_of_function, value){
    switch(type_of_function){
        //Add key/modify key
        case 0: 
            if(path_to_key.length === 1){
                if(value)
                    object[path_to_key[0]] = value;
                return object[path_to_key[0]];
            }else{
                if(object[path_to_key[0]])
                    return deepAccessObject(object[path_to_key[0]], path_to_key.slice(1), type_of_function, value);
                else
                    object[path_to_key[0]] = {};
            }
            break;
        //delete key
        case 1:
            if(path_to_key.length === 1){
                delete object[path_to_key[0]];
                return true;
            }else{
                if(object[path_to_key[0]])
                    return deepAccessObject(object[path_to_key[0]], path_to_key.slice(1), type_of_function, value);
                else
                    return false;
            }
            break;
        default:
            console.log("Wrong type of function");
    }
};
  • path_to_key: path in an array. You can replace it by your string_path.split(".").
  • type_of_function: 0 for accessing(dont pass any value to value), 0 for add and modify. 1 for delete.
Questions:
Answers:

Simple function, allowing for either a string or array path.

function get(obj, path) {
  if(typeof path === 'string') path = path.split('.');

  if(path.length === 0) return obj;
  return get(obj[path[0]], path.slice(1));
}

const obj = {a: {b: {c: 'foo'}}};

console.log(get(obj, 'a.b.c')); //foo

OR

console.log(get(obj, ['a', 'b', 'c'])); //foo

Questions:
Answers:

Building off of Alnitak’s answer:

if(!Object.prototype.byString){
  //NEW byString which can update values
Object.prototype.byString = function(s, v, o) {
  var _o = o || this;
      s = s.replace(/\[(\w+)\]/g, '.$1'); // CONVERT INDEXES TO PROPERTIES
      s = s.replace(/^\./, ''); // STRIP A LEADING DOT
      var a = s.split('.'); //ARRAY OF STRINGS SPLIT BY '.'
      for (var i = 0; i < a.length; ++i) {//LOOP OVER ARRAY OF STRINGS
          var k = a[i];
          if (k in _o) {//LOOP THROUGH OBJECT KEYS
              if(_o.hasOwnProperty(k)){//USE ONLY KEYS WE CREATED
                if(v !== undefined){//IF WE HAVE A NEW VALUE PARAM
                  if(i === a.length -1){//IF IT'S THE LAST IN THE ARRAY
                    _o[k] = v;
                  }
                }
                _o = _o[k];//NO NEW VALUE SO JUST RETURN THE CURRENT VALUE
              }
          } else {
              return;
          }
      }
      return _o;
  };

}

This allows you to set a value as well!

I’ve created an npm package and github with this as well

Questions:
Answers:

Using the streams api:

    var your_object = { foo: { bar : [1, "hello", 5] } }
    function deep_access(deep_object, path, splitter) {
        return path.split(splitter).reduce(function (acc, val) {
            return acc[val];
        }, deep_object);
    }
    console.log(deep_access(your_object, "foo.bar.1", "."));

Questions:
Answers:

I’m sure I’m gonna get down voted for this, but here is the shortest version:

const resolve = (obj, path) => {
    try {
        return eval(`${obj}.${path}`);
    } catch (err) {
        return void 0;
    }
};

Questions:
Answers:

Instead of a string an array can be used adressing nested objects and arrays e.g.: ["my_field", "another_field", 0, "last_field", 10]

Here is an example that would change a field based on this array representation. I am using something like that in react.js for controlled input fields that change the state of nested structures.

let state = {
        test: "test_value",
        nested: {
            level1: "level1 value"
        },
        arr: [1, 2, 3],
        nested_arr: {
            arr: ["buh", "bah", "foo"]
        }
    }

function handleChange(value, fields) {
    let update_field = state;
    for(var i = 0; i < fields.length - 1; i++){
        update_field = update_field[fields[i]];
    }
    update_field[fields[fields.length-1]] = value;
}

handleChange("update", ["test"]);
handleChange("update_nested", ["nested","level1"]);
handleChange(100, ["arr",0]);
handleChange('changed_foo', ["nested_arr", "arr", 3]);
console.log(state);

Questions:
Answers:

Based on a previous answer, I have created a function that can also handle brackets. But no dots inside them due to the split.

function get(obj, str) {
  return str.split(/\.|\[/g).map(function(crumb) {
    return crumb.replace(/\]$/, '').trim().replace(/^(["'])((?:(?!)[^\]|\.)*?)$/, (match, quote, str) => str.replace(/\(\)?/g, "$1"));
  }).reduce(function(obj, prop) {
    return obj ? obj[prop] : undefined;
  }, obj);
}