I have data in a table that looks like this:

|ID|              Data                                  |
| 1|{"key":"value",...,"image":"1234567",..."key:value"}|
| 2|{"key":"value",...,"image":"",..."key:value"}       |
| 3|{"key":"value",...,"image":"9876543",..."key:value"}|

In my migration I only want to import items that have an image ID in the Data column.

Previously I was doing this in my migration class query() method:

class myMigration extends SqlBase {

  public function query() {
    return $this->select('data_table', 'd')
      ->fields('d', ['ID', 'Data'])
      ->condition('Data', '%' . db_like('"image":') . '%', 'LIKE');

  public function fields() {

    $fields = [
      'ID' => t('ID'),

    return $fields;

  public function getIds() {
    return [
      'ID' => [
        'type' => 'string',

This was also selecting rows where the image value was empty in the Data column.

This query in SQL works for selecting the correct data, but I cannot get it to work with the query() method in my migration:

SELECT ID, Data    
FROM data_table
WHERE Data REGEXP '"image":"\d*[^>"]';

3 Answers 3


I was able to use REGEXP operator in a normal condition() method, although it is not stated in the documentation.

The answer was found on this example.


  public function query() {
    return $this->select('data_table', 'd')
      ->fields('d', ['ID', 'Data'])
      ->condition('Data', '"image":"\d*[^>"]', 'REGEXP');
  • The documentation wasn't necessarily wrong, but it wasn't very explicit; I've added a sentence calling out REGEXP as an example of a database-specific operator that will be passed through.
    – Brad J
    Aug 1, 2019 at 21:17

You should be able to use the where() method:

return $this->select('data_table', 'd')
    ->fields('d', ['ID', 'Data'])
    ->where('Data REGEXP \'"image":"\d*[^>"]\'');

Don't use SqlBase Class and do yourself the query. Your Class can extends SourcePluginBase.

  use Drupal\Core\Database\Database;

  $database = Database::getConnection('default', $your_database_key_in_settings_php);
  $query = $database->query($sql_query);
  $data = $query->fetchAll(\PDO::FETCH_ASSOC);

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