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Get{} objects

Make sure you complete Weaviate Academy Preparation

Make sure to complete the Weaviate Academy Preparation mini-unit before starting this unit to make sure that you can run the client library and connect to the demo Weaviate instance without issues.


Below, you will see code snippets that do not include client instantiation details. Before running these snippets, make sure to instantiate the client as shown below.

import weaviate

client = weaviate.Client(
url="https://edu-demo.weaviate.network",
auth_client_secret=weaviate.auth.AuthApiKey(api_key="learn-weaviate"), # A read-only API Key for the Weaviate instance
additional_headers={
"X-OpenAI-Api-Key": "YOUR-OPENAI-API-KEY", # Replace this with YOUR OpenAI API key
}
)

Overview


About Get queries

In many use cases, retrieving objects from a Weaviate instance may be the most common operation.

For example, a user may want to retrieve a list of passages most closely related to the input query, or they may wish to retrieve a list of images which are most similar to another image. It is even possible to retrieve a set of images that best match a given passage.

In Weaviate, such operations to retrieve objects are performed using the Get function.

Get function syntax

A basic Get function looks as follows:

response = client.query.get(
<Class>,
[<properties>]
).<arguments>.do()
  • The Class field specifies the name of the class of objects to be retrieved.
  • The arguments argument specifies the search criteria to be used to retrieve the objects.
  • The properties argument specifies the properties of the objects to be retrieved, including any _additional properties.

Now let's try out some concrete Get queries.

Standalone Get queries

A basic, standalone, Get query might look as follows:

Example

import json
response = client.query.get(
"JeopardyQuestion",
["question", "answer"]
).with_limit(2).do()

print(json.dumps(response, indent=2))

What results do you expect? See if you can correspond each field to the syntax.

Now, try it out yourself. The query should return something like this:

See the JSON response
{
"data": {
"Get": {
"JeopardyQuestion": [
{
"answer": "Amazon.com",
"question": "On July 16, 1995 this company made its first sale, a science textbook"
},
{
"answer": "Parfait",
"question": "The French name of this layered ice cream dessert means \"perfect\""
}
]
}
}
}

Response object from Weaviate

As you see above, the response object from Weaviate is in JSON format, where the results are obtained via the data field. It is then arranged in a corresponding manner to reflect the query as well as the queried object.

In the above example, the Get field reflects the query function, and the JeopardyQuestion field reflects the queried object class, containing returned objects. Each object contains answer and question fields, reflecting the requested properties.

Explain this query

In this case, Weaviate will return two objects due to the .with_limit(2) argument. Without this limit, Weaviate would return a maximum number according to its configuration.

Is this query useful?

As this does not apply any user-specific criteria to the search, the specific results will likely not be very useful.

However, this may be a viable method for "sanity" checks, such as checking that you can connect to a Weaviate instance, or that at least some objects have been imported successfully.

Class and properties

In the above example, we specify a Class of JeopardyQuestion and properties of questions and answer.

That is possible because those follow the structure of our data in Weaviate. To see the available data classes and properties, you can take a look at the Weaviate schema, as shown below:

How do I see the schema?

You can fetch the schema like this - try it out!

client.schema.get()
{
"classes": [
{
"class": "JeopardyQuestion",
"properties": [
{
"dataType": ["text"],
"name": "question",
... // Truncated
},
{
"dataType": ["text"],
"name": "answer",
... // Truncated
},
{
"dataType": ["int"],
"name": "points"
... // Truncated
},
... // Truncated
],
... // Truncated
}
]
}

The Class and properties fields must correspond to collections of objects that have been defined in the Weaviate schema.

The Class must be the name of a data object collection, and the properties a list of properties to be retrieved.

The schema contains the JeopardyQuestion class, with properties: question, answer and points.

So, a query retrieving objects from the Question class could specify any of its properties such as question, answer, and points.

Exercise

Try out the above query again, with these changes.

  • Can you get the points property as well?
  • What happens if you don't specify any properties?
Can I search multiple classes at once?

No. You can only search one class at a time.


This is because each class constitutes a single vector space. If you want to search multiple collections of objects, you will have to perform multiple searches, or consider putting them into one class and using a filter to distinguish between them as required.


We will consider this topic in more detail in a later unit, including what it means for each class to constitute a distinct vector space, and how to think about building a schema in Weaviate.

Get with additional properties

You can retrieve additional properties that are not defined in the schema. These properties may be inherent to the object, or relate to the query performed.

Example

In this example, we've built on the previous example to add the .with_additional method.

response = client.query.get(
"JeopardyQuestion",
["question", "answer"]
).with_limit(2).with_near_text(
{"concepts": "Intergalactic travel"}
).with_additional(
["distance", "id"]
).do()

print(json.dumps(response, indent=2))

Again, consider what the response might look like. What would have changed in the response?

Now, try it out yourself. The query should return something like this:

See the JSON response
{
"data": {
"Get": {
"JeopardyQuestion": [
{
"_additional": {
"distance": 0.1791926,
"id": "b1645a32-0c22-5814-8f35-58f142eadf7e"
},
"answer": "escaping the Earth's gravity (and go off into outer space, on your way to the moon, for instance)",
"question": "It takes approximately 24,840 MPH to achieve this"
},
{
"_additional": {
"distance": 0.18123823,
"id": "ef263438-b152-5540-97f7-99f4076bd124"
},
"answer": "the Milky Way",
"question": "This is the name of our own galaxy"
}
]
}
}
}

Response object from Weaviate

In this response, you see that the _additional field has been added to the response object, with distance and id nested under it.

Explain this query

Here, the distance and id properties contain the object's distance to the query and its unique ID respectively.

_additonal properties

As the name suggests, _additional properties are separate to those explicitly created as class properties.

The above query included the distance property in the _additional field. This represents the degree of similarity (or, in this case, the dissimilarity) between the input vector and the vector of the object.

Vectors available through _additional

The object vector can also be retrieved through an _additional field, by specifying vector in its sub-field.

Note that the returned vector in many cases will be a very long list of numbers.

Exercise

Try out the above query again, with these changes.

  • Can you get the vector property as well?
  • Earlier, providing an empty list as the main properties under the .get() method will have caused an error. What happens if you try it again, now that you are requesting additional properties?

Review

Review exercise

See in-line exercises.

Key takeaways

  • The 'Get' function can be used to retrieve objects in Weaviate.
  • The 'Get' function syntax requires specifying the class, properties, and any additional arguments related to the search criteria.
  • Weaviate responses are in JSON format.
  • Class and properties fields must correspond to the objects and properties defined in the Weaviate schema.
  • 'Get' queries can retrieve additional properties not defined in the schema, which can be inherent to the object or related to the query performed.
  • '_additional' properties can include distance, id, and vector information, providing more context and information about the retrieved objects.

Questions and feedback

If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know on our forum. For example, you can: