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Profile Query Language (PQL) overview

Profile Query Language (PQL) is an Experience Data Model (XDM) compliant query language which is designed to support the definition and execution of segmentation queries for Real-time Customer Profile data.
This guide provides a general overview of PQL, covering formatting guidelines and providing example PQL expressions.

PQL query formatting

PQL queries have the following signature:
({INPUT_PARAMETER_1}, {INPUT_PARAMETER_2}, ...) => {RESULT_TYPE}

The input parameter can be a simple primitive, such as a boolean or a string, or a more complex type, such as an object, array, or map.
There are three different ways to refer to input parameters within the body of a PQL expression:

Implicit reference to the first parameter

In the example below, since the first parameter is always in context, a property reference ( homeAddress ) can be made directly to it.
homeAddress.stateProvince = workAddress.stateProvince

Explicit reference to the first parameter

In the example below, $1 refers to the first parameter. As a result, $2 would refer to the second parameter, etc.
$1.homeAddress.stateProvince = $1.homeAddress.stateProvince

Usage of named variables, using the lambda notation

In the example below, Profile is a variable name, which can be chosen by the query author.
(Profile) => Profile.homeAddress.stateProvince = Profile.workAddress.stateProvince

PQL literals

PQL provides support for the following literal types:
Literal
Definition
Example
String
A data type comprised of characters surrounded by double quotes.
"pizza" , "jobs" , "antidisestablishmentarianism"
Boolean
A data type that is either true or false.
true , false
Integer
A data type representing a whole number. It can be positive, negative, or zero.
-201 , 0 , 412
Double
A data type representing any real number. It can be positive, negative, or zero.
-51.24 , 3.14 , 0.6942058
Date
A data type that can be used to create dates based on the year, month, and day as integer parameters. It is formatted as date(year, month, day)
date(2020, 3, 14)
Array
A data type that is comprised as a group of other literal values. It uses square brackets to group and commas to delimit between different values.
Note: You cannot directly access properties of items within an array. So, if you need to access a property within an array, the supported method is select X from array where X.item = ... .
PQL reserves the word xEvent to refer to an array of experience events linked to a profile.
[1, 4, 7] , ["US", "CA"]
Relative time references
Reserved words that can be used to form timestamp and time interval references.
  • now, today, yesterday, tomorrow
  • this, last, next
  • before, after, from
  • millisecond(s), second(s), minute(s), hour(s), day(s), week(s), month(s), year(s), decade(s), century/centuries, millennium/millennia
X.timestamp occurs before today , X.timestamp occurs last month , X.timestamp occurs <= 3 days before now

PQL functions

The following table outlines the different categories of supported PQL functions, including links to further documentation for more information.
Category
Definition
Boolean
Used to implement boolean algebra within PQL. More information about these functions can be found in the boolean functions document .
Comparison
Used to compare between different PQL elements. More information about these functions can be found in the comparison functions document .
Array, list, and set
Used to interact with arrays, lists, and sets. More information about these functions can be found in the array, list, and set functions document .
Map
Used to interact with maps. More information about these functions can be found in the map functions document .
String
Used to interact with strings. More information about these functions can be found in the string functions document .
Object
Used to interact with objects. More information about these functions can be found in the object functions document .
Arithmetic
Used to perform basic arithmetic on PQL elements. More information about these functions can be found in the arithmetic functions document
Aggregation
Used to combine results of an array into a singular result. More information about aggregation functions can be found in the aggregation functions document .
Date and time
Used in conjunction with date, time, and datetime objects. More information about these functions can be found in the date/time functions document .
Filter
Ued to filter data within arrays. More information about these functions can be found in the filter functions document .
Logical quantifiers
Used to assert conditions within an array. More information can be found in the logical quantifiers document .
Miscellaneous
Functions that do not fit in any of the above categories can be found in the miscellaneous functions document .

Next steps

Now that you've learned how to use Profile Query Language, you can use PQL when creating and modifying segments. For more information on segmentation, please read the segmentation overview .