Getting Started With (APL)

In this tutorial, you'll explore how to use APL in Axiom Data Explorer to run queries using Tabular Operators, Scalar Functions, and Aggregation Functions.


Overview of APL

Every query, starts with a Dataset embedded in parenthesis, with the starting expression being a tabular operator statement. The query's tabular expression statements produce the results of the query.

Before you can start writing tabular operators or any function, the pipe (|) delimeter starts the query statements as they flow from one function to another.

Tutorials Page

Commonly used Operators

To run queries on each function or operator in this tutorial, click the Run in Playground button.

summarize: Produces a table that aggregates the content of the dataset.

The following query returns the count of events by time

| summarize count() by bin_auto(_time)

You can use the aggregation functions with the summarize operator to produce different columns.

| summarize max_if = maxif(push_id, true) by size
| top 10 by max_if desc
| summarize cities = dcount(['']) by server_datacenter

The result of a summarize operation has:

  • A row for every combination of by values

  • Each column named in by

  • A column for each expression

where: Filters the content of the dataset that meets a condition when executed.

The following query filters the data by method and content_type:

| where method == "GET" and content_type == "application/octet-stream"
| project method , content_type

count: Returns the number of events from the input dataset.

| count
| summarize count() by bin_auto(_time)

project: Selects a subset of columns.

| project content_type, [''], method, resp_body_size_bytes, resp_header_size_bytes

take: Returns up to the specified number of rows.

| take 100

The limit operator is an alias to the take operator.

| limit 10

Scalar Functions


The following query extracts the JSON elements from an array:

| project parsed_json = parse_json( "config_jsonified_metrics")

replace_string(): Replaces all string matches with another string.

| extend replaced_string = replace_string( "creator", "method", "machala" )
| project replaced_string

split(): Splits a given string according to a given delimiter and returns a string array.

| project split_str = split("method_content_metrics", "_")
| take 20

strcat_delim(): Concatenates a string array into a string with a given delimiter.

| project strcat = strcat_delim(":", [''], resp_body_size_bytes)

indexof(): Reports the zero-based index of the first occurrence of a specified string within the input string.

| extend based_index =  indexof( [''], content_type, 45, 60, resp_body_size_bytes ), specified_time = bin(resp_header_size_bytes, 30)


| project remove_cutset = trim_start_regex("[^a-zA-Z]", content_type )

Array functions

array_concat(): Concatenates a number of dynamic arrays to a single array.

| extend concatenate = array_concat( dynamic([5,4,3,87,45,2,3,45]))
| project concatenate

array_sum(): Calculates the sum of elements in a dynamic array.

| extend summary_array=dynamic([1,2,3,4])
| project summary_array=array_sum(summary_array)

Conversion functions

todatetime(): Converts input to datetime scalar.

| extend dated_time = todatetime("2026-08-16")

dynamic_to_json(): Converts a scalar value of type dynamic to a canonical string representation.

| extend dynamic_string = dynamic_to_json(dynamic([10,20,30,40 ]))

String Operators

We support various query string, logical and numerical operators.

In the query below, we use the contains operator, to find the strings that contain the string -bot and [bot]:

| extend bot = actor contains "-bot" or actor contains "[bot]"
| where bot == true
| summarize count() by bin_auto(_time), actor
| take 20

| extend user_status = status contains "200" , agent_flow = user_agent contains "(Windows NT 6.4; AppleWebKit/537.36 Chrome/41.0.2225.0 Safari/537.36"
| where user_status == true
| summarize count() by bin_auto(_time), status
| take 15

Hash Functions

  • hash_md5(): Returns an MD5 hash value for the input value.

  • hash_sha256(): Returns a sha256 hash value for the input value.

  • hash_sha1(): Returns a sha1 hash value for the input value.

| extend sha_256 = hash_md5( "resp_header_size_bytes" ), sha_1 = hash_sha1( content_type), md5 = hash_md5( method), sha512 = hash_sha512( "resp_header_size_bytes" )
| project sha_256, sha_1, md5, sha512

Rounding Functions

  • floor(): Calculates the largest integer less than, or equal to, the specified numeric expression.

  • ceiling(): Calculates the smallest integer greater than, or equal to, the specified numeric expression.

  • bin(): Rounds values down to an integer multiple of a given bin size.

| extend largest_integer_less = floor( resp_header_size_bytes ), smallest_integer_greater = ceiling( req_duration_ms ), integer_multiple = bin( resp_body_size_bytes, 5 )
| project largest_integer_less, smallest_integer_greater, integer_multiple

Advanced Aggregations

In this section, you will learn how to run queries using different functions and operators.

| extend prospect = [''] contains "Okayama" or uri contains "/api/v1/messages/back"
| extend possibility = server_datacenter contains "GRU" or status contains "301"
| summarize count(), topk( user_agent, 6 ) by bin(_time, 10d), ['']
| take 4

| extend superman = text contains "superman" or title contains "superman"
| extend batman = text contains "batman" or title contains "batman"
| extend hero = case(
    superman and batman, "both",
    superman, "superman   ", // spaces change the color
    batman, "batman       ",
| where (superman or batman) and not (batman and superman)
| summarize count(), topk(type, 3) by bin(_time, 30d), hero
| take 10

| summarize flow = dcount( content_type) by ['']
| take 50

| where ['']  == "United States" or ['id'] == 'b2b1f597-0385-4fed-a911-140facb757ef'
| extend systematic_view = ceiling( resp_header_size_bytes )
| extend resp_avg = cos( resp_body_size_bytes )
| project-away systematic_view
| project-keep resp_avg
| take 5

| extend tangent = tan( req_duration_ms ), cosine = cos( resp_header_size_bytes ), absolute_input = abs( req_duration_ms ), sine = sin( resp_header_size_bytes ), power_factor = pow( req_duration_ms, 4)
| extend angle_pi = degrees( resp_body_size_bytes ), pie = pi()
| project tangent, cosine, absolute_input, angle_pi, pie, sine, power_factor

| where actor !endswith "[bot]"
| where repo startswith "kubernetes/"
| where action == "opened"
| summarize count() by bin_auto(_time)

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