Comments - JSON_NORMALIZE
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The use of `VIRTUAL` in the example means that you are correct. If you use `PERSISTENT` (or equivalently, `STORED`) instead, then the `jnorm` column will actually be stored in the db, but so too will the `val` column, doubling the storage used. Currently, having `BEFORE INSERT` and `BEFORE UPDATE` triggers with `SET NEW.val = JSON_NORMALIZE(NEW.val)` is the only way to do what we want.
Thanks for confirming, I added an issue to Jira for being able to do this without a trigger. Chime in if you'd use it https://jira.mariadb.org/browse/MDEV-27651