STRING Data Type
A data type used in
CREATE TABLE and
ALTER TABLE statements.
In the column definition of a
CREATE TABLE statement:
Length: Maximum of 32,767 bytes. Do not use any length constraint when declaring
STRING columns, as you might be familiar with from
CHAR, or similar column types from relational database systems. If you do
need to manipulate string values with precise or maximum lengths, in Impala 2.0 and higher you can declare
CHAR(length), but for best performance use
Character sets: For full support in all Impala subsystems, restrict string values to the ASCII character set. Although some UTF-8 character data can be stored in Impala and retrieved through queries, UTF-8 strings containing non-ASCII characters are not guaranteed to work properly in combination with many SQL aspects, including but not limited to:
- String manipulation functions.
- Comparison operators.
- Values in partition key columns.
For any national language aspects such as collation order or interpreting extended ASCII variants such as ISO-8859-1 or ISO-8859-2 encodings, Impala does not include such metadata with the table definition. If you need to sort, manipulate, or display data depending on those national language characteristics of string data, use logic on the application side.
Impala does not automatically convert
STRINGto any numeric type. Impala does automatically convert
TIMESTAMPif the value matches one of the accepted
TIMESTAMPformats; see TIMESTAMP Data Type for details.
You can use
You cannot directly cast a
BOOLEAN. You can use a
CASEexpression to evaluate string values such as
'true', and so on and return Boolean
falsevalues as appropriate.
You can cast a
Although it might be convenient to use
STRING columns for partition keys, even when those
columns contain numbers, for performance and scalability it is much better to use numeric columns as
partition keys whenever practical. Although the underlying HDFS directory name might be the same in either
case, the in-memory storage for the partition key columns is more compact, and computations are faster, if
partition key columns such as
DAY and so on
are declared as
SMALLINT, and so on.
Zero-length strings: For purposes of clauses such as
BY, Impala considers zero-length strings (
NULL, and space
to all be different values.
Text table considerations: Values of this type are potentially larger in text tables than in tables using Parquet or other binary formats.
The Avro specification allows string values up to 2**64 bytes in length.
Impala queries for Avro tables use 32-bit integers to hold string lengths.
In Impala 2.5 and higher, Impala truncates
VARCHAR values in Avro tables to (2**31)-1 bytes.
If a query encounters a
STRING value longer than (2**31)-1
bytes in an Avro table, the query fails. In earlier releases,
encountering such long values in an Avro table could cause a crash.
Column statistics considerations: Because the values of this type have variable size, none of the
column statistics fields are filled in until you run the
COMPUTE STATS statement.
The following examples demonstrate double-quoted and single-quoted string literals, and required escaping for quotation marks within string literals:
SELECT 'I am a single-quoted string'; SELECT "I am a double-quoted string"; SELECT 'I\'m a single-quoted string with an apostrophe'; SELECT "I\'m a double-quoted string with an apostrophe"; SELECT 'I am a "short" single-quoted string containing quotes'; SELECT "I am a \"short\" double-quoted string containing quotes";
The following examples demonstrate calls to string manipulation functions to concatenate strings, convert numbers to strings, or pull out substrings:
SELECT CONCAT("Once upon a time, there were ", CAST(3 AS STRING), ' little pigs.'); SELECT SUBSTR("hello world",7,5);
The following examples show how to perform operations on
STRING columns within a table:
CREATE TABLE t1 (s1 STRING, s2 STRING); INSERT INTO t1 VALUES ("hello", 'world'), (CAST(7 AS STRING), "wonders"); SELECT s1, s2, length(s1) FROM t1 WHERE s2 LIKE 'w%';