Hive Data Definition Language
HiveQL DDL statements are documented here, including:
- CREATE DATABASE/SCHEMA, TABLE, VIEW, FUNCTION, INDEX
- DROP DATABASE/SCHEMA, TABLE, VIEW, INDEX
- TRUNCATE TABLE
- ALTER DATABASE/SCHEMA, TABLE, VIEW
- MSCK REPAIR TABLE (or ALTER TABLE RECOVER PARTITIONS)
- SHOW DATABASES/SCHEMAS, TABLES, TBLPROPERTIES, PARTITIONS, FUNCTIONS, INDEX[ES], COLUMNS, CREATE TABLE
- DESCRIBE DATABASE, table_name, view_name
PARTITION statements are usually options of TABLE statements, except for SHOW PARTITIONS.
The uses of SCHEMA and DATABASE are interchangeable – they mean the same thing.
The use of SCHEMA and DATABASE are interchangeable – they mean the same thing.
No other metadata about a database can be changed.
CREATE TABLE creates a table with the given name. An error is thrown if a table or view with the same name already exists. You can use IF NOT EXISTS to skip the error.
- Table names and column names are case insensitive but SerDe and property names are case sensitive.
- In Hive 0.12 and earlier, only alphanumeric and underscore characters are allowed in table and column names.
- In Hive 0.13 and later, column names can contain any Unicode character (see HIVE-6013). Any column name that is specified within backticks (
`) is treated literally. Within a backtick string, use double backticks (
``) to represent a backtick character.
- To revert to pre-0.13.0 behavior and restrict column names to alphanumeric and underscore characters, set the configuration property
none. In this configuration, backticked names are interpreted as regular expressions. For details, see Supporting Quoted Identifiers in Column Names.
- Table and column comments are string literals (single-quoted).
- The TBLPROPERTIES clause allows you to tag the table definition with your own metadata key/value pairs.
See Alter Table below for more information about table comments, table properties, and SerDe properties.
Row Format, Storage Format, and SerDe
You can create tables with custom SerDe or using native SerDe. A native SerDe is used if ROW FORMAT is not specified or ROW FORMAT DELIMITED is specified. You can use the DELIMITED clause to read delimited files, you can enable escaping for the delimiter characters by using 'ESCAPED BY' clause (e.g. ESCAPED BY '\') (escaping is needed if you want to work with data that can contain these delimiter chars). A custom NULL format can also be specified using 'NULL DEFINED AS' clause (default is '\N'). Use the SERDE clause to create a table with custom SerDe. For more information on SerDes see:
You must specify a list of columns for tables that use a native SerDe. Refer to the Types part of the User Guide for the allowable column types. A list of columns for tables that use a custom SerDe may be specified but Hive will query the SerDe to determine the actual list of columns for this table.
Use STORED AS TEXTFILE if the data needs to be stored as plain text files.
Use STORED AS SEQUENCEFILE if the data needs to be compressed. Please read more about CompressedStorage if you are planning to keep data compressed in your Hive tables.
Use INPUTFORMAT and OUTPUTFORMAT in the file_format to specify the name of a corresponding InputFormat and OutputFormat class as a string literal, for example, 'org.apache.hadoop.hive.contrib.fileformat.base64.Base64TextInputFormat'. For LZO compression, the values to use are 'INPUTFORMAT "com.hadoop.mapred.DeprecatedLzoTextInputFormat" OUTPUTFORMAT "org.apache.hadoop.hive.ql.io.HiveIgnoreKeyTextOutputFormat"' (see LZO Compression).
Use STORED AS PARQUET (without ROW FORMAT SERDE) for the Parquet columnar storage format in Hive 0.13.0 and later; or use ROW FORMAT SERDE ... STORED AS INPUTFORMAT ... OUTPUTFORMAT ... in Hive 0.10, 0.11, or 0.12.
Partitioned tables can be created using the PARTITIONED BY clause. A table can have one or more partition columns and a separate data directory is created for each distinct value combination in the partition columns. Further, tables or partitions can be bucketed using CLUSTERED BY columns, and data can be sorted within that bucket via SORT BY columns. This can improve performance on certain kinds of queries.
If, when creating a partitioned table, you get this error: "FAILED: Error in semantic analysis: Column repeated in partitioning columns," it means you are trying to include the partitioned column in the data of the table itself. You probably really do have the column defined. However, the partition you create makes a pseudocolumn on which you can query, so you must rename your table column to something else (that users should not query on!).
Here is an example. Suppose your original table was this:
Now you want to partition on date. Your Hive definition would be this:
Now your users will still query on "where date = '...'" but the 2nd column will be the original values.
Here's an example statement to create a table:
The statement above creates the page_view table with viewTime, userid, page_url, referrer_url, and ip columns (including comments). The table is also partitioned and data is stored in sequence files. The data format in the files is assumed to be field-delimited by ctrl-A and row-delimited by newline.
The above statement lets you create the same table as the previous table.
In the previous examples the data is stored in <hive.metastore.warehouse.dir>/page_view. Specify a value for the key hive.metastore.warehouse.dir in Hive config file hive-site.xml.
The EXTERNAL keyword lets you create a table and provide a LOCATION so that Hive does not use a default location for this table. This comes in handy if you already have data generated. When dropping an EXTERNAL table, data in the table is NOT deleted from the file system.
An EXTERNAL table points to any HDFS location for its storage, rather than being stored in a folder specified by the configuration property
You can use the above statement to create a page_view table which points to any hdfs location for its storage. But you still have to make sure that the data is delimited as specified in the CREATE statement above.
Create Table As Select (CTAS)
Tables can also be created and populated by the results of a query in one create-table-as-select (CTAS) statement. The table created by CTAS is atomic, meaning that the table is not seen by other users until all the query results are populated. So other users will either see the table with the complete results of the query or will not see the table at all.
There are two parts in CTAS, the SELECT part can be any SELECT statement supported by HiveQL. The CREATE part of the CTAS takes the resulting schema from the SELECT part and creates the target table with other table properties such as the SerDe and storage format.
CTAS has two restrictions:
- The target table cannot be a partitioned table.
- The target table cannot be an external table.
The above CTAS statement creates the target table new_key_value_store with the schema (new_key DOUBLE, key_value_pair STRING) derived from the results of the SELECT statement. If the SELECT statement does not specify column aliases, the column names will be automatically assigned to _col0, _col1, and _col2 etc. In addition, the new target table is created using a specific SerDe and a storage format independent of the source tables in the SELECT statement.
Being able to select data from one table to another is one of the most powerful features of Hive. Hive handles the conversion of the data from the source format to the destination format as the query is being executed.
Create Table Like
The LIKE form of CREATE TABLE allows you to copy an existing table definition exactly (without copying its data). In contrast to CTAS, the statement below creates a new empty_key_value_store table whose definition exactly matches the existing key_value_store in all particulars other than table name. The new table contains no rows.
Before Hive 0.8.0, CREATE TABLE LIKE view_name would make a copy of the view. In Hive 0.8.0 and later releases, CREATE TABLE LIKE view_name creates a table by adopting the schema of view_name (fields and partition columns) using defaults for SerDe and file formats.
Bucketed Sorted Tables
In the example above, the page_view table is bucketed (clustered by) userid and within each bucket the data is sorted in increasing order of viewTime. Such an organization allows the user to do efficient sampling on the clustered column - in this case userid. The sorting property allows internal operators to take advantage of the better-known data structure while evaluating queries, also increasing efficiency. MAP KEYS and COLLECTION ITEMS keywords can be used if any of the columns are lists or maps.
The CLUSTERED BY and SORTED BY creation commands do not affect how data is inserted into a table – only how it is read. This means that users must be careful to insert data correctly by specifying the number of reducers to be equal to the number of buckets, and using CLUSTER BY and SORT BY commands in their query.
There is also an example of creating and populating bucketed tables.
This feature can be used to improve performance for tables where one or more columns have skewed values. By specifying the values that appear very often (heavy skew) Hive will split those out into separate files automatically and take this fact into account during queries so that it can skip (or include) whole files if possible.
This can be specified on a per-table level during table creation.
This is an example where we have one column with three skewed values:
And here is an example of a table with two skewed columns:
DROP TABLE removes metadata and data for this table. The data is actually moved to the .Trash/Current directory if Trash is configured. The metadata is completely lost.
When dropping an EXTERNAL table, data in the table will NOT be deleted from the file system.
When dropping a table referenced by views, no warning is given (the views are left dangling as invalid and must be dropped or recreated by the user).
See the next section on ALTER TABLE for how to drop partitions.
Otherwise, the table information is removed from the metastore and the raw data is removed as if by 'hadoop dfs -rm'. In many cases, this results in the table data being moved into the user's .Trash folder in their home directory; users who mistakenly DROP TABLEs mistakenly may thus be able to recover their lost data by re-creating a table with the same schema, re-creating any necessary partitions, and then moving the data back into place manually using Hadoop. This solution is subject to change over time or across installations as it relies on the underlying implementation; users are strongly encouraged not to drop tables capriciously.
In Hive 0.7.0 or later, DROP returns an error if the table doesn't exist, unless IF EXISTS is specified or the configuration variable hive.exec.drop.ignorenonexistent is set to true.
Removes all rows from a table or partition(s). Currently target table should be native/managed table or exception will be thrown. User can specify partial partition_spec for truncating multiple partitions at once and omitting partition_spec will truncate all partitions in the table.
- Alter Table
- Alter Partition
- Alter Either Table or Partition
- Alter Column
Alter table statements enable you to change the structure of an existing table. You can add columns/partitions, change SerDe, add table and SerDe properties, or rename the table itself. Similarly, alter table partition statements allow you change the properties of a specific partition in the named table.
This statement lets you change the name of a table to a different name.
As of version 0.6, a rename on a managed table moves its HDFS location as well. (Older Hive versions just renamed the table in the metastore without moving the HDFS location.)
Alter Table Properties
You can use this statement to add your own metadata to the tables. Currently last_modified_user, last_modified_time properties are automatically added and managed by Hive. Users can add their own properties to this list. You can do DESCRIBE EXTENDED TABLE to get this information.
Alter Table Comment
To change the comment of a table you have to change the
comment property of the
Add SerDe Properties
This statement enables you to add user defined metadata to table SerDe object. The SerDe properties are passed to the table's SerDe when it is being initialized by Hive to serialize and deserialize data. So users can store any information required for their custom SerDe here. Refer to SerDe section of Users Guide for more information.
Example, note that both property_name and property_value must be quoted:
Alter Table Storage Properties
These statements change the table's physical storage properties.
NOTE: These commands will only modify Hive's metadata, and will NOT reorganize or reformat existing data. Users should make sure the actual data layout conforms with the metadata definition.
Additional Alter Table Statements
See Alter Either Table or Partition below for more DDL statements that alter tables.
You can use ALTER TABLE ADD PARTITION to add partitions to a table. Partition values should be quoted only if they are strings. The location must be a directory inside of which data files reside.
Note that it is proper syntax to have multiple partition_spec in a single ALTER TABLE, but if you do this in version 0.7, your partitioning scheme will fail. That is, every query specifying a partition will always use only the first partition. Instead, you should use the following form if you want to add many partitions:
Specifically, the following example (which was the default example before) will FAIL silently and without error, and all queries will go only to dt='2008-08-08' partition, no matter which partition you specify.
An error is thrown if the partition_spec for the table already exists. You can use IF NOT EXISTS to skip the error.
Partitions can be added to a table dynamically, using a Hive INSERT statement (or a Pig STORE statement). See these documents for details and examples:
- Design Document for Dynamic Partitions
- Tutorial: Dynamic-Partition Insert
- Hive DML: Dynamic Partition Inserts
- HCatalog Dynamic Partitioning
This statement lets you change the value of a partition column.
This statement lets you move the data in a partition from a table to another table that has the same schema but does not already have that partition. For details, see Exchange Partition and HIVE-4095.
Recover Partitions (MSCK REPAIR TABLE)
Hive stores a list of partitions for each table in its metastore. If, however, new partitions are directly added to HDFS (say by using
hadoop fs -put command), the metastore (and hence Hive) will not be aware of these partitions unless the user runs
ALTER TABLE table_name ADD PARTITION commands on each of the newly added partitions.
However, users can run
which will add metadata about partitions to the Hive metastore for partitions for which such metadata doesn't already exist. In other words, it will add any partitions that exist on HDFS but not in metastore to the metastore. See HIVE-874 for more details.
The equivalent command on Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR)'s version of Hive is
You can use ALTER TABLE DROP PARTITION to drop a partition for a table. This removes the data and metadata for this partition.
For tables that are protected by NO DROP CASCADE, you can use the predicate IGNORE PROTECTION to drop a specified partition or set of partitions (for example, when splitting a table between two Hadoop clusters).
The above command will drop that partition regardless of protection stats.
In Hive 0.7.0 or later, DROP returns an error if the partition doesn't exist, unless IF EXISTS is specified or the configuration variable hive.exec.drop.ignorenonexistent is set to true.
Archiving is a feature to moves a partition's files into a Hadoop Archive (HAR). Note that only the file count will be reduced; HAR does not provide any compression. See LanguageManual Archiving for more information
Alter Either Table or Partition
Alter Table/Partition File Format
This statement changes the table's (or partition's) file format. For available file_format options, see the section above on CREATE TABLE.
Alter Table/Partition Location
Alter Table/Partition Touch
TOUCH reads the metadata, and writes it back. This has the effect of causing the pre/post execute hooks to fire. An example use case is if you have a hook that logs all the tables/partitions that were modified, along with an external script that alters the files on HDFS directly. Since the script modifies files outside of hive, the modification wouldn't be logged by the hook. The external script could call TOUCH to fire the hook and mark the said table or partition as modified.
Also, it may be useful later if we incorporate reliable last modified times. Then touch would update that time as well.
Note that TOUCH doesn't create a table or partition if it doesn't already exist. (See Create Table.)
Alter Table/Partition Protections
Protection on data can be set at either the table or partition level. Enabling NO_DROP prevents a table or partition from being dropped. Enabling OFFLINE prevents the data in a table or partition from being queried, but the metadata can still be accessed. Note, if any partition in a table has NO_DROP enabled, the table cannot be dropped either.
Rules for Column Names
Column names are case insensitive.
Change Column Name/Type/Position/Comment
This command will allow users to change a column's name, data type, comment, or position, or an arbitrary combination of them.
NOTE: The column change command will only modify Hive's metadata, and will NOT touch data. Users should make sure the actual data layout conforms with the metadata definition.
ADD COLUMNS lets you add new columns to the end of the existing columns but before the partition columns.
REPLACE COLUMNS removes all existing columns and adds the new set of columns. This can be done only for tables with native SerDe (DynamicSerDe, MetadataTypedColumnsetSerDe, LazySimpleSerDe and ColumnarSerDe). Refer to SerDe section of User Guide for more information. REPLACE COLUMNS can also be used to drop columns. For example:
"ALTER TABLE test_change REPLACE COLUMNS (a int, b int);" will remove column `c' from test_change's schema. Note that this does not delete underlying data, it just changes the schema.
CREATE VIEW creates a view with the given name. An error is thrown if a table or view with the same name already exists. You can use IF NOT EXISTS to skip the error.
If no column names are supplied, the names of the view's columns will be derived automatically from the defining SELECT expression. (If the SELECT contains unaliased scalar expressions such as x+y, the resulting view column names will be generated in the form _C0, _C1, etc.) When renaming columns, column comments can also optionally be supplied. (Comments are not automatically inherited from underlying columns.)
A CREATE VIEW statement will fail if the view's defining SELECT expression is invalid.
Note that a view is a purely logical object with no associated storage. (No support for materialized views is currently available in Hive.) When a query references a view, the view's definition is evaluated in order to produce a set of rows for further processing by the query. (This is a conceptual description; in fact, as part of query optimization, Hive may combine the view's definition with the query's, e.g. pushing filters from the query down into the view.)
A view's schema is frozen at the time the view is created; subsequent changes to underlying tables (e.g. adding a column) will not be reflected in the view's schema. If an underlying table is dropped or changed in an incompatible fashion, subsequent attempts to query the invalid view will fail.
Views are read-only and may not be used as the target of LOAD/INSERT/ALTER. For changing metadata, see ALTER VIEW.
A view may contain ORDER BY and LIMIT clauses. If a referencing query also contains these clauses, the query-level clauses are evaluated after the view clauses (and after any other operations in the query). For example, if a view specifies LIMIT 5, and a referencing query is executed as (select * from v LIMIT 10), then at most 5 rows will be returned.
Example of view creation:
Use SHOW CREATE TABLE to display the CREATE VIEW statement that created a view.
DROP VIEW removes metadata for the specified view. (It is illegal to use DROP TABLE on a view.)
When dropping a view referenced by other views, no warning is given (the dependent views are left dangling as invalid and must be dropped or recreated by the user).
In Hive 0.7.0 or later, DROP returns an error if the view doesn't exist, unless IF EXISTS is specified or the configuration variable hive.exec.drop.ignorenonexistent is set to true.
Alter View Properties
As with ALTER TABLE, you can use this statement to add your own metadata to a view.
Alter View As Select
Alter View As Select changes the definition of a view, which must exist. The syntax is similar to that for CREATE VIEW and the effect is the same as for CREATE OR REPLACE VIEW.
Note: The view must already exist, and if the view has partitions, it could not be replaced by Alter View As Select.
This section provides a brief introduction to Hive indexes, which are documented more fully here:
In Hive 0.12.0 and earlier releases, the index name is case-sensitive for CREATE INDEX and DROP INDEX statements. However, ALTER INDEX requires an index name that was created with lowercase letters (see HIVE-2752). This bug will be fixed in a future release by making index names case-insensitive for all HiveQL statements; in the meantime, the best practice is to use lowercase letters for all index names.
CREATE INDEX creates an index on a table using the given list of columns as keys. See CREATE INDEX in the Indexes design document.
DROP INDEX drops the index, as well as deleting the index table.
In Hive 0.7.0 or later, DROP returns an error if the index doesn't exist, unless IF EXISTS is specified or the configuration variable hive.exec.drop.ignorenonexistent is set to true.
ALTER INDEX ... REBUILD builds an index that was created using the WITH DEFERRED REBUILD clause, or rebuilds a previously built index. If PARTITION is specified, only that partition is rebuilt.
Create Temporary Function
This statement lets you create a function that is implemented by the class_name. You can use this function in Hive queries as long as the session lasts. You can use any class that is in the class path of Hive. You can add jars to class path by executing 'ADD JAR' statements. Please refer to the CLI section Hive Interactive Shell Commands, including Hive Resources, for more information on how to add/delete files from the Hive classpath. Using this, you can register User Defined Functions (UDF's).
Also see Hive Plugins for general information about creating custom UDFs.
Drop Temporary Function
You can unregister a UDF as follows:
In Hive 0.7.0 or later, DROP returns an error if the function doesn't exist, unless IF EXISTS is specified or the configuration variable hive.exec.drop.ignorenonexistent is set to true.
In Hive 0.13 or later, functions can be registered to the metastore, so they can be referenced in a query without having to create a temporary function each session.
This statement lets you create a function that is implemented by the class_name. Jars, files, or archives which need to be added to the environment can be specified with the USING clause; when the function is referenced for the first time by a Hive session, these resources will be added to the environment as if ADD JAR/FILE had been issued. If Hive is not in local mode, then the resource location must be a non-local URI such as an HDFS location.
The function will be added to the database specified, or to the current database at the time that the function was created. The function can be referenced by fully qualifying the function name (db_name.funciton_name), or can be referenced without qualification if the function is in the current database.
DROP returns an error if the function doesn't exist, unless IF EXISTS is specified or the configuration variable hive.exec.drop.ignorenonexistent is set to true.
Create/Drop/Grant/Revoke Roles and Privileges
The Authorization document has information about these DDL statements:
- CREATE ROLE
- GRANT ROLE
- REVOKE ROLE
- GRANT privilege_type
- REVOKE privilege_type
- DROP ROLE
- SHOW ROLE GRANT
- SHOW GRANT
These statements provide a way to query the Hive metastore for existing data and metadata accessible to this Hive system.
SHOW DATABASES lists all of the databases defined in the metastore. The optional LIKE clause allows the list of databases to be filtered using a regular expression. Wildcards in the regular expression can only be '*' for any character(s) or '|' for a choice. Examples are 'employees', 'emp*', 'emp*|*ees', all of which will match the database named 'employees'.
SHOW TABLES lists all the base tables and views in the current database (or the one explicitly named using the
IN clause) with names matching the optional regular expression. Wildcards in the regular expression can only be '*' for any character(s) or '|' for a choice. Examples are 'page_view', 'page_v*', '*view|page*', all which will match the 'page_view' table. Matching tables are listed in alphabetical order. It is not an error if there are no matching tables found in metastore. If no regular expression is given then all tables in the selected database are listed.
SHOW PARTITIONS lists all the existing partitions for a given base table. Partitions are listed in alphabetical order.
It is also possible to specify parts of a partition specification to filter the resulting list. For example:
Show Table/Partition Extended
SHOW TABLE EXTENDED will list information for all tables matching the given regular expression. Users cannot use regular expression for table name if a partition specification is present. This command's output includes basic table information and file system information like totalNumberFiles, totalFileSize, maxFileSize, minFileSize,lastAccessTime, and lastUpdateTime. If partition is present, it will output the given partition's file system information instead of table's file system information.
Show Table Properties
The first form lists all of the table properties for the table in question one per row separated by tabs. The second form of the command prints only the value for the property that's being asked for.
Show Create Table
SHOW CREATE TABLE shows the CREATE TABLE statement that creates a given table, or the CREATE VIEW statement that creates a given view.
SHOW INDEXES shows all of the indexes on a certain column, as well as information about them: index name, table name, names of the columns used as keys, index table name, index type, and comment. If the FORMATTED keyword is used, then column titles are printed for each column.
SHOW COLUMNS shows all the columns in a table including partition columns.
SHOW FUNCTIONS lists all the user defined and builtin functions matching the regular expression. To get all functions use ".*"
Show Granted Roles and Privileges
The Authorization document has information about these SHOW statements:
DESCRIBE DATABASE shows the name of the database, its comment (if one has been set), and its root location on the filesystem.
DESCRIBE shows the list of columns including partition columns for the given table. If the EXTENDED keyword is specified then it will show all the metadata for the table in Thrift serialized form. This is generally only useful for debugging and not for general use. If the FORMATTED keyword is specified, then it will show the metadata in a tabular format.
Note: DESCRIBE EXTENDED shows the number of rows only if statistics were gathered when the data was loaded (see Newly Created Tables), and if the Hive CLI is used instead of a Thrift client or Beeline. HIVE-6285 will address this issue. Although ANALYZE TABLE gathers statistics after the data has been loaded (see Existing Tables), it does not currently provide information about the number of rows.
If a table has a complex column then you can examine the attributes of this column by specifying table_name.complex_col_name (and '$elem$' for array element, '$key$' for map key, and '$value$' for map value). You can specify this recursively to explore the complex column type.
For a view, DESCRIBE EXTENDED or FORMATTED can be used to retrieve the view's definition. Two relevant attributes are provided: both the original view definition as specified by the user, and an expanded definition used internally by Hive.
This statement lists metadata for a given partition. The output is similar to that of DESCRIBE table_name. Presently, the column information associated with a particular partition is not used while preparing plans.
HCatalog and WebHCat DDL
For information about DDL in HCatalog and WebHCat, see: