Introduced in HIVE-5871, MultiDelimitSerDe allows user to specify multiple-character string as the field delimiter when creating a table.


Hive 0.14.0 and later.

Hive QL Syntax

You can use MultiDelimitSerDe in a create table statement like this:

 id string,
 hivearray array<binary>,
 hivemap map<string,int>) 
ROW FORMAT SERDE 'org.apache.hadoop.hive.serde2.MultiDelimitSerDe'                  
WITH SERDEPROPERTIES ("field.delim"="[,]","collection.delim"=":","mapkey.delim"="@");

where field.delim is the field delimiter, collection.delim and mapkey.delim is the delimiter for collection items and key value pairs, respectively. 

HIVE-20619 moved MultiDelimitSerDe to hive.serde2 in release 4.0.0, so user won't have to install hive-contrib JAR into the HiveServer2 auxiliary directory.


  • Among the delimiters, field.delim is mandatory and can be of multiple characters, while collection.delim and mapkey.delim is optional and only support single character.
  • Nested complex type is not supported, e.g. an Array<Array>.
  • To use MultiDelimitSerDe prior to Hive release 4.0.0, you have to add the hive-contrib jar to the class path, e.g. with the add jar command.


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