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Creating, Showing, Altering, and Dropping Tables

See Hive Data Definition Language for detailed information about creating, showing, altering, and dropping tables.

Creating Tables

An example statement that would create the page_view table mentioned above would be like:

Code Block
    CREATE TABLE page_view(viewTime INT, userid BIGINT,
                    page_url STRING, referrer_url STRING,
                    ip STRING COMMENT 'IP Address of the User')
    COMMENT 'This is the page view table'
    PARTITIONED BY(dt STRING, country STRING)
    STORED AS SEQUENCEFILE;

In this example, the columns of the table are specified with the corresponding types. Comments can be attached both at the column level as well as at the table level. Additionally, the partitioned by clause defines the partitioning columns which are different from the data columns and are actually not stored with the data. When specified in this way, the data in the files is assumed to be delimited with ASCII 001(ctrl-A) as the field delimiter and newline as the row delimiter.

The field delimiter can be parametrized if the data is not in the above format as illustrated in the following example:

Code Block
    CREATE TABLE page_view(viewTime INT, userid BIGINT,
                    page_url STRING, referrer_url STRING,
                    ip STRING COMMENT 'IP Address of the User')
    COMMENT 'This is the page view table'
    PARTITIONED BY(dt STRING, country STRING)
    ROW FORMAT DELIMITED
            FIELDS TERMINATED BY '1'
    STORED AS SEQUENCEFILE;

The row delimintor currently cannot be changed since it is not determined by Hive but Hadoop delimiters.

It is also a good idea to bucket the tables on certain columns so that efficient sampling queries can be executed against the data set. If bucketing is absent, random sampling can still be done on the table but it is not efficient as the query has to scan all the data. The following example illustrates the case of the page_view table that is bucketed on the userid column:

Code Block
    CREATE TABLE page_view(viewTime INT, userid BIGINT,
                    page_url STRING, referrer_url STRING,
                    ip STRING COMMENT 'IP Address of the User')
    COMMENT 'This is the page view table'
    PARTITIONED BY(dt STRING, country STRING)
    CLUSTERED BY(userid) SORTED BY(viewTime) INTO 32 BUCKETS
    ROW FORMAT DELIMITED
            FIELDS TERMINATED BY '1'
            COLLECTION ITEMS TERMINATED BY '2'
            MAP KEYS TERMINATED BY '3'
    STORED AS SEQUENCEFILE;

In the example above, the table is clustered by a hash function of userid into 32 buckets. 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 columnn this case userid. The sorting property allows internal operators to take advantage of the better-known data structure while evaluating queries with greater efficiency.

Code Block
    CREATE TABLE page_view(viewTime INT, userid BIGINT,
                    page_url STRING, referrer_url STRING,
                    friends ARRAY<BIGINT>, properties MAP<STRING, STRING>
                    ip STRING COMMENT 'IP Address of the User')
    COMMENT 'This is the page view table'
    PARTITIONED BY(dt STRING, country STRING)
    CLUSTERED BY(userid) SORTED BY(viewTime) INTO 32 BUCKETS
    ROW FORMAT DELIMITED
            FIELDS TERMINATED BY '1'
            COLLECTION ITEMS TERMINATED BY '2'
            MAP KEYS TERMINATED BY '3'
    STORED AS SEQUENCEFILE;

In this example, the columns that comprise of the table row are specified in a similar way as the definition of types. Comments can be attached both at the column level as well as at the table level. Additionally, the partitioned by clause defines the partitioning columns which are different from the data columns and are actually not stored with the data. The CLUSTERED BY clause specifies which column to use for bucketing as well as how many buckets to create. The delimited row format specifies how the rows are stored in the hive table. In the case of the delimited format, this specifies how the fields are terminated, how the items within collections (arrays or maps) are terminated, and how the map keys are terminated. STORED AS SEQUENCEFILE indicates that this data is stored in a binary format (using hadoop SequenceFiles) on hdfs. The values shown for the ROW FORMAT and STORED AS clauses in the above, example represent the system defaults.

Table names and column names are case insensitive.

Browsing Tables and Partitions

Code Block
    SHOW TABLES;

To list existing tables in the warehouse; there are many of these, likely more than you want to browse.

Code Block
    SHOW TABLES 'page.*';

To list tables with prefix 'page'. The pattern follows Java regular expression syntax (so the period is a wildcard).

Code Block
    SHOW PARTITIONS page_view;

To list partitions of a table. If the table is not a partitioned table then an error is thrown.

Code Block
    DESCRIBE page_view;

To list columns and column types of table.

Code Block
    DESCRIBE EXTENDED page_view;

To list columns and all other properties of table. This prints lot of information and that too not in a pretty format. Usually used for debugging.

Code Block
   DESCRIBE EXTENDED page_view PARTITION (ds='2008-08-08');

To list columns and all other properties of a partition. This also prints lot of information which is usually used for debugging.

Altering Tables

To rename existing table to a new name. If a table with new name already exists then an error is returned:

Code Block
    ALTER TABLE old_table_name RENAME TO new_table_name;

To rename the columns of an existing table. Be sure to use the same column types, and to include an entry for each preexisting column:

Code Block
    ALTER TABLE old_table_name REPLACE COLUMNS (col1 TYPE, ...);

To add columns to an existing table:

Code Block
    ALTER TABLE tab1 ADD COLUMNS (c1 INT COMMENT 'a new int column', c2 STRING DEFAULT 'def val');

Note that a change in the schema (such as the adding of the columns), preserves the schema for the old partitions of the table in case it is a partitioned table. All the queries that access these columns and run over the old partitions implicitly return a null value or the specified default values for these columns.

In the later versions, we can make the behavior of assuming certain values as opposed to throwing an error in case the column is not found in a particular partition configurable.

Dropping Tables and Partitions

Dropping tables is fairly trivial. A drop on the table would implicitly drop any indexes(this is a future feature) that would have been built on the table. The associated command is:

Code Block
    DROP TABLE pv_users;

To dropping a partition. Alter the table to drop the partition.

Code Block
    ALTER TABLE pv_users DROP PARTITION (ds='2008-08-08')
  • Note that any data for this table or partitions will be dropped and may not be recoverable. *

Loading Data

There are multiple ways to load data into Hive tables. The user can create an external table that points to a specified location within HDFS. In this particular usage, the user can copy a file into the specified location using the HDFS put or copy commands and create a table pointing to this location with all the relevant row format information. Once this is done, the user can transform the data and insert them into any other Hive table. For example, if the file /tmp/pv_2008-06-08.txt contains comma separated page views served on 2008-06-08, and this needs to be loaded into the page_view table in the appropriate partition, the following sequence of commands can achieve this:

Code Block
    CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE page_view_stg(viewTime INT, userid BIGINT,
                    page_url STRING, referrer_url STRING,
                    ip STRING COMMENT 'IP Address of the User',
                    country STRING COMMENT 'country of origination')
    COMMENT 'This is the staging page view table'
    ROW FORMAT DELIMITED FIELDS TERMINATED BY '44' LINES TERMINATED BY '12'
    STORED AS TEXTFILE
    LOCATION '/user/data/staging/page_view';

    hadoop dfs -put /tmp/pv_2008-06-08.txt /user/data/staging/page_view

    FROM page_view_stg pvs
    INSERT OVERWRITE TABLE page_view PARTITION(dt='2008-06-08', country='US')
    SELECT pvs.viewTime, pvs.userid, pvs.page_url, pvs.referrer_url, null, null, pvs.ip
    WHERE pvs.country = 'US';

* This code results in an error due to LINES TERMINATED BY limitation

FAILED: SemanticException 6:67 LINES TERMINATED BY only supports newline '\n' right now. Error encountered near token ''12''

See

Jira
serverASF JIRA
serverId5aa69414-a9e9-3523-82ec-879b028fb15b
keyHIVE-5999
Jira
serverASF JIRA
serverId5aa69414-a9e9-3523-82ec-879b028fb15b
keyHIVE-11996

 

In the example above, nulls are inserted for the array and map types in the destination tables but potentially these can also come from the external table if the proper row formats are specified.

This method is useful if there is already legacy data in HDFS on which the user wants to put some metadata so that the data can be queried and manipulated using Hive.

Additionally, the system also supports syntax that can load the data from a file in the local files system directly into a Hive table where the input data format is the same as the table format. If /tmp/pv_2008-06-08_us.txt already contains the data for US, then we do not need any additional filtering as shown in the previous example. The load in this case can be done using the following syntax:

Code Block
   LOAD DATA LOCAL INPATH /tmp/pv_2008-06-08_us.txt INTO TABLE page_view PARTITION(date='2008-06-08', country='US')

The path argument can take a directory (in which case all the files in the directory are loaded), a single file name, or a wildcard (in which case all the matching files are uploaded). If the argument is a directory, it cannot contain subdirectories. Similarly, the wildcard must match file names only.

In the case that the input file /tmp/pv_2008-06-08_us.txt is very large, the user may decide to do a parallel load of the data (using tools that are external to Hive). Once the file is in HDFS - the following syntax can be used to load the data into a Hive table:

Code Block
   LOAD DATA INPATH '/user/data/pv_2008-06-08_us.txt' INTO TABLE page_view PARTITION(date='2008-06-08', country='US')

It is assumed that the array and map fields in the input.txt files are null fields for these examples.

See Hive Data Manipulation Language for more information about loading data into Hive tables, and see External Tables for another example of creating an external table.

Querying and Inserting Data

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