DECIMAL data type
The DECIMAL
data type is a numeric data type with fixed scale and
precision. The data type is useful for storing and doing operations on precise decimal
values.
Syntax:
DECIMAL[(precision[, scale])]
Precision:
precision represents the total number of digits that can be represented regardless of the location of the decimal point.
This value must be between 1 and 38, specified as an integer literal.
The default precision is 9.
Scale:
scale represents the number of fractional digits.
This value must be less than or equal to the precision, specified as an integer literal.
The default scale is 0.
When the precision and the scale are omitted, a DECIMAL
is treated as
DECIMAL(9, 0)
.
Range:
The range of DECIMAL
type is 10^38 +1 through 10^38 –1.
The largest value is represented by DECIMAL(38, 0)
.
The most precise fractional value (between 0 and 1, or 0 and 1) is represented by
DECIMAL(38, 38)
, with 38 digits to the right of the decimal point. The
value closest to 0 would be .0000...1 (37 zeros and the final 1). The value closest to 1
would be .999... (9 repeated 38 times).
Memory and disk storage:
Only the precision determines the storage size for DECIMAL
values, and
the scale setting has no effect on the storage size. The following table describes the
inmemory storage once the values are loaded into memory.
Precision  Inmemory storage 

1  9  4 bytes 
10  18  8 bytes 
19  38  10 bytes 
The ondisk representation varies depending on the file format of the table.
Text, RCFile, and SequenceFile tables use ASCIIbased formats as below:
 Leading zeros are not stored.
 Trailing zeros are stored.

Each
DECIMAL
value takes up as many bytes as the precision of the value, plus: One extra byte if the decimal point is present.
 One extra byte for negative values.
Parquet and Avro tables use binary formats and offer more compact storage for
DECIMAL
values. In these tables, Impala stores each value in fewer bytes
where possible depending on the precision specified for the DECIMAL
column. To conserve space in large tables, use the smallestprecision
DECIMAL
type.
Precision and scale in arithmetic operations:
For all arithmetic operations, the resulting precision is at most 38.
If the resulting precision would be greater than 38, Impala truncates the result from the back, but keeps at least 6 fractional digits in scale and rounds.
For example, DECIMAL(38, 20) * DECIMAL(38, 20)
returns
DECIMAL(38, 6)
. According to the table below, the resulting precision and
scale would be (77, 40)
, but they are higher than the maximum precision
and scale for DECIMAL
. So, Impala sets the precision to the maximum
allowed 38, and truncates the scale to 6.
DECIMAL
values in arithmetic operations, the precision and
scale of the result value are determined as follows. For better readability, the following
terms are used in the table below:

P1, P2: Input precisions

S1, S2: Input scales

L1, L2: Leading digits in input
DECIMAL
s, i.e., L1 = P1  S1 and L2 = P2  S2
Operation  Resulting precision  Resulting scale 

Addition and Subtraction 
max (L1, L2) + max (S1, S2) + 1 1 is for carryover. 
max (S1, S2) 
Multiplication  P1 + P2 + 1  S1 + S2 
Division  L1 + S2 + max (S1 + P2 + 1, 6)  max (S1 + P2 + 1, 6) 
Modulo  min (L1, L2) + max (S1, S2)  max (S1, S2) 
Precision and scale in functions:
DECIMAL
values in builtin functions, the precision and
scale of the result value are determined as follows:

The result of the
SUM
aggregate function on aDECIMAL
value is:
Precision: 38

Scale: The same scale as the input column


The result of
AVG
aggregate function on aDECIMAL
value is:
Precision: 38

Scale: max(Scale of input column, 6)

Implicit conversions in DECIMAL assignments:
Impala enforces strict conversion rules in decimal assignments like in
INSERT
and UNION
statements, or in functions like
COALESCE
.
If there is not enough precision and scale in the destination, Impala fails with an error.
DECIMAL
and other numeric
types as below:

DECIMAL
is implicitly converted toDOUBLE
orFLOAT
when necessary even with a loss of precision. It can be necessary, for example when inserting aDECIMAL
value into aDOUBLE
column. For example:CREATE TABLE flt(c FLOAT); INSERT INTO flt SELECT CAST(1e37 AS DECIMAL(38, 0)); SELECT CAST(c AS DECIMAL(38, 0)) FROM flt; Result: 9999999933815812510711506376257961984
The result has a loss of information due to implicit casting. This is why we discourage using the
DOUBLE
andFLOAT
types in general. 
DOUBLE
andFLOAT
cannot be implicitly converted toDECIMAL
. An error is returned. 
DECIMAL
is implicitly converted toDECIMAL
if all digits fit in the resultingDECIMAL
.For example, the following query returns an error because the resulting type that guarantees that all digits fit cannot be determined .SELECT GREATEST (CAST(1 AS DECIMAL(38, 0)), CAST(2 AS DECIMAL(38, 37)));
 Integer values can be implicitly converted to
DECIMAL
when there is enough room in theDECIMAL
to guarantee that all digits fit. The integer types require the following numbers of digits to the left of the decimal point when converted toDECIMAL
:
BIGINT
: 19 digits 
INT
: 10 digits 
SMALLINT
: 5 digits 
TINYINT
: 3 digits
For example:
CREATE TABLE decimals_10_8 (x DECIMAL(10, 8)); INSERT INTO decimals_10_8 VALUES (CAST(1 AS TINYINT));
The above
INSERT
statement fails becauseTINYINT
requires room for 3 digits to the left of the decimal point in theDECIMAL
.CREATE TABLE decimals_11_8(x DECIMAL(11, 8)); INSERT INTO decimals_11_8 VALUES (CAST(1 AS TINYINT));
The above
INSERT
statement succeeds because there is enough room for 3 digits to the left of the decimal point thatTINYINT
requires. 
UNION
, the resulting precision and scales are determined as follows.

Precision: max (L1, L2) + max (S1, S2)
If the resulting type does not fit in the
DECIMAL
type, an error is returned. See the first example below.  Scale: max (S1, S2)
UNION
:

DECIMAL(20, 0) UNION DECIMAL(20, 20)
would require aDECIMAL(40, 20)
to fit all the digits. Since this is larger than the max precision forDECIMAL
, Impala returns an error. One way to fix the error is to cast both operands to the desired type, for exampleDECIMAL(38, 18)
. 
DECIMAL(20, 2) UNION DECIMAL(8, 6)
returnsDECIMAL(24, 6)
. 
INT UNION DECIMAL(9, 4)
returnsDECIMAL(14, 4)
.INT
has the precision 10 and the scale 0, so it is treated asDECIMAL(10, 0) UNION DECIMAL(9. 4)
.
Casting between DECIMAL and other data types:
CAST
to explicitly convert
between DECIMAL
and other types in decimal assignments like in
INSERT
and UNION
statements, or in functions like
COALESCE
:

You can cast the following types to
DECIMAL
:FLOAT
,TINYINT
,SMALLINT
,INT
,BIGINT
,STRING

You can cast
DECIMAL
to the following types:FLOAT
,TINYINT
,SMALLINT
,INT
,BIGINT
,STRING
,BOOLEAN
,TIMESTAMP
CAST
between DECIMAL
and other numeric
types as below:

Precision: If you cast a value with bigger precision than the precision of the destination type, Impala returns an error. For example,
CAST(123456 AS DECIMAL(3,0))
returns an error because all digits do not fit intoDECIMAL(3, 0)

Scale: If you cast a value with more fractional digits than the scale of the destination type, the fractional digits are rounded. For example,
CAST(1.239 AS DECIMAL(3, 2))
returns1.24
.
Casting STRING to DECIMAL:
STRING
of numeric characters in columns, literals, or
expressions to DECIMAL
as long as number fits within the specified target
DECIMAL
type without overflow.

If scale in
STRING
> scale inDECIMAL
, the fractional digits are rounded to theDECIMAL
scale.For example,
CAST('98.678912' AS DECIMAL(15, 1))
returns98.7
. 
If # leading digits in
STRING
> # leading digits inDECIMAL
, an error is returned.For example,
CAST('123.45' AS DECIMAL(2, 2))
returns an error.
Exponential notation is supported when casting from STRING
.
For example, CAST('1.0e6' AS DECIMAL(32, 0))
returns
1000000
.
Casting any nonnumeric value, such as 'ABC'
to the
DECIMAL
type returns an error.
Casting DECIMAL to TIMESTAMP:
Casting a DECIMAL
value N to TIMESTAMP
produces a value
that is N seconds past the start of the epoch date (January 1, 1970).
DECIMAL vs FLOAT consideration:
The FLOAT
and DOUBLE
types can cause problems or
unexpected behavior due to inability to precisely represent certain fractional values, for
example dollar and cents values for currency. You might find output values slightly
different than you inserted, equality tests that do not match precisely, or unexpected
values for GROUP BY
columns. The DECIMAL
type can help
reduce unexpected behavior and rounding errors, but at the expense of some performance
overhead for assignments and comparisons.
Literals and expressions:

Numeric literals without a decimal point

The literals are treated as the smallest integer that would fit the literal. For
example,
111
is aTINYINT
, and1111
is aSMALLINT
. 
Large literals that do not fit into any integer type are treated as
DECIMAL
. 
The literals too large to fit into a
DECIMAL(38, 0)
are treated asDOUBLE
.

The literals are treated as the smallest integer that would fit the literal. For
example,

Numeric literals with a decimal point

The literal with less than 38 digits are treated as
DECIMAL
. 
The literals with 38 or more digits are treated as a
DOUBLE
.

The literal with less than 38 digits are treated as

Exponential notation is supported in
DECIMAL
literals. 
To represent a very large or precise
DECIMAL
value as a literal, for example one that contains more digits than can be represented by aBIGINT
literal, use a quoted string or a floatingpoint value for the number andCAST
the string to the desiredDECIMAL
type.For example:
CAST('999999999999999999999999999999' AS DECIMAL(38, 5)))
File format considerations:
DECIMAL
data type can be stored in any of the file formats supported
by Impala:

Impala can query Avro, RCFile, or SequenceFile tables that contain
DECIMAL
columns, created by other Hadoop components. 
Impala can query and insert into Kudu tables that contain
DECIMAL
columns. Kudu supports theDECIMAL
type. 
The
DECIMAL
data type is fully compatible with HBase tables. 
The
DECIMAL
data type is fully compatible with Parquet tables. 
Values of the
DECIMAL
data type are potentially larger in text tables than in tables using Parquet or other binary formats.
UDF consideration:
When writing a C++ UDF, use the DecimalVal
data type defined in
/usr/include/impala_udf/udf.h.
Changing precision and scale:
ALTER TABLE ... REPLACE COLUMNS
statement to change the
precision and scale of an existing DECIMAL
column.

For textbased formats (text, RCFile, and SequenceFile tables)

If the values in the column fit within the new precision and scale, they are returned correctly by a query.

If any values that do not fit within the new precision and scale:

Impala returns an error if the query option
ABORT_ON_ERROR
is set totrue
. 
Impala returns a
NULL
and warning that conversion failed if the query optionABORT_ON_ERROR
is set tofalse
.

Impala returns an error if the query option

Leading zeros do not count against the precision value, but trailing zeros after the decimal point do.


For binary formats (Parquet and Avro tables)

Although an
ALTER TABLE ... REPLACE COLUMNS
statement that changes the precision or scale of aDECIMAL
column succeeds, any subsequent attempt to query the changed column results in a fatal error. This is because the metadata about the columns is stored in the data files themselves, andALTER TABLE
does not actually make any updates to the data files. The other unaltered columns can still be queried successfully. 
If the metadata in the data files disagrees with the metadata in the metastore database, Impala cancels the query.

Partitioning:
Using a DECIMAL
column as a partition key provides you a better match between
the partition key values and the HDFS directory names than using a DOUBLE
or FLOAT
partitioning column.
Column statistics considerations:
Because the DECIMAL
type has a fixed size, the maximum and average size
fields are always filled in for column statistics, even before you run the COMPUTE
STATS
statement.
Compatibility with older version of DECIMAL:
This version of DECIMAL
type is the default in Impala 3.0 and higher. In
Impala 2.12 and lower, decimal_v2=false. And in Impala 3.0 or higher, decimal_v2=true. The
key differences between this version of DECIMAL
and the previous
DECIMAL
V1 in Impala 2.x include the following:
Property  Impala 3.0 or higher  Impala 2.12 or lower 

Overall behavior  Returns either the result or an error.  Returns either the result or NULL with a warning. 
Overflow behavior  Aborts with an error.  Issues a warning and returns NULL . 
Truncation / rounding behavior in arithmetic  Truncates and rounds digits from the back.  Truncates digits from the front. 
String cast  Truncates from the back and rounds.  Truncates from the back. 
DECIMAL
type for
the backward compatibility of your queries, set the DECIMAL_V2
query
option to FALSE
:
SET DECIMAL_V2=FALSE;
Compatibility with other databases:
Use the DECIMAL
data type in Impala for applications where you used the
NUMBER
data type in Oracle.
The Impala DECIMAL
type does not support the Oracle idioms of
*
for scale.
The Impala DECIMAL
type does not support negative values for precision.