Impala SQL data types

Impala supports a set of data types that you can use for table columns, expression values, and function arguments and return values. You must be aware of the supported data types, the purpose each data type serves, and the casting behaviour for each data type, prior to using them.

For the notation to write literals of each of these data types, see Literals.

Impala supports a limited set of implicit casts to avoid undesired results from unexpected casting behavior.

  • Impala does not implicitly cast between string and numeric or Boolean types. Always use CAST() for these conversions.
  • Impala does perform implicit casts among the numeric types, when going from a smaller or less precise type to a larger or more precise one. For example, Impala will implicitly convert a SMALLINT to a BIGINT or FLOAT, but to convert from DOUBLE to FLOAT or INT to TINYINT requires a call to CAST() in the query.
  • Impala does perform implicit casts from STRING to TIMESTAMP. Impala has a restricted set of literal formats for the TIMESTAMP data type and the FROM_UNIXTIME() format string; see TIMESTAMP data type for details.

See the topics under this section for full details on implicit and explicit casting for each data type, and see Impala type conversion functions for details about the CAST() function.