Configuring Catalog

When using Spark SQL to query an Iceberg table from Spark, you refer to a table using the following dot notation:

<catalog_name>.<database_name>.<table_name>

The default catalog used by Spark is named spark_catalog. When referring to a table in a database known to spark_catalog, you can omit <catalog_name>.

Iceberg provides a SparkCatalog attribute that understands Iceberg tables, and a SparkSessionCatalog attribute that understands both Iceberg and non-Iceberg tables. In CDE, the following are configured by default :
spark.sql.catalog.spark_catalog=org.apache.iceberg.spark.SparkSessionCatalog
spark.sql.catalog.spark_catalog.type=hive 

This replaces Spark’s default catalog by Iceberg’s SparkSessionCatalog and allows you to use both Iceberg and non-Iceberg tables out of the box.

There is one caveat when using SparkSessionCatalog. Iceberg supports CREATE TABLE … AS SELECT (CTAS) and REPLACE TABLE … AS SELECT (RTAS) as atomic operations when using SparkCatalog. Whereas, the CTAS and RTAS are supported but are not atomic when using SparkSessionCatalog. As a workaround, you can configure another catalog that uses SparkCatalog. For example, to create the catalog named iceberg_catalog, set the following:

spark.sql.catalog.iceberg_catalog=org.apache.iceberg.spark.SparkCatalog
spark.sql.catalog.iceberg_catalog.type=hive
You can configure more than one catalog in the same Spark job. For more information, see the Iceberg documentation.