Impala Miscellaneous Functions

Impala supports the following utility functions that do not operate on a particular column or data type:

Purpose: Returns the database that the session is currently using, either default if no database has been selected, or whatever database the session switched to through a USE statement or the impalad-d option.

Return type: string

Purpose: Typically returns the same value as user(), except if delegation is enabled, in which case it returns the ID of the delegated user.

Return type: string

Added in: CDH 5.4.5

Purpose: Returns the process ID of the impalad daemon that the session is connected to. You can use it during low-level debugging, to issue Linux commands that trace, show the arguments, and so on the impalad process.

Return type: int

Purpose: Returns the username of the Linux user who is connected to the impalad daemon. Typically called a single time, in a query without any FROM clause, to understand how authorization settings apply in a security context; once you know the logged-in username, you can check which groups that user belongs to, and from the list of groups you can check which roles are available to those groups through the authorization policy file.

In Impala 2.0 and later, user() returns the full Kerberos principal string, such as, in a Kerberized environment.

When delegation is enabled, consider calling the effective_user() function instead.

Return type: string

Purpose: Returns a universal unique identifier, a 128-bit value encoded as a string with groups of hexadecimal digits separated by dashes.

Return type: string

Added in: CDH 5.7.0 (Impala 2.5.0)

Usage notes:

Ascending numeric sequences of type BIGINT are often used as identifiers within a table, and as join keys across multiple tables. The uuid() value is a convenient alternative that does not require storing or querying the highest sequence number. For example, you can use it to quickly construct new unique identifiers during a data import job, or to combine data from different tables without the likelihood of ID collisions.


-- Each call to uuid() produces a new arbitrary value.
select uuid();
| uuid()                               |
| c7013e25-1455-457f-bf74-a2046e58caea |

-- If you get a UUID for each row of a result set, you can use it as a
-- unique identifier within a table, or even a unique ID across tables.
select uuid() from four_row_table;
| uuid()                               |
| 51d3c540-85e5-4cb9-9110-604e53999e2e |
| 0bb40071-92f6-4a59-a6a4-60d46e9703e2 |
| 5e9d7c36-9842-4a96-862d-c13cd0457c02 |
| cae29095-0cc0-4053-a5ea-7fcd3c780861 |
Purpose: Returns information such as the precise version number and build date for the impalad daemon that you are currently connected to. Typically used to confirm that you are connected to the expected level of Impala to use a particular feature, or to connect to several nodes and confirm they are all running the same level of impalad.

Return type: string (with one or more embedded newlines)