Chapter 3. Impala for the Database Developer

As a database developer who knows SQL, you are in an ideal position to jump in and start using Impala right away.

This section covers some of the background information and coding techniques that help you start down the path to high performance and scalability, as you graduate from dedicated development and test environments to huge data sets on production clusters running under heavy load.

When you come to Impala from a background with a traditional relational database product, you find the same familiar SQL query language and DDL statements. Data warehouse experts will already be familiar with the notion of partitioning. If you have only dealt with smaller OLTP-style (online transaction processing) databases, the emphasis on large data volumes will expand your horizons.


You might find that a certain SQL idiom is not yet supported in Impala, or your favorite built-in function from database system XYZ is not available yet. If so, don’t be discouraged. You can often work around these with a simple query change. Because Impala is often used in organizations that already have substantial database infrastructure, prioritize which kinds of workloads you can try out with Impala in the short term. You might find that you can save many hours in your data pipeline or queries, even when only using Impala in a few places. Impala roadmap items are regularly introduced, so check the New Features page often.

The SQL Language

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