A character-separated values plain text file represents a tabular data set consisting of rows and columns. Each row is a plain text line. A line is usually broken by a character line feed \n or carriage-return \r. The line feed \n is the default delimiter in Tajo. Each record consists of multiple fields, separated by some other character or string, most commonly a literal vertical bar |, comma , or tab \t. The vertical bar is used as the default field delimiter in Tajo.

How to Create a TEXT Table ?

If you are not familiar with the CREATE TABLE statement, please refer to the Data Definition Language Data Definition Language.

In order to specify a certain file format for your table, you need to use the USING clause in your CREATE TABLE statement. The below is an example statement for creating a table using TEXT format.

 table1 (
   id int,
   name text,
   score float,
   type text

Physical Properties

Some table storage formats provide parameters for enabling or disabling features and adjusting physical parameters. The WITH clause in the CREATE TABLE statement allows users to set those parameters.

TEXT format provides the following physical properties.

  • text.delimiter: delimiter character. | or \u0001 is usually used, and the default field delimiter is |.
  • text.null: NULL character. The default NULL character is an empty string ''. Hive’s default NULL character is '\\N'.
  • compression.codec: Compression codec. You can enable compression feature and set specified compression algorithm. The compression algorithm used to compress files. The compression codec name should be the fully qualified class name inherited from org.apache.hadoop.io.compress.CompressionCodec. By default, compression is disabled.
  • text.serde: custom (De)serializer class. org.apache.tajo.storage.text.CSVLineSerDe is the default (De)serializer class.
  • timezone: the time zone that the table uses for writting. When table rows are read or written, `timestamp` and `time` column values are adjusted by this timezone if it is set. Time zone can be an abbreviation form like ‘PST’ or ‘DST’. Also, it accepts an offset-based form like ‘UTC+9’ or a location-based form like ‘Asia/Seoul’.
  • text.error-tolerance.max-num: the maximum number of permissible parsing errors. This value should be an integer value. By default, text.error-tolerance.max-num is 0. According to the value, parsing errors will be handled in different ways.
  • quote_char: quote character. If this property is specified, the quote characters in field values will be ignored. If the quote is incomplete, the quote character will be remain in the value. It may cause invalid parsing, probably leading to NULL value for some data types like INT and FLOAT.
    • If text.error-tolerance.max-num < 0, all parsing errors are ignored.
    • If text.error-tolerance.max-num == 0, any parsing error is not allowed. If any error occurs, the query will be failed. (default)
    • If text.error-tolerance.max-num > 0, the given number of parsing errors in each task will be pemissible.
  • text.skip.headerlines: Number of header lines to be skipped. Some text files often have a header which has a kind of metadata(e.g.: column names), thus this option can be useful.

The following example is to set a custom field delimiter, NULL character, and compression codec:

 id int,
 name text,
 score float,
 type text
) USING TEXT WITH('text.delimiter'='\u0001',


Be careful when using \n as the field delimiter because TEXT format tables use \n as the line delimiter. At the moment, Tajo does not provide a way to specify the line delimiter.

Custom (De)serializer

The TEXT format not only provides reading and writing interfaces for text data but also allows users to process custom plain text file formats with user-defined (De)serializer classes. With custom (de)serializers, Tajo can process any text files no matter which the internal structure is.

In order to specify a custom (De)serializer, set a physical property text.serde. The property value should be a fully qualified class name.

For example:

 id int,
 name text,
 score float,
 type text
) USING TEXT WITH ('text.serde'='org.my.storage.CustomSerializerDeserializer')

Null Value Handling Issues

In default, NULL character in TEXT format is an empty string ''. In other words, an empty field is basically recognized as a NULL value in Tajo. If a field domain is TEXT, an empty field is recognized as a string value '' instead of NULL value. Besides, You can also use your own NULL character by specifying a physical property text.null.

Compatibility Issues with Apache Hive™

TEXT tables generated in Tajo can be processed directly by Apache Hive™ without further processing. In this section, we explain some compatibility issue for users who use both Hive and Tajo.

If you set a custom field delimiter, the TEXT tables cannot be directly used in Hive. In order to specify the custom field delimiter in Hive, you need to use ROW FORMAT DELIMITED FIELDS TERMINATED BY clause in a Hive’s CREATE TABLE statement as follows:

CREATE TABLE table1 (id int, name string, score float, type string)

To the best of our knowledge, there is not way to specify a custom NULL character in Hive.