Does Impala Support Date Data Type?


Larry Thompson

Does Impala Support Date Data Type?

When working with data, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the different data types supported by various database systems. In this article, we will explore whether Impala, a massively parallel processing (MPP) SQL query engine for Apache Hadoop, supports the date data type.

Introduction to Impala

Impala is an open-source SQL query engine that provides interactive and fast analytics on data stored in Apache Hadoop clusters. It allows users to perform real-time queries on large datasets without having to rely on traditional batch-oriented processing frameworks. With Impala, you can leverage your SQL skills and interactively explore and analyze your data quickly.

The Importance of Date Data Type

Date data type plays a vital role in handling temporal information effectively. It enables us to store and manipulate dates and perform various calculations such as date arithmetic, comparisons, and formatting. Having support for the date data type in an SQL query engine like Impala simplifies working with time-related data immensely.

Impala’s Date Data Type Support

Yes, Impala does support the date data type. It provides a specific Date type for storing dates. The Date type represents a calendar date (year, month, day) without any time information.

To define a column with the Date data type in Impala, you can use the following syntax:

  • Create table table_name (column_name DATE);

You can also insert values into this column using standard date formats:

  • Insert into table_name values (‘2021-03-15’);

Working with Date Data Type in Impala

Impala provides a wide range of built-in functions to manipulate and extract information from Date data type columns. Some commonly used functions include:

  • YEAR(date): Returns the year component of a date.
  • MONTH(date): Returns the month component of a date.
  • DAY(date): Returns the day component of a date.
  • DATE_ADD(start_date, interval): Adds an interval to a date.
  • DATE_SUB(start_date, interval): Subtracts an interval from a date.

You can use these functions to perform various operations on your date data and derive insights from it.


To illustrate the usage of Impala’s date functions, consider the following example:

SELECT YEAR('2021-03-15') AS year,
       MONTH('2021-03-15') AS month,
       DAY('2021-03-15') AS day,
       DATE_ADD('2021-03-15', INTERVAL 7 DAYS) AS future_date
FROM table_name;

This query will return the year, month, day, and a future date obtained by adding seven days to ‘2021-03-15’ from the specified table. You can use similar constructs to perform more complex calculations on your date data.


In conclusion, Impala supports the Date data type, allowing you to store and manipulate dates efficiently. It simplifies working with temporal data and provides a wide range of built-in functions to extract information and perform calculations. Incorporating Impala’s support for the date data type in your data analysis workflows can significantly enhance your productivity and enable you to derive valuable insights from your time-related data.

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