Concepts & Common API

The Table API and SQL are integrated in a joint API. The central concept of this API is a Table which serves as input and output of queries. This document shows the common structure of programs with Table API and SQL queries, how to register a Table, how to query a Table, and how to emit a Table.

Structure of Table API and SQL Programs

All Table API and SQL programs for batch and streaming follow the same pattern. The following code example shows the common structure of Table API and SQL programs.

// for batch programs use ExecutionEnvironment instead of StreamExecutionEnvironment
StreamExecutionEnvironment env = StreamExecutionEnvironment.getExecutionEnvironment();

// create a TableEnvironment
// for batch programs use BatchTableEnvironment instead of StreamTableEnvironment
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// register a Table
tableEnv.registerTable("table1", ...)            // or
tableEnv.registerTableSource("table2", ...);     // or
tableEnv.registerExternalCatalog("extCat", ...);

// create a Table from a Table API query
Table tapiResult = tableEnv.scan("table1").select(...);
// create a Table from a SQL query
Table sqlResult  = tableEnv.sqlQuery("SELECT ... FROM table2 ... ");

// emit a Table API result Table to a TableSink, same for SQL result
tapiResult.writeToSink(...);

// execute
env.execute();
// for batch programs use ExecutionEnvironment instead of StreamExecutionEnvironment
val env = StreamExecutionEnvironment.getExecutionEnvironment

// create a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// register a Table
tableEnv.registerTable("table1", ...)           // or
tableEnv.registerTableSource("table2", ...)     // or
tableEnv.registerExternalCatalog("extCat", ...) 

// create a Table from a Table API query
val tapiResult = tableEnv.scan("table1").select(...)
// Create a Table from a SQL query
val sqlResult  = tableEnv.sqlQuery("SELECT ... FROM table2 ...")

// emit a Table API result Table to a TableSink, same for SQL result
tapiResult.writeToSink(...)

// execute
env.execute()

Note: Table API and SQL queries can be easily integrated with and embedded into DataStream or DataSet programs. Have a look at the Integration with DataStream and DataSet API section to learn how DataStreams and DataSets can be converted into Tables and vice versa.

Back to top

Create a TableEnvironment

The TableEnvironment is a central concept of the Table API and SQL integration. It is responsible for:

  • Registering a Table in the internal catalog
  • Registering an external catalog
  • Executing SQL queries
  • Registering a user-defined (scalar, table, or aggregation) function
  • Converting a DataStream or DataSet into a Table
  • Holding a reference to an ExecutionEnvironment or StreamExecutionEnvironment

A Table is always bound to a specific TableEnvironment. It is not possible to combine tables of different TableEnvironments in the same query, e.g., to join or union them.

A TableEnvironment is created by calling the static TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment() method with a StreamExecutionEnvironment or an ExecutionEnvironment and an optional TableConfig. The TableConfig can be used to configure the TableEnvironment or to customize the query optimization and translation process (see Query Optimization).

// ***************
// STREAMING QUERY
// ***************
StreamExecutionEnvironment sEnv = StreamExecutionEnvironment.getExecutionEnvironment();
// create a TableEnvironment for streaming queries
StreamTableEnvironment sTableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(sEnv);

// ***********
// BATCH QUERY
// ***********
ExecutionEnvironment bEnv = ExecutionEnvironment.getExecutionEnvironment();
// create a TableEnvironment for batch queries
BatchTableEnvironment bTableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(bEnv);
// ***************
// STREAMING QUERY
// ***************
val sEnv = StreamExecutionEnvironment.getExecutionEnvironment
// create a TableEnvironment for streaming queries
val sTableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(sEnv)

// ***********
// BATCH QUERY
// ***********
val bEnv = ExecutionEnvironment.getExecutionEnvironment
// create a TableEnvironment for batch queries
val bTableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(bEnv)

Back to top

Register Tables in the Catalog

A TableEnvironment maintains a catalog of tables which are registered by name. There are two types of tables, input tables and output tables. Input tables can be referenced in Table API and SQL queries and provide input data. Output tables can be used to emit the result of a Table API or SQL query to an external system.

An input table can be registered from various sources:

  • an existing Table object, usually the result of a Table API or SQL query.
  • a TableSource, which accesses external data, such as a file, database, or messaging system.
  • a DataStream or DataSet from a DataStream or DataSet program. Registering a DataStream or DataSet is discussed in the Integration with DataStream and DataSet API section.

An output table can be registerd using a TableSink.

Register a Table

A Table is registered in a TableEnvironment as follows:

// get a StreamTableEnvironment, works for BatchTableEnvironment equivalently
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// Table is the result of a simple projection query 
Table projTable = tableEnv.scan("X").project(...);

// register the Table projTable as table "projectedX"
tableEnv.registerTable("projectedTable", projTable);
// get a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// Table is the result of a simple projection query 
val projTable: Table = tableEnv.scan("X").project(...)

// register the Table projTable as table "projectedX"
tableEnv.registerTable("projectedTable", projTable)

Note: A registered Table is treated similarly to a VIEW as known from relational database systems, i.e., the query that defines the Table is not optimized but will be inlined when another query references the registered Table. If multiple queries reference the same registered Table, it will be inlined for each referencing query and executed multiple times, i.e., the result of the registered Table will not be shared.

Back to top

Register a TableSource

A TableSource provides access to external data which is stored in a storage system such as a database (MySQL, HBase, …), a file with a specific encoding (CSV, Apache [Parquet, Avro, ORC], …), or a messaging system (Apache Kafka, RabbitMQ, …).

Flink aims to provide TableSources for common data formats and storage systems. Please have a look at the Table Sources and Sinks page for a list of supported TableSources and instructions for how to build a custom TableSource.

A TableSource is registered in a TableEnvironment as follows:

// get a StreamTableEnvironment, works for BatchTableEnvironment equivalently
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// create a TableSource
TableSource csvSource = new CsvTableSource("/path/to/file", ...);

// register the TableSource as table "CsvTable"
tableEnv.registerTableSource("CsvTable", csvSource);
// get a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// create a TableSource
val csvSource: TableSource = new CsvTableSource("/path/to/file", ...)

// register the TableSource as table "CsvTable"
tableEnv.registerTableSource("CsvTable", csvSource)

Back to top

Register a TableSink

A registered TableSink can be used to emit the result of a Table API or SQL query to an external storage system, such as a database, key-value store, message queue, or file system (in different encodings, e.g., CSV, Apache [Parquet, Avro, ORC], …).

Flink aims to provide TableSinks for common data formats and storage systems. Please see the documentation about Table Sources and Sinks page for details about available sinks and instructions for how to implement a custom TableSink.

A TableSink is registered in a TableEnvironment as follows:

// get a StreamTableEnvironment, works for BatchTableEnvironment equivalently
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// create a TableSink
TableSink csvSink = new CsvTableSink("/path/to/file", ...);

// define the field names and types
String[] fieldNames = {"a", "b", "c"};
TypeInformation[] fieldTypes = {Types.INT, Types.STRING, Types.LONG};

// register the TableSink as table "CsvSinkTable"
tableEnv.registerTableSink("CsvSinkTable", fieldNames, fieldTypes, csvSink);
// get a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// create a TableSink
val csvSink: TableSink = new CsvTableSink("/path/to/file", ...)

// define the field names and types
val fieldNames: Arary[String] = Array("a", "b", "c")
val fieldTypes: Array[TypeInformation[_]] = Array(Types.INT, Types.STRING, Types.LONG)

// register the TableSink as table "CsvSinkTable"
tableEnv.registerTableSink("CsvSinkTable", fieldNames, fieldTypes, csvSink)

Back to top

Register an External Catalog

An external catalog can provide information about external databases and tables such as their name, schema, statistics, and information for how to access data stored in an external database, table, or file.

An external catalog can be created by implementing the ExternalCatalog interface and is registered in a TableEnvironment as follows:

// get a StreamTableEnvironment, works for BatchTableEnvironment equivalently
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// create an external catalog
ExternalCatalog catalog = new InMemoryExternalCatalog();

// register the ExternalCatalog catalog
tableEnv.registerExternalCatalog("InMemCatalog", catalog);
// get a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// create an external catalog
val catalog: ExternalCatalog = new InMemoryExternalCatalog

// register the ExternalCatalog catalog
tableEnv.registerExternalCatalog("InMemCatalog", catalog)

Once registered in a TableEnvironment, all tables defined in a ExternalCatalog can be accessed from Table API or SQL queries by specifying their full path, such as catalog.database.table.

Currently, Flink provides an InMemoryExternalCatalog for demo and testing purposes. However, the ExternalCatalog interface can also be used to connect catalogs like HCatalog or Metastore to the Table API.

Back to top

Query a Table

Table API

The Table API is a language-integrated query API for Scala and Java. In contrast to SQL, queries are not specified as Strings but are composed step-by-step in the host language.

The API is based on the Table class which represents a table (streaming or batch) and offers methods to apply relational operations. These methods return a new Table object, which represents the result of applying the relational operation on the input Table. Some relational operations are composed of multiple method calls such as table.groupBy(...).select(), where groupBy(...) specifies a grouping of table, and select(...) the projection on the grouping of table.

The Table API document describes all Table API operations that are supported on streaming and batch tables.

The following example shows a simple Table API aggregation query:

// get a StreamTableEnvironment, works for BatchTableEnvironment equivalently
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// register Orders table

// scan registered Orders table
Table orders = tableEnv.scan("Orders");
// compute revenue for all customers from France
Table revenue = orders
  .filter("cCountry === 'FRANCE'")
  .groupBy("cID, cName")
  .select("cID, cName, revenue.sum AS revSum");

// emit or convert Table
// execute query
// get a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// register Orders table

// scan registered Orders table
Table orders = tableEnv.scan("Orders")
// compute revenue for all customers from France
Table revenue = orders
  .filter('cCountry === "FRANCE")
  .groupBy('cID, 'cName)
  .select('cID, 'cName, 'revenue.sum AS 'revSum)

// emit or convert Table
// execute query

Note: The Scala Table API uses Scala Symbols, which start with a single tick (') to reference the attributes of a Table. The Table API uses Scala implicits. Make sure to import org.apache.flink.api.scala._ and org.apache.flink.table.api.scala._ in order to use Scala implicit conversions.

Back to top

SQL

Flink’s SQL integration is based on Apache Calcite, which implements the SQL standard. SQL queries are specified as regular Strings.

The SQL document describes Flink’s SQL support for streaming and batch tables.

The following example shows how to specify a query and return the result as a Table.

// get a StreamTableEnvironment, works for BatchTableEnvironment equivalently
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// register Orders table

// compute revenue for all customers from France
Table revenue = tableEnv.sqlQuery(
    "SELECT cID, cName, SUM(revenue) AS revSum " +
    "FROM Orders " +
    "WHERE cCountry = 'FRANCE' " +
    "GROUP BY cID, cName"
  );

// emit or convert Table
// execute query
// get a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// register Orders table

// compute revenue for all customers from France
Table revenue = tableEnv.sqlQuery("""
  |SELECT cID, cName, SUM(revenue) AS revSum
  |FROM Orders
  |WHERE cCountry = 'FRANCE'
  |GROUP BY cID, cName
  """.stripMargin)

// emit or convert Table
// execute query

The following example shows how to specify an update query that inserts its result into a registered table.

// get a StreamTableEnvironment, works for BatchTableEnvironment equivalently
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// register "Orders" table
// register "RevenueFrance" output table

// compute revenue for all customers from France and emit to "RevenueFrance"
tableEnv.sqlUpdate(
    "INSERT INTO RevenueFrance " +
    "SELECT cID, cName, SUM(revenue) AS revSum " +
    "FROM Orders " +
    "WHERE cCountry = 'FRANCE' " +
    "GROUP BY cID, cName"
  );

// execute query
// get a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// register "Orders" table
// register "RevenueFrance" output table

// compute revenue for all customers from France and emit to "RevenueFrance"
tableEnv.sqlUpdate("""
  |INSERT INTO RevenueFrance
  |SELECT cID, cName, SUM(revenue) AS revSum
  |FROM Orders
  |WHERE cCountry = 'FRANCE'
  |GROUP BY cID, cName
  """.stripMargin)

// execute query

Back to top

Mixing Table API and SQL

Table API and SQL queries can be easily mixed because both return Table objects:

  • A Table API query can be defined on the Table object returned by a SQL query.
  • A SQL query can be defined on the result of a Table API query by registering the resulting Table in the TableEnvironment and referencing it in the FROM clause of the SQL query.

Back to top

Emit a Table

A Table is emitted by writing it to a TableSink. A TableSink is a generic interface to support a wide variety of file formats (e.g. CSV, Apache Parquet, Apache Avro), storage systems (e.g., JDBC, Apache HBase, Apache Cassandra, Elasticsearch), or messaging systems (e.g., Apache Kafka, RabbitMQ).

A batch Table can only be written to a BatchTableSink, while a streaming Table requires either an AppendStreamTableSink, a RetractStreamTableSink, or an UpsertStreamTableSink.

Please see the documentation about Table Sources & Sinks for details about available sinks and instructions for how to implement a custom TableSink.

There are two ways to emit a table:

  1. The Table.writeToSink(TableSink sink) method emits the table using the provided TableSink and automatically configures the sink with the schema of the table to emit.
  2. The Table.insertInto(String sinkTable) method looks up a TableSink that was registered with a specific schema under the provided name in the TableEnvironment’s catalog. The schema of the table to emit is validated against the schema of the registered TableSink.

The following examples shows how to emit a Table:

// get a StreamTableEnvironment, works for BatchTableEnvironment equivalently
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// compute a result Table using Table API operators and/or SQL queries
Table result = ...

// create a TableSink
TableSink sink = new CsvTableSink("/path/to/file", fieldDelim = "|");

// METHOD 1:
//   Emit the result Table to the TableSink via the writeToSink() method
result.writeToSink(sink);

// METHOD 2:
//   Register the TableSink with a specific schema
String[] fieldNames = {"a", "b", "c"};
TypeInformation[] fieldTypes = {Types.INT, Types.STRING, Types.LONG};
tableEnv.registerTableSink("CsvSinkTable", fieldNames, fieldTypes, sink);
//   Emit the result Table to the registered TableSink via the insertInto() method
result.insertInto("CsvSinkTable");

// execute the program
// get a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// compute a result Table using Table API operators and/or SQL queries
val result: Table = ...

// create a TableSink
val sink: TableSink = new CsvTableSink("/path/to/file", fieldDelim = "|")

// METHOD 1:
//   Emit the result Table to the TableSink via the writeToSink() method
result.writeToSink(sink)

// METHOD 2:
//   Register the TableSink with a specific schema
val fieldNames: Array[String] = Array("a", "b", "c")
val fieldTypes: Array[TypeInformation] = Array(Types.INT, Types.STRING, Types.LONG)
tableEnv.registerTableSink("CsvSinkTable", fieldNames, fieldTypes, sink)
//   Emit the result Table to the registered TableSink via the insertInto() method
result.insertInto("CsvSinkTable")

// execute the program

Back to top

Translate and Execute a Query

Table API and SQL queries are translated into DataStream or DataSet programs depending on whether their input is a streaming or batch input. A query is internally represented as a logical query plan and is translated in two phases:

  1. optimization of the logical plan,
  2. translation into a DataStream or DataSet program.

A Table API or SQL query is translated when:

  • a Table is emitted to a TableSink, i.e., when Table.writeToSink() or Table.insertInto() is called.
  • a SQL update query is specified, i.e., when TableEnvironment.sqlUpdate() is called.
  • a Table is converted into a DataStream or DataSet (see Integration with DataStream and DataSet API).

Once translated, a Table API or SQL query is handled like a regular DataStream or DataSet program and is executed when StreamExecutionEnvironment.execute() or ExecutionEnvironment.execute() is called.

Back to top

Integration with DataStream and DataSet API

Table API and SQL queries can be easily integrated with and embedded into DataStream and DataSet programs. For instance, it is possible to query an external table (for example from a RDBMS), do some pre-processing, such as filtering, projecting, aggregating, or joining with meta data, and then further process the data with either the DataStream or DataSet API (and any of the libraries built on top of these APIs, such as CEP or Gelly). Inversely, a Table API or SQL query can also be applied on the result of a DataStream or DataSet program.

This interaction can be achieved by converting a DataStream or DataSet into a Table and vice versa. In this section, we describe how these conversions are done.

Implicit Conversion for Scala

The Scala Table API features implicit conversions for the DataSet, DataStream, and Table classes. These conversions are enabled by importing the package org.apache.flink.table.api.scala._ in addition to org.apache.flink.api.scala._ for the Scala DataStream API.

Register a DataStream or DataSet as Table

A DataStream or DataSet can be registered in a TableEnvironment as a Table. The schema of the resulting table depends on the data type of the registered DataStream or DataSet. Please check the section about mapping of data types to table schema for details.

// get StreamTableEnvironment
// registration of a DataSet in a BatchTableEnvironment is equivalent
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

DataStream<Tuple2<Long, String>> stream = ...

// register the DataStream as Table "myTable" with fields "f0", "f1"
tableEnv.registerDataStream("myTable", stream);

// register the DataStream as table "myTable2" with fields "myLong", "myString"
tableEnv.registerDataStream("myTable2", stream, "myLong, myString");
// get TableEnvironment 
// registration of a DataSet is equivalent
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

val stream: DataStream[(Long, String)] = ...

// register the DataStream as Table "myTable" with fields "f0", "f1"
tableEnv.registerDataStream("myTable", stream)

// register the DataStream as table "myTable2" with fields "myLong", "myString"
tableEnv.registerDataStream("myTable2", stream, 'myLong, 'myString)

Note: The name of a DataStream Table must not match the ^_DataStreamTable_[0-9]+ pattern and the name of a DataSet Table must not match the ^_DataSetTable_[0-9]+ pattern. These patterns are reserved for internal use only.

Back to top

Convert a DataStream or DataSet into a Table

Instead of registering a DataStream or DataSet in a TableEnvironment, it can also be directly converted into a Table. This is convenient if you want to use the Table in a Table API query.

// get StreamTableEnvironment
// registration of a DataSet in a BatchTableEnvironment is equivalent
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

DataStream<Tuple2<Long, String>> stream = ...

// Convert the DataStream into a Table with default fields "f0", "f1"
Table table1 = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream);

// Convert the DataStream into a Table with fields "myLong", "myString"
Table table2 = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream, "myLong, myString");
// get TableEnvironment
// registration of a DataSet is equivalent
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

val stream: DataStream[(Long, String)] = ...

// convert the DataStream into a Table with default fields '_1, '_2
val table1: Table = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream)

// convert the DataStream into a Table with fields 'myLong, 'myString
val table2: Table = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream, 'myLong, 'myString)

Back to top

Convert a Table into a DataStream or DataSet

A Table can be converted into a DataStream or DataSet. In this way, custom DataStream or DataSet programs can be run on the result of a Table API or SQL query.

When converting a Table into a DataStream or DataSet, you need to specify the data type of the resulting DataStream or DataSet, i.e., the data type into which the rows of the Table are to be converted. Often the most convenient conversion type is Row. The following list gives an overview of the features of the different options:

  • Row: fields are mapped by position, arbitrary number of fields, support for null values, no type-safe access.
  • POJO: fields are mapped by name (POJO fields must be named as Table fields), arbitrary number of fields, support for null values, type-safe access.
  • Case Class: fields are mapped by position, no support for null values, type-safe access.
  • Tuple: fields are mapped by position, limitation to 22 (Scala) or 25 (Java) fields, no support for null values, type-safe access.
  • Atomic Type: Table must have a single field, no support for null values, type-safe access.

Convert a Table into a DataStream

A Table that is the result of a streaming query will be updated dynamically, i.e., it is changing as new records arrive on the query’s input streams. Hence, the DataStream into which such a dynamic query is converted needs to encode the updates of the table.

There are two modes to convert a Table into a DataStream:

  1. Append Mode: This mode can only be used if the dynamic Table is only modified by INSERT changes, i.e, it is append-only and previously emitted results are never updated.
  2. Retract Mode: This mode can always be used. It encodes INSERT and DELETE changes with a boolean flag.
// get StreamTableEnvironment. 
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// Table with two fields (String name, Integer age)
Table table = ...

// convert the Table into an append DataStream of Row by specifying the class
DataStream<Row> dsRow = tableEnv.toAppendStream(table, Row.class);

// convert the Table into an append DataStream of Tuple2<String, Integer> 
//   via a TypeInformation
TupleTypeInfo<Tuple2<String, Integer>> tupleType = new TupleTypeInfo<>(
  Types.STRING(),
  Types.INT());
DataStream<Tuple2<String, Integer>> dsTuple = 
  tableEnv.toAppendStream(table, tupleType);

// convert the Table into a retract DataStream of Row.
//   A retract stream of type X is a DataStream<Tuple2<Boolean, X>>. 
//   The boolean field indicates the type of the change. 
//   True is INSERT, false is DELETE.
DataStream<Tuple2<Boolean, Row>> retractStream = 
  tableEnv.toRetractStream(table, Row.class);
// get TableEnvironment. 
// registration of a DataSet is equivalent
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// Table with two fields (String name, Integer age)
val table: Table = ...

// convert the Table into an append DataStream of Row
val dsRow: DataStream[Row] = tableEnv.toAppendStream[Row](table)

// convert the Table into an append DataStream of Tuple2[String, Int]
val dsTuple: DataStream[(String, Int)] dsTuple = 
  tableEnv.toAppendStream[(String, Int)](table)

// convert the Table into a retract DataStream of Row.
//   A retract stream of type X is a DataStream[(Boolean, X)]. 
//   The boolean field indicates the type of the change. 
//   True is INSERT, false is DELETE.
val retractStream: DataStream[(Boolean, Row)] = tableEnv.toRetractStream[Row](table)

Note: A detailed discussion about dynamic tables and their properties is given in the Streaming Queries document.

Convert a Table into a DataSet

A Table is converted into a DataSet as follows:

// get BatchTableEnvironment
BatchTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// Table with two fields (String name, Integer age)
Table table = ...

// convert the Table into a DataSet of Row by specifying a class
DataSet<Row> dsRow = tableEnv.toDataSet(table, Row.class);

// convert the Table into a DataSet of Tuple2<String, Integer> via a TypeInformation
TupleTypeInfo<Tuple2<String, Integer>> tupleType = new TupleTypeInfo<>(
  Types.STRING(),
  Types.INT());
DataStream<Tuple2<String, Integer>> dsTuple = 
  tableEnv.toAppendStream(table, tupleType);
// get TableEnvironment 
// registration of a DataSet is equivalent
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// Table with two fields (String name, Integer age)
val table: Table = ...

// convert the Table into a DataSet of Row
val dsRow: DataSet[Row] = tableEnv.toDataSet[Row](table)

// convert the Table into a DataSet of Tuple2[String, Int]
val dsTuple: DataSet[(String, Int)] = tableEnv.toDataSet[(String, Int)](table)

Back to top

Mapping of Data Types to Table Schema

Flink’s DataStream and DataSet APIs support very diverse types, such as Tuples (built-in Scala and Flink Java tuples), POJOs, case classes, and atomic types. In the following we describe how the Table API converts these types into an internal row representation and show examples of converting a DataStream into a Table.

Atomic Types

Flink treats primitives (Integer, Double, String) or generic types (types that cannot be analyzed and decomposed) as atomic types. A DataStream or DataSet of an atomic type is converted into a Table with a single attribute. The type of the attribute is inferred from the atomic type and the name of the attribute must be specified.

// get a StreamTableEnvironment, works for BatchTableEnvironment equivalently
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

DataStream<Long> stream = ...
// convert DataStream into Table with field "myLong"
Table table = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream, "myLong");
// get a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

val stream: DataStream[Long] = ...
// convert DataStream into Table with field 'myLong
val table: Table = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream, 'myLong)

Tuples (Scala and Java) and Case Classes (Scala only)

Flink supports Scala’s built-in tuples and provides its own tuple classes for Java. DataStreams and DataSets of both kinds of tuples can be converted into tables. Fields can be renamed by providing names for all fields (mapping based on position). If no field names are specified, the default field names are used.

// get a StreamTableEnvironment, works for BatchTableEnvironment equivalently
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

DataStream<Tuple2<Long, String>> stream = ...

// convert DataStream into Table with field names "myLong", "myString"
Table table1 = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream, "myLong, myString");

// convert DataStream into Table with default field names "f0", "f1"
Table table2 = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream);
// get a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

val stream: DataStream[(Long, String)] = ...

// convert DataStream into Table with field names 'myLong, 'myString
val table1: Table = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream, 'myLong, 'myString)

// convert DataStream into Table with default field names '_1, '_2
val table2: Table = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream)

// define case class
case class Person(name: String, age: Int)
val streamCC: DataStream[Person] = ...

// convert DataStream into Table with default field names 'name, 'age
val tableCC1 = tableEnv.fromDataStream(streamCC)

// convert DataStream into Table with field names 'myName, 'myAge
val tableCC1 = tableEnv.fromDataStream(streamCC, 'myName, 'myAge)

POJO (Java and Scala)

Flink supports POJOs as composite types. The rules for what determines a POJO are documented here.

When converting a POJO DataStream or DataSet into a Table without specifying field names, the names of the original POJO fields are used. Renaming the original POJO fields requires the keyword AS because POJO fields have no inherent order. The name mapping requires the original names and cannot be done by positions.

// get a StreamTableEnvironment, works for BatchTableEnvironment equivalently
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// Person is a POJO with fields "name" and "age"
DataStream<Person> stream = ...

// convert DataStream into Table with field names "name", "age"
Table table1 = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream);

// convert DataStream into Table with field names "myName", "myAge"
Table table2 = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream, "name as myName, age as myAge");
// get a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// Person is a POJO with field names "name" and "age"
val stream: DataStream[Person] = ...

// convert DataStream into Table with field names 'name, 'age
val table1: Table = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream)

// convert DataStream into Table with field names 'myName, 'myAge
val table2: Table = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream, 'name as 'myName, 'age as 'myAge)

Row

The Row data type supports an arbitrary number of fields and fields with null values. Field names can be specified via a RowTypeInfo or when converting a Row DataStream or DataSet into a Table (based on position).

// get a StreamTableEnvironment, works for BatchTableEnvironment equivalently
StreamTableEnvironment tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

// DataStream of Row with two fields "name" and "age" specified in `RowTypeInfo`
DataStream<Row> stream = ...

// convert DataStream into Table with field names "name", "age"
Table table1 = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream);

// convert DataStream into Table with field names "myName", "myAge"
Table table2 = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream, "myName, myAge");
// get a TableEnvironment
val tableEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

// DataStream of Row with two fields "name" and "age" specified in `RowTypeInfo`
val stream: DataStream[Row] = ...

// convert DataStream into Table with field names 'name, 'age
val table1: Table = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream)

// convert DataStream into Table with field names 'myName, 'myAge
val table2: Table = tableEnv.fromDataStream(stream, 'myName, 'myAge)

Back to top

Query Optimization

Apache Flink leverages Apache Calcite to optimize and translate queries. The optimization currently performed include projection and filter push-down, subquery decorrelation, and other kinds of query rewriting. Flink does not yet optimize the order of joins, but executes them in the same order as defined in the query (order of Tables in the FROM clause and/or order of join predicates in the WHERE clause).

It is possible to tweak the set of optimization rules which are applied in different phases by providing a CalciteConfig object. This can be created via a builder by calling CalciteConfig.createBuilder()) and is provided to the TableEnvironment by calling tableEnv.getConfig.setCalciteConfig(calciteConfig).

Explaining a Table

The Table API provides a mechanism to explain the logical and optimized query plans to compute a Table. This is done through the TableEnvironment.explain(table) method. It returns a String describing three plans:

  1. the Abstract Syntax Tree of the relational query, i.e., the unoptimized logical query plan,
  2. the optimized logical query plan, and
  3. the physical execution plan.

The following code shows an example and the corresponding output:

StreamExecutionEnvironment env = StreamExecutionEnvironment.getExecutionEnvironment();
StreamTableEnvironment tEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env);

DataStream<Tuple2<Integer, String>> stream1 = env.fromElements(new Tuple2<>(1, "hello"));
DataStream<Tuple2<Integer, String>> stream2 = env.fromElements(new Tuple2<>(1, "hello"));

Table table1 = tEnv.fromDataStream(stream1, "count, word");
Table table2 = tEnv.fromDataStream(stream2, "count, word");
Table table = table1
  .where("LIKE(word, 'F%')")
  .unionAll(table2);

String explanation = tEnv.explain(table);
System.out.println(explanation);
val env = StreamExecutionEnvironment.getExecutionEnvironment
val tEnv = TableEnvironment.getTableEnvironment(env)

val table1 = env.fromElements((1, "hello")).toTable(tEnv, 'count, 'word)
val table2 = env.fromElements((1, "hello")).toTable(tEnv, 'count, 'word)
val table = table1
  .where('word.like("F%"))
  .unionAll(table2)

val explanation: String = tEnv.explain(table)
println(explanation)
== Abstract Syntax Tree ==
LogicalUnion(all=[true])
  LogicalFilter(condition=[LIKE($1, 'F%')])
    LogicalTableScan(table=[[_DataStreamTable_0]])
  LogicalTableScan(table=[[_DataStreamTable_1]])

== Optimized Logical Plan ==
DataStreamUnion(union=[count, word])
  DataStreamCalc(select=[count, word], where=[LIKE(word, 'F%')])
    DataStreamScan(table=[[_DataStreamTable_0]])
  DataStreamScan(table=[[_DataStreamTable_1]])

== Physical Execution Plan ==
Stage 1 : Data Source
  content : collect elements with CollectionInputFormat

Stage 2 : Data Source
  content : collect elements with CollectionInputFormat

  Stage 3 : Operator
    content : from: (count, word)
    ship_strategy : REBALANCE

    Stage 4 : Operator
      content : where: (LIKE(word, 'F%')), select: (count, word)
      ship_strategy : FORWARD

      Stage 5 : Operator
        content : from: (count, word)
        ship_strategy : REBALANCE

Back to top