Parameters

COPY parameters and their descriptions are divided into the following sections:

Target Options

The following options apply to the target tables and their columns:

LABEL

Assigns a label to a statement to identify it for profiling and debugging.

[database.]schema

Database and schema. The default schema is public. If you specify a database, it must be the current database.

COPY ignores schema-name when used in CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE or CREATE FLEX EXTERNAL TABLE statements.

target-table

The target columnar or flexible table for loading new data. Vertica loads the data into all projections that include columns from the schema table.

column-as-expression

An expression used to compute values for the target column, which must not be of a complex type. For example:

=> COPY t(year AS TO_CHAR(k, 'YYYY')) FROM 'myfile.dat'

Use this option to transform data when it is loaded into the target database.

For details, see Transforming Data During Loads.

column

Restricts the load to one or more specified columns in the table. If you omit specifying columns, COPY loads all columns by default.

Table columns that you omit from the column list are assigned their DEFAULT or SET USING values, if any; otherwise, COPY inserts NULL.

If you leave the column parameter blank to load all columns in the table, you can use the optional parameter COLUMN OPTION to specify parsing options for specific columns.

The data file must contain the same number of columns as the COPY command's column list.

COLUMN OPTION

Specifies load metadata for one or more columns declared in the table column list. For example, you can specify that a column has its own DELIMITER, ENCLOSED BY, or NULL AS expression, and so on. You do not have to specify every column name explicitly in the COLUMN OPTION list, but each column you specify must correspond to a column in the table column list.

Column Options

Depending on how they are specified, the following COPY options can qualify specific columns or all columns. Some parser-specific options can also apply to either specific columns or all columns. See Global and Column-Specific Options For details about these two modes.

ENFORCELENGTH

If specified, COPY rejects data rows of type CHAR, VARCHAR, BINARY, and VARBINARY, or elements of those types in collections, if they are larger than the declared size.

By default, COPY truncates offending rows of these data types and elements of these types in collections, but does not reject the rows. For more details, see Handling Messy Data.

If a collection does not fit with all of its elements, COPY rejects the row without truncating. It does not reduce the number of elements. This can happen if each element is individually within limits but the number of elements causes the collection to exceed the maximum size for the column.

FILLER datatype

Reads but does not copy the data of an input column. Use filler columns to ignore input columns that do not have columns in the table. You can also use filler columns to transform data (see Version 11.1.x Documentation and Transforming Data During Loads). Filler columns cannot be of complex types.

FORMAT 'format'

Input format, one of the following:

  • octal
  • hex
  • bitstream

See Binary (Native) Data to learn more about these formats.

When loading date/time columns, using FORMAT significantly improves load performance. COPY supports the same formats as the TO_DATE function.

See the following topics for additional information:

If you specify invalid format strings, the COPY operation returns an error.

NULL [AS]

The string representing a null value. The default is an empty string (''). You can specify a null value as any ASCII value in the range E'\000' to E'\177' inclusive. You cannot use the same character for both the DELIMITER and NULL options. For details, see Delimited Data.

Input Options

The following options are available for specifying source data:

LOCAL

Loads a data file on a client system, rather than on a cluster host. LOCAL can qualify the STDIN and path-to-data parameters. For details, see COPY LOCAL.

Restrictions: Invalid for CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE AS COPY

STDIN

Reads from the client a standard input instead of a file. STDIN takes one input source only. To load multiple input sources, use path-to-data.

User must have INSERT privileges on the table and USAGE privileges on its schema.

Restrictions: Invalid for CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE AS COPY

path-to-data

Specifies the absolute path of the file (or files) containing the data, which can be from multiple input sources.

  • If the file is stored in HDFS, path-to-data is a URI in the webhdfs scheme, typically [[s]web]hdfs://[nameservice]/path. See HDFS File System.
  • If the file is stored in an S3 bucket, path-to-data is a URI in the format s3://bucket/path. See S3 Object Store.
  • If the file is stored in Google Cloud Storage, path-to-data is a URI in the format gs://bucket/path. See Google Cloud Storage (GCS) Object Store.
  • If the file is stored in Azure Blob Storage, path-to-data is a URI in the format azb://account/container/path. See Azure Blob Storage Object Store.
  • If the file is on the local Linux file system or an NFS mount, path-to-data is a local absolute file path.

path-to-data can optionally contain wildcards to match more than one file. The file or files must be accessible to the local client or the host on which the COPY statement runs. COPY skips empty files in the file list. A file list that includes directories causes the query to fail. See Specifying Where to Load Data From. The supported patterns for wildcards are specified in the Linux Manual Page for Glob (7), and for ADO.net platforms, through the .NET Directory.getFiles method.

You can use variables to construct the pathname as described in Using Load Scripts.

If path-to-data resolves to a storage location on a local file system, and the user invoking COPY is not a superuser, the following requirements apply:

Further, if a user has privileges but is not a superuser, and invokes COPY from that storage location, Vertica ensures that symbolic links do not result in unauthorized access.

ON nodename

Specifies the node on which the data to copy resides and the node that should parse the load file. If you omit nodename, the location of the input file defaults to the initiator node. Use nodename to copy and parse a load file from a node other than the COPY initiator node.

nodename is invalid with STDIN and LOCAL.

ON (nodeset)

Specifies a set of nodes on which to perform the load. The same data must be available for load on all named nodes. nodeset is a comma-separated list of node names in parentheses. For example:

=> COPY t FROM 'file1.txt' ON (v_vmart_node0001, v_vmart_node0002);

Vertica apportions the load among all of the specified nodes. If you also specify ERROR TOLERANCE or REJECTMAX, Vertica instead chooses a single node on which to perform the load.

If the data is available on all nodes, you usually use ON ANY NODE, which is the default for loads from HDFS and cloud object stores. However, you can use ON nodeset to do manual load-balancing among concurrent loads.

ON ANY NODE

Specifies that the source file to load is available on all nodes, so COPY opens the file and parses it from any node in the cluster. For an Eon Mode database, COPY uses nodes within the same subcluster as the initiator.

The file must be the same on all nodes. If the file differs on two nodes, an incorrect or incomplete result is returned, with no error or warning.

Vertica attempts to apportion the load among several nodes if the file is large enough to benefit from apportioning. It chooses a single node if ERROR TOLERANCE or REJECTMAX is specified.

You can use a wildcard or glob (such as *.dat) to load multiple input files, combined with the ON ANY NODE clause. If you use a glob, COPY distributes the list of files to all cluster nodes and spreads the workload.

ON ANY NODE is invalid with STDIN and LOCAL. STDIN can only use the client host, and LOCAL indicates a client node.

ON ANY NODE is the default for loads from all paths other than Linux (HDFS and cloud object stores).

compression

The input compression type, one of the following:

  • UNCOMPRESSED (default)
  • BZIP
  • GZIP
  • LZO
  • ZSTD

Input files can be of any format. If you use wildcards, all qualifying input files must be in the same format. To load different file formats, specify the format types specifically.

The following requirements and restrictions apply:

  • When using concatenated BZIP or GZIP files, verify that all source files terminate with a record terminator before concatenating them.
  • Concatenated BZIP and GZIP files are not supported for NATIVE (binary) and NATIVE VARCHAR formats.
  • LZO files are assumed to be compressed with lzop. Vertica supports the following lzop arguments:

    • --no-checksum / -F
    • --crc32
    • --adler32
    • --no-name / -n
    • --name / -N
    • --no-mode
    • --no-time
    • --fast
    • --best
    • Numbered compression levels
  • BZIP, GZIP, ZSTD, and LZO compression cannot be used with ORC format.
VERTICA See COPY FROM VERTICA.
[WITH] UDL-clause[...]

Specifies one or more user-defined load functions—one source, and optionally one or more filters and one parser, as follows:

SOURCE source( [arg=value[,...] ] 
[ FILTER filter( [arg=value[,...] ] ) ]...  
[ PARSER parser( [arg=value[,...] ] ) ]

To use a flex table parser for column tables, use the PARSER parameter followed by a flex table parser argument. For supported flex table parsers, see Bulk Loading Data into Flex Tables.

Handling Options

The following options control how COPY handles different contingencies:

ABORT ON ERROR

Specifies that COPY stops if any row is rejected. The statement is rolled back and no data is loaded.

COLSIZES (integer[,...])

Specifies column widths when loading fixed-width data. COPY requires that you specify COLSIZES when using the FIXEDWIDTH parser. COLSIZES and the list of integers must correspond to the columns listed in the table column list. For details, see Fixed-Width Format Data.

ERROR TOLERANCE

Specifies that COPY treats each source during execution independently when loading data. The statement is not rolled back if a single source is invalid. The invalid source is skipped and the load continues.

Using this parameter disables apportioned load.

Restrictions: Invalid for ORC or Parquet data

EXCEPTIONS

Specifies the file name or absolute path of the file in which to write exceptions, as follows:

EXCEPTIONS 'path' [ ON nodename[,...]] 

Exceptions describe why each rejected row was rejected. Each exception describes the corresponding record in the file specified by the REJECTED DATA option.

Files are written on the node or nodes executing the load. If the file already exists, it is overwritten.

To collect all exceptions in one place, use the REJECTED DATA AS TABLE clause and exceptions are automatically listed in the table's rejected_reason column.

EXCEPTIONS is incompatible with REJECTED DATA AS TABLE.

The ON nodename clause moves existing exceptions files on nodename to the indicated path on the same node. For details, see Saving Load Exceptions (EXCEPTIONS).

If you use this parameter with COPY...ON ANY NODE, you must still specify the individual nodes for the exception files, as in the following example:

EXCEPTIONS '/home/ex01.txt' on v_db_node0001,'/home/ex02.txt' 
on v_db_node0002,'/home/ex03.txt' on v_db_node0003 

If path resolves to a storage location, the following privileges apply to non-superusers:

  • The storage location must be created with the USER option (see CREATE LOCATION).
  • The user must have READ access to the storage location where the files exist, as described in GRANT (Storage Location).
REJECTED DATA

Specifies where to write each row that failed to load. If this parameter is specified, records that failed due to parsing errors are always written. Records that failed due to an error during a transformation are written only if configuration parameter CopyFaultTolerantExpressions is set.

The syntax for this parameter is:

REJECTED DATA 
{ 'path' [ ON nodename ] [,...] | AS TABLE reject-table }

Vertica can write rejected data to the specified path or to a table:

  • 'path' [ON nodename]: Copies the rejected row data to the specified path on the node executing the load. If qualified by ON nodename, Vertica moves existing rejected data files on nodename to path on the same node.

    The value of path can be a directory or a file prefix. If there are multiple load sources, path is always treated as a directory. If there are not multiple load sources but path ends with '/', or if a directory of that name already exists, it is also treated as a directory. Otherwise, path is treated as a file prefix.

    Files are written on the node or nodes executing the load. If the file already exists, it is overwritten.

    When this parameter is used with LOCAL, the output is written to the client.

    Do not qualify path with ON ANY NODE. To collect all rejected data in one place regardless of how the load is distributed, use a table.

  • AS TABLE reject-table: Saves rejected rows to reject-table.

    REJECTED DATA AS TABLE is incompatible with EXCEPTIONS.

For details about both options, see Handling Messy Data.

REJECTMAX integer

The maximum number of logical records that can be rejected before a load fails. For details, see Handling Messy Data.

REJECTMAX disables apportioned load.

SKIP integer

The number of records to skip in a load file. For example, you can use the SKIP option to omit table header information.

Restrictions: Invalid for ORC or Parquet data

STREAM NAME

Supplies a COPY load stream identifier. Using a stream name helps to quickly identify a particular load. The STREAM NAME value that you supply in the load statement appears in the STREAM_NAME column of system tables LOAD_STREAMS and LOAD_SOURCES.

A valid stream name can contain any combination of alphanumeric or special characters up to 128 bytes in length.

For example:

=> COPY mytable FROM myfile 
   DELIMITER '|' STREAM NAME 'My stream name'; 
WITH parser

Specifies the parser to use when bulk loading columnar tables, one of the following:

By default, COPY uses the DELIMITER parser for UTF-8 format, delimited text input data. You do not specify the DELIMITER parser directly; absence of a specific parser indicates the default.

To use a flex table parser for column tables, use the PARSER parameter followed by a flex table parser argument. For supported flex table parsers, see Bulk Loading Data into Flex Tables.

When loading into flex tables, you must use a compatible parser. For supported flex table parsers, see Bulk Loading Data into Flex Tables.

COPY LOCAL does not support the NATIVE, NATIVE VARCHAR, ORC, and PARQUET parsers.

For parser support for complex data types, see the documentation of the specific parser.

For parser details, see Data Formats in Data Load.

NO COMMIT

Prevents the COPY statement from committing its transaction automatically when it finishes copying data. This option must be the last COPY statement parameter.

For details, see Using Transactions to Stage a Load.

Restrictions: Invalid for ORC or Parquet data , ignored by CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE AS COPY

Parser-Specific Options

The following options apply only when using specific parsers.

DELIMITED Parser

DELIMITER

Indicates the single ASCII character used to separate columns within each record of a file. You can use any ASCII value in the range E'\000' to E'\177', inclusive. You cannot use the same character for both the DELIMITER and NULL parameters. For more information, see Delimited Data.

Default: Vertical bar ('|').

ENCLOSED [BY]

Sets the quote character within which to enclose data, allowing delimiter characters to be embedded in string values. You can choose any ASCII value in the range E'\001' to E'\177' inclusive (any ASCII character except NULL: E'\000'). By default, ENCLOSED BY has no value, meaning data is not enclosed by any sort of quote character.

ESCAPE [AS]

Sets the escape character. Once set, the character following the escape character is interpreted literally, rather than as a special character. You can define an escape character using any ASCII value in the range E'\001' to E'\177', inclusive (any ASCII character except NULL: E'\000').

The COPY statement does not interpret the data it reads in as String Literals. It also does not follow the same escape rules as other SQL statements (including the COPY parameters). When reading data, COPY interprets only the characters defined by these options as special values:

  • ESCAPE [AS]
  • DELIMITER
  • ENCLOSED [BY]
  • RECORD TERMINATOR
  • All COLLECTION options

Default: Backslash ('\').

NO ESCAPE

Eliminates escape-character handling. Use this option if you do not need any escape character and you want to prevent characters in your data from being interpreted as escape sequences.

RECORD TERMINATOR

Specifies the literal character string indicating the end of a data file record. For more information about using this parameter, see Delimited Data.

TRAILING NULLCOLS

Specifies that if Vertica encounters a record with insufficient data to match the columns in the table column list, COPY inserts the missing columns with NULL values. For other information and examples, see Fixed-Width Format Data.

COLLECTIONDELIMITER

For columns of collection types, indicates the single ASCII character used to separate elements within each collection. You can use any ASCII value in the range E'\000' to E'\177', inclusive. No COLLECTION option may have the same value as any other COLLECTION option. For more information, see Delimited Data.

Default: Comma (',').

COLLECTIONOPEN, COLLECTIONCLOSE

For columns of collection types, these options indicate the characters that mark the beginning and end of the collection. It is an error to use these characters elsewhere within the list of elements without escaping them. No COLLECTION option may have the same value as any other COLLECTION option.

Default: Square brackets ('[' and ']').

COLLECTIONNULLELEMENT

The string representing a null element value in a collection. You can specify a null value as any ASCII value in the range E'\001' to E'\177' inclusive (any ASCII value except NULL: E'\000'). No COLLECTION option may have the same value as any other COLLECTION option. For more information, see Delimited Data.

Default: 'null'

COLLECTIONENCLOSE

For columns of collection types, sets the quote character within which to enclose individual elements, allowing delimiter characters to be embedded in string values. You can choose any ASCII value in the range E'\001' to E'\177' inclusive (any ASCII character except NULL: E'\000').

No COLLECTION option may have the same value as any other COLLECTION option.

Default: double quote ('"')

FIXEDWIDTH Parser

SKIP BYTES integer

The total number of bytes in a record to skip.

TRIM

Trims the number of bytes you specify from a column. This option is only available when loading fixed-width data. You can set TRIM at the table level for a column, or as part of the COLUMN OPTION parameter.