How to write Hive queries with column position number in the GROUP BY or ORDER BY clauses

This article is a part of my "100 data engineering tutorials in 100 days" challenge. (79/100)

By default, Hive does not support passing the columns to GROUP BY or ORDER BY using their positions instead of names. Therefore, when I try to run this query:

SELECT column_A, count(*) FROM table_name GROUP BY 1

I will see an error message telling me that the column_A is not in the GROUP BY expression.

To get the behavior I want, I have to enable the position alias usage before running my query. I can do that by setting the hive.groupby.orderby.position.alias property to true:

SET hive.groupby.orderby.position.alias=true;

SELECT column_A, count(*) FROM table_name GROUP BY 1

Now, Hive is going to correctly recoginize that I want to group by the first column, lookup its name and use that to execute the query.

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Bartosz Mikulski
Bartosz Mikulski * data/machine learning engineer * conference speaker * co-founder of Software Craft Poznan & Poznan Scala User Group

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