This is the documentation for Cloudera Impala 1.4.0.
Documentation for other versions is available at Cloudera.com.

Conditional Functions

Impala supports the following conditional functions for testing equality, comparison operators, and nullity:

CASE a WHEN b THEN c [WHEN d THEN e]... [ELSE f] END
Purpose: Compares an expression to one or more possible values, and returns a corresponding result when a match is found.

Return type: same as the initial argument value, except that integer values are promoted to BIGINT and floating-point values are promoted to DOUBLE; use CAST() when inserting into a smaller numeric column

CASE WHEN a THEN b [WHEN c THEN d]... [ELSE e] END
Purpose: Tests whether any of a sequence of expressions is true, and returns a corresponding result for the first true expression.

Return type: same as the initial argument value, except that integer values are promoted to BIGINT and floating-point values are promoted to DOUBLE; use CAST() when inserting into a smaller numeric column

coalesce(type v1, type v2, ...)
Purpose: Returns the first specified argument that is not NULL, or NULL if all arguments are NULL.

Return type: same as the initial argument value, except that integer values are promoted to BIGINT and floating-point values are promoted to DOUBLE; use CAST() when inserting into a smaller numeric column

if(boolean condition, type ifTrue, type ifFalseOrNull)
Purpose: Tests an expression and returns a corresponding result depending on whether the result is true, false, or NULL.

Return type: same as the ifTrue argument value

ifnull(type a, type ifNotNull)
Purpose: Alias for the isnull() function, with the same behavior. To simplify porting SQL with vendor extensions to Impala.

Added in: Impala 1.3.0

isnull(type a, type ifNotNull)
Purpose: Tests if an expression is NULL, and returns the expression result value if not. If the first argument is NULL, returns the second argument.

Compatibility notes: Equivalent to the nvl() function from Oracle Database or ifnull() from MySQL. The nvl() and ifnull() functions are also available in Impala.

Return type: same as the first argument value

nullif(expr1,expr2)
Purpose: Returns NULL if the two specified arguments are equal. If the specified arguments are not equal, returns the value of expr1. The data types of the expressions must be compatible, according to the conversion rules from Data Types. You cannot use an expression that evaluates to NULL for expr1; that way, you can distinguish a return value of NULL from an argument value of NULL, which would never match expr2.

Usage notes: This function is effectively shorthand for a CASE expression of the form:

CASE
  WHEN expr1 = expr2 THEN NULL
  ELSE expr1
END

It is commonly used in division expressions, to produce a NULL result instead of a divide-by-zero error when the divisor is equal to zero:

select 1.0 / nullif(c1,0) as reciprocal from t1;

You might also use it for compatibility with other database systems that support the same NULLIF() function.

Return type: same as the initial argument value, except that integer values are promoted to BIGINT and floating-point values are promoted to DOUBLE; use CAST() when inserting into a smaller numeric column

Added in: Impala 1.3.0

nullifzero(numeric_expr)
Purpose: Returns NULL if the numeric expression evaluates to 0, otherwise returns the result of the expression.

Usage notes: Used to avoid error conditions such as divide-by-zero in numeric calculations. Serves as shorthand for a more elaborate CASE expression, to simplify porting SQL with vendor extensions to Impala.

Return type: same as the initial argument value, except that integer values are promoted to BIGINT and floating-point values are promoted to DOUBLE; use CAST() when inserting into a smaller numeric column

Added in: Impala 1.3.0

nvl(type a, type ifNotNull)
Purpose: Alias for the isnull() function. Tests if an expression is NULL, and returns the expression result value if not. If the first argument is NULL, returns the second argument. Equivalent to the nvl() function from Oracle Database or ifnull() from MySQL.

Return type: same as the first argument value

Added in: Impala 1.1

zeroifnull(numeric_expr)
Purpose: Returns 0 if the numeric expression evaluates to NULL, otherwise returns the result of the expression.

Usage notes: Used to avoid unexpected results due to unexpected propagation of NULL values in numeric calculations. Serves as shorthand for a more elaborate CASE expression, to simplify porting SQL with vendor extensions to Impala.

Return type: same as the initial argument value, except that integer values are promoted to BIGINT and floating-point values are promoted to DOUBLE; use CAST() when inserting into a smaller numeric column

Added in: Impala 1.3.0