Delta tables support standard SQL constraint management clauses that ensure that the quality and integrity of data added to a table is automatically verified. When a constraint is violated, Delta Lake throws an
InvariantViolationException to signal that the new data can’t be added.
Adding a constraint automatically upgrades the table writer protocol version. See How does Delta Lake manage feature compatibility? to understand table protocol versioning and what it means to upgrade the protocol version.
Two types of constraints are supported:
NOT NULL: indicates that values in specific columns cannot be null.
CHECK: indicates that a specified Boolean expression must be true for each input row.
NOT NULL constraint
NOT NULL constraints in the schema when you create a table and drop
NOT NULL constraints using the
ALTER TABLE CHANGE COLUMN command.
> CREATE TABLE default.people10m ( id INT NOT NULL, firstName STRING, middleName STRING NOT NULL, lastName STRING, gender STRING, birthDate TIMESTAMP, ssn STRING, salary INT ) USING DELTA; > ALTER TABLE default.people10m CHANGE COLUMN middleName DROP NOT NULL;
If you specify a
NOT NULL constraint on a column nested within a struct, the parent struct is also constrained to not be null. However, columns nested within array or map types do not accept
NOT NULL constraints.
CHECK constraints using the
ALTER TABLE ADD CONSTRAINT and
ALTER TABLE DROP CONSTRAINT commands.
ALTER TABLE ADD CONSTRAINT verifies that all existing rows satisfy the constraint before adding it to the table.
> CREATE TABLE default.people10m ( id INT, firstName STRING, middleName STRING, lastName STRING, gender STRING, birthDate TIMESTAMP, ssn STRING, salary INT ) USING DELTA; > ALTER TABLE default.people10m ADD CONSTRAINT dateWithinRange CHECK (birthDate > '1900-01-01'); > ALTER TABLE default.people10m DROP CONSTRAINT dateWithinRange;
CHECK constraints are table properties in the output of the
DESCRIBE DETAIL and
SHOW TBLPROPERTIES commands.
> ALTER TABLE default.people10m ADD CONSTRAINT validIds CHECK (id > 1 and id < 99999999); > DESCRIBE DETAIL default.people10m; > SHOW TBLPROPERTIES default.people10m;