Using COPY FILLER to Handle Empty String NULL Values Enclosed in Control Characters

Jim_KnicelyJim_Knicely Administrator, Moderator, Employee, Registered User, VerticaExpert
edited March 19 in Vertica Tips

You can load data files into a Vertica table using the COPY command. Your data can be can be delimited and separated by control characters. Unfortunately, if you also enclose NULL values as an empty string, you might run into a data cast issue.

Example:

dbadmin=> \d test1
                                  List of Fields by Tables
Schema | Table | Column |   Type    | Size | Default | Not Null | Primary Key | Foreign Key
--------+-------+--------+-----------+------+---------+----------+-------------+-------------
public | test1 | c1     | int       |    8 |         | f        | f           |
public | test1 | c2     | timestamp |    8 |         | f        | f           |
public | test1 | c3     | int       |    8 |         | f        | f           |
(3 rows)

dbadmin=> \! cat -v /home/dbadmin/test1.csv
^V1^V^G^V2019-03-13 18:55:58.073597^V^G^V1^V
^V2^V^G^V2019-03-13 18:55:58.073597^V^G^V2^V
^V3^V^G^V^V^G^V3^V
^V4^V^G^V2019-03-13 18:55:58.073597^V^G^V4^V

dbadmin=> COPY test1 FROM '/home/dbadmin/test1.csv' DELIMITER e'\x07' ENCLOSED e'\x16' NULL AS '' DIRECT REJECTED DATA TABLE test1_bad;
Rows Loaded
-------------
           3
(1 row) 
dbadmin=> SELECT * FROM test1;
c1 |             c2             | c3
----+----------------------------+----
  1 | 2019-03-13 18:55:58.073597 |  1
  2 | 2019-03-13 18:55:58.073597 |  2
  4 | 2019-03-13 18:55:58.073597 |  4
(3 rows)

dbadmin=> SELECT rejected_reason FROM test1_bad;
                                   rejected_reason
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Invalid timestamp format '' for column 2 (c2).Invalid input syntax for timestamp: ""
(1 row)

One workaround is to use a COPY FILLER.

dbadmin=> TRUNCATE TABLE test1;
TRUNCATE TABLE

dbadmin=> COPY test1 (c1, c2_f FILLER VARCHAR, c2 AS c2_f::TIMESTAMP, c3) FROM '/home/dbadmin/test1.csv' DELIMITER e'\x07' ENCLOSED e'\x16' NULL AS '' DIRECT REJECTED DATA TABLE test1_bad;
Rows Loaded
-------------
           4
(1 row)

dbadmin=> SELECT * FROM test1;
c1 |             c2             | c3
----+----------------------------+----
  1 | 2019-03-13 18:55:58.073597 |  1
  2 | 2019-03-13 18:55:58.073597 |  2
  3 |                            |  3
  4 | 2019-03-13 18:55:58.073597 |  4
(4 rows)

Helpful Links:
https://www.vertica.com/docs/9.2.x/HTML/Content/Authoring/AdministratorsGuide/BulkLoadCOPY/BulkLoadingData.htm
https://www.vertica.com/docs/9.2.x/HTML/Content/Authoring/AdministratorsGuide/BulkLoadCOPY/IgnoringColumnsAndFieldsInTheLoadFile.htm
https://www.vertica.com/docs/9.2.x/HTML/Content/Authoring/SQLReferenceManual/LanguageElements/Literals/ExtendedStringLiterals.htm

Have fun!

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