Link Search Menu Expand Document


Inserts one or more values into a specified table. Specifying column names is optional.

The INSERT INTO operation is not atomic. If the operation is interrupted, partial data ingestion may occur. For more information, see Checking and validating INSERT INTO status below.


INSERT INTO <table_name> [(<column1>[, <column2>][, ...])]
{ <select_statement> | VALUES ([<value1>[, <value2>][, ...]) }
Parameter Description
<table_name> The target table where values are to be inserted.
(<column1>[, <column2>][, ...])] A list of column names from <table_name> for the insertion. If not defined, the columns are deduced from the <select_statement>.
VALUES ([<value1>[, <value2>][, ...])]
You can specify either a SELECT query that determines values to or an explicit list of VALUES to insert.

Extracting partition values using INSERT INTO

In some applications, such as Hive partitioning, table partitions are stored in Amazon S3 folders and files using a folder naming convention that identifies the partition. To extract partition information from the file path and store it with the data that you ingest, you can use the value that Firebolt automatically saves to the source_file_name metadata column for external tables. You can use a string operator in your INSERT INTO statement to extract a portion of the file path, and then store the result of the extraction in a virtual column in the fact table. For more information about metadata columns, see Using metadata virtual columns.

Using the source_file_name metadata column during an INSERT INTO operation is one method of extracting partition data from file paths. Another method is to use the PARTITION keyword for a column in the external table definition. For more information, see the PARTITION keyword explanation in the CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE reference.


Consider an example where folders and files in an S3 bucket have the following consistent pattern for partitions:


The xyz and abc portions of the S3 path above correspond to a value called c_type, which we want to store in the fact table alongside the values that we ingest from the parquet file in that partition.

In this example, the DDL statement below defines the external table that is used to ingest the data values for c_id and c_name from the Parquet files.

  c_id    INTEGER,
  c_name  TEXT,
CREDENTIALS = (AWS_ROLE_ARN = 'arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/MyRoleForFireboltS3Access1')
URL = 's3://my_bucket/'
OBJECT_PATTERN= '*.parquet'

To use source_file_name to extract a portion of the folder name. The first step is to create an additional column, c_type, when we create the fact table that is the target of the INSERT INTO operation. The c_type column will store the values that we extract.

    c_id    INTEGER,
    c_name  TEXT,
    c_type  TEXT

The example below shows the INSERT INTO statement that performs the ingestion and populates c_type with a value extracted from the partition file path.

The SELECT clause uses the SPLIT_PART function on the external table’s source_file_name metadata column, inserting the result into the c_type column. The source_file_name metadata value contains the path and file name, without the bucket. For example, data values ingested from the s3://my_bucket/xyz/2018/01/part-00001.parquet file have a corresponding source_file_name value of xyz/2018/01/part-00001.parquet. The function shown in the example below returns xyz because the index is 1. For more information, see SPLIT_PART.

INSERT INTO my_table (c_id, c_name, c_type)
    SPLIT_PART(source_file_name, '/', 1) AS c_type
FROM my_external_table

Checking and validating INSERT INTO status

If an INSERT INTO statement fails or a client is disconnected, Firebolt might ingest an incomplete data set into the target table. Here are some steps you can use to determine the status of an ingestion operation and ensure it ran successfully. This may come in handy if you suspect your statement failed for any reason.

  • Before running any queries, first check to make sure that the INSERT INTO query has completed. This can be done by viewing the information schema through the running_queries view:
SELECT * FROM information_schema.running_queries

You should see results similar to those shown below.

If you see your INSERT INTO statement under the QUERY_TEXT column, the operation is still running. Wait for it to finish before attempting any other steps.

  • If the INSERT INTO statement has finished, check that the external table and the target fact or dimension table have an equal number of rows.

The SQL statement below counts the rows in an external table, my_extable, and a fact or dimension table, my_fact_table. It compares the results and returns the comparison as CountResult. A CountResult of 1 is true, indicating that the row count is equal. A value of 0 is false, indicating the row count is not equal and ingestion might be incomplete. This statement assumes the fact or dimension table ingested all of the rows from the external table, and not a partial subset.

SELECT (SELECT COUNT(*) FROM my_extable)=(SELECT COUNT(*) FROM fact_or_dim_table) AS CountResult;
  • If the counts are not equal, use DROP TABLE to delete the incomplete target table, create a new target table, change the INSERT INTO query to use the new target, and then run the query again.