User-Defined Functions (UDFs)

Pinot currently supports two ways for you to implement your own functions:

  • Groovy Scripts

  • Scalar Functions

Groovy Scripts

Pinot allows you to run any function using Apache Groovy scripts. The syntax for executing Groovy script within the query is as follows:

GROOVY('result value metadata json', ''groovy script', arg0, arg1, arg2...)

This function will execute the groovy script using the arguments provided and return the result that matches the provided result value metadata. **** The function requires the following arguments:

  • Result value metadata json - json string representing result value metadata. Must contain non-null keys resultType and isSingleValue.

  • Groovy script to execute- groovy script string, which uses arg0, arg1, arg2 etc to refer to the arguments provided within the script

  • arguments - pinot columns/other transform functions that are arguments to the groovy script


  • Add colA and colB and return a single-value INT groovy( '{"returnType":"INT","isSingleValue":true}', 'arg0 + arg1', colA, colB)\

  • Find the max element in mvColumn array and return a single-value INT

    groovy('{"returnType":"INT","isSingleValue":true}', 'arg0.toList().max()', mvColumn)\

  • Find all elements of the array mvColumn and return as a multi-value LONG column

    groovy('{"returnType":"LONG","isSingleValue":false}', 'arg0.findIndexValues{ it > 5 }', mvColumn)\

  • Multiply length of array mvColumn with colB and return a single-value DOUBLE

    groovy('{"returnType":"DOUBLE","isSingleValue":true}', 'arg0 * arg1', arraylength(mvColumn), colB)\

  • Find all indexes in mvColumnA which have value foo, add values at those indexes in mvColumnB

    groovy( '{"returnType":"DOUBLE","isSingleValue":true}', 'def x = 0; arg0.eachWithIndex{item, idx-> if (item == "foo") {x = x + arg1[idx] }}; return x' , mvColumnA, mvColumnB)\

  • Switch case which returns a FLOAT value depending on length of mvCol array

    groovy('{\"returnType\":\"FLOAT\", \"isSingleValue\":true}', 'def result; switch(arg0.length()) { case 10: result = 1.1; break; case 20: result = 1.2; break; default: result = 1.3;}; return result.floatValue()', mvCol) \

  • Any Groovy script which takes no arguments

    groovy('new Date().format( "yyyyMMdd" )', '{"returnType":"STRING","isSingleValue":true}')

⚠️ Note that Groovy script doesn't accept Built-In ScalarFunction that's specific to Pinot queries. See the section below for more information.

⚠️ Enabling Groovy

Allowing execuatable Groovy in queries can be a security vulnerability. Use caution and be aware of the security risks if you decide to allow groovy. If you would like to enable Groovy in Pinot queries, you can set the following broker config.

If not set, Groovy in queries is disabled by default.

The above configuration applies across the entire Pinot cluster. If you want a table level override to enable/disable Groovy queries, the following property can be set in the query table config.

  "tableName": "myTable",
  "tableType": "OFFLINE",
  "query" : {
    "disableGroovy": false

Scalar Functions

Since the 0.5.0 release, Pinot supports custom functions that return a single output for multiple inputs. Examples of scalar functions can be found in StringFunctions and DateTimeFunctions

Pinot automatically identifies and registers all the functions that have the @ScalarFunction annotation.

Only Java methods are supported.

Adding user defined scalar functions

You can add new scalar functions as follows:

  • Create a new java project. Make sure you keep the package name as org.apache.pinot.scalar.XXXX

  • In your java project include the dependency

  • Annotate your methods with @ScalarFunction annotation. Make sure the method is static and returns only a single value output. The input and output can have one of the following types -

    • Integer

    • Long

    • Double

    • String

//Example Scalar function

static String mySubStr(String input, Integer beginIndex) {
  return input.substring(beginIndex);
  • Place the compiled JAR in the /plugins directory in pinot. You will need to restart all Pinot instances if they are already running.

  • Now, you can use the function in a query as follows:

SELECT mysubstr(playerName, 4) 
FROM baseballStats

⚠️ Note that the function name in SQL is the same as the function name in Java. The SQL function name is case-insensitive as well.

Last updated