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From Jason Dere <>
Subject Re: Question on varchar in 0.12.0 version of nive
Date Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:09:09 GMT
Varchar was only added to Hive in 0.12, before that there was only string if you wanted to
deal with string types. Varchar will enforce the max character length, truncating the string
value if necessary. We've tried to make it as compatible with string as possible.
One thing about varchars, if you are writing custom Hive UDFs, if you want to return varchar
values you will need to use the newer style GenericUDF class, rather than the older style
UDF class. If you use the older style UDF, you would simply have to use String type when handling
string data in the UDF. Varchar values are automatically converted to string type in this

On Dec 15, 2014, at 9:47 AM, Gayathri Swaroop <> wrote:

> I am a newbie to hive. I am trying to query an oracle table in hive. The data is in hadoop
and i have created similar varchar columns in my external table. Would like to know what are
the limitations of varchar over string. And why people prefer string over varchar.
> Thanks,
> Gayathri

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