CarbonData Lucene Index (Alpha Feature)

Index Management

Lucene Index can be created using following DDL

ON TABLE main_table (index_columns)
AS 'lucene'
[PROPERTIES ('key'='value')]

index_columns is the list of string columns on which lucene creates indexes.

Index can be dropped using following DDL:

ON [TABLE] main_table

To show all Indexes created, use:

ON [TABLE] main_table

It will show all Indexes created on the main table.

NOTE: Keywords given inside [] is optional.

Lucene Index Introduction

Lucene is a high performance, full featured text search engine. Lucene is integrated to carbon as an index and managed along with main tables by CarbonData. User can create lucene index to improve query performance on string columns which has content of more length. So, user can search tokenized word or pattern of it using lucene query on text content.

For instance, main table called index_test which is defined as:

CREATE TABLE index_test (
  name string,
  age int,
  city string,
  country string)
STORED AS carbondata

User can create Lucene index using the Create Index DDL:

ON TABLE index_test (name,country)
AS 'lucene'


  1. FLUSH_CACHE: size of the cache to maintain in Lucene writer, if specified then it tries to aggregate the unique data till the cache limit and flush to Lucene. It is best suitable for low cardinality dimensions.
  2. SPLIT_BLOCKLET: when made as true then store the data in blocklet wise in lucene , it means new folder will be created for each blocklet, thus, it eliminates storing blockletid in lucene and also it makes lucene small chunks of data.

Loading data

When loading data to main table, lucene index files will be generated for all the index_columns(String Columns) given in CREATE statement which contains information about the data location of index_columns. These index files will be written inside a folder named with index name inside each segment folder.

A system level configuration carbon.lucene.compression.mode can be added for best compression of lucene index files. The default value is speed, where the index writing speed will be more. If the value is compression, the index file size will be compressed.

Querying data

As a technique for query acceleration, Lucene indexes cannot be queried directly. Queries are to be made on the main table. When a query with TEXT_MATCH('name:c10') or TEXT_MATCH_WITH_LIMIT('name:n10',10)[the second parameter represents the number of result to be returned, if user does not specify this value, all results will be returned without any limit] is fired, two jobs will be launched. The first job writes the temporary files in folder created at table level which contains lucene's search results and these files will be read in second job to give faster results. These temporary files will be cleared once the query finishes.

User can verify whether a query can leverage Lucene index or not by executing the EXPLAIN command, which will show the transformed logical plan, and thus user can check whether TEXT_MATCH() filter is applied on query or not.


  1. The filter columns in TEXT_MATCH or TEXT_MATCH_WITH_LIMIT must be always in lowercase and filter conditions like 'AND','OR' must be in upper case.


    select * from index_test where TEXT_MATCH('name:*10 AND name:*n*')
  2. Query supports only one TEXT_MATCH udf for filter condition and not multiple udfs.

    The following query is supported:

    select * from index_test where TEXT_MATCH('name:*10 AND name:*n*')

    The following query is not supported:

    select * from index_test where TEXT_MATCH('name:*10) AND TEXT_MATCH(name:*n*')

Below like queries can be converted to text_match queries as following:

select * from index_test where name='n10'

select * from index_test where name like 'n1%'

select * from index_test where name like '%10'

select * from index_test where name like '%n%'

select * from index_test where name like '%10' and name not like '%n%'

Lucene TEXT_MATCH Queries:

select * from index_test where TEXT_MATCH('name:n10')

select * from index_test where TEXT_MATCH('name:n1*')

select * from index_test where TEXT_MATCH('name:*10')

select * from index_test where TEXT_MATCH('name:*n*')

select * from index_test where TEXT_MATCH('name:*10 -name:*n*')

Note: For lucene queries and syntax, refer to lucene-syntax

Data Management with lucene index

Once there is a lucene index created on the main table, following command on the main table is not supported:

  1. Data management command: UPDATE/DELETE.

Note: Adding a new column is supported, and for dropping columns and change datatype command, CarbonData will check whether it will impact the lucene index, if not, the operation is allowed, otherwise operation will be rejected by throwing exception.

  1. Partition management command: ALTER TABLE ADD/DROP PARTITION.

However, there is still way to support these operations on main table, in current CarbonData release, user can do as following:

  1. Remove the lucene index by DROP INDEX command.
  2. Carry out the data management operation on main table.
  3. Create the lucene index again by CREATE INDEX command. Basically, user can manually trigger the operation by refreshing the index.