Just Released: BigQuery User friendly SQL Functions

Just Released: BigQuery User friendly SQL Functions

We were excited to see the power of BigQuery receive a further boost this week with the release of 12 new BigQuery SQL features. Google Cloud describes these as “user-friendly SQL capabilities”.

We were excited to see the power of BigQuery receive a further boost this week with the release of 12 new BigQuery SQL features. Google Cloud describes these as “_user-friendly SQL capabilities_”. So, let’s take a look at what’s now possible.

1. Add table columns via DDL

New to BigQuery is the ability to add new columns via the ALTER TABLE DDL statement. This is something data professionals with a background in traditional on-prem database platforms would expect as standard, so nice to see that Google Cloud has acknowledged this.

alter table mydataset.mytable
add column a string,
add column if not exists b geography,
add column c array<numeric>,
add column d date options(description="my description")

_We like the syntax for only adding a column if one doesn’t already exist, handy for idempotent deployments. Full support for records too. Learn more from the [BigQuery documentation._](https://cloud.google.com/bigquery/docs/reference/standard-sql/data-definition-language#alter_table_add_column_statement)

2. TRUNCATE table

TRUNCATE TABLE is now supported, which will please those from an on-prem background. Unlike a DELETE DML statement in BigQuery which incurs a scan cost, TRUNCATE falls under the growing list of BigQuery free operations. We will certainly be using this one a lot.

truncate table [project_name.] dataset_name.] table_name

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