Parquet files are compressed columnar files that are efficient to load and process. They are typically produced from Spark, but can be produced in other manners as well. DuckDB includes an efficient Parquet reader in the form of the parquet_scan function.

SELECT * FROM parquet_scan('test.parquet');

If your file ends in .parquet, the parquet_scan syntax is optional. The system will automatically infer that you are reading a Parquet file.

SELECT * FROM 'test.parquet';

Unlike CSV files, parquet files are structured and as such are unambiguous to read. No parameters need to be passed to this function. The parquet_scan function will figure out the column names and column types present in the file and emit them.

Querying Parquet Files

You can also insert the data into a table or create a table from the parquet file directly. This will load the data from the parquet file and insert it into the database.

-- insert the data from the parquet file in the table
INSERT INTO people SELECT * FROM parquet_scan('test.parquet');
-- create a table directly from a parquet file
CREATE TABLE people AS SELECT * FROM parquet_scan('test.parquet');

If you wish to keep the data stored inside the parquet file, but want to query the parquet file directly, you can create a view over the parquet_scan function. You can then query the parquet file as if it were a built-in table.

-- create a view over the parquet file
CREATE VIEW people AS SELECT * FROM parquet_scan('test.parquet');
-- query the parquet file
SELECT * FROM people;

Partial Reading

DuckDB supports projection pushdown into the Parquet file itself. That is to say, when querying a Parquet file, only the columns required for the query are read. This allows you to read only the part of the Parquet file that you are interested in. This will be done automatically by the system.

DuckDB also supports filter pushdown into the Parquet reader. When you apply a filter to a column that is scanned from a Parquet file, the filter will be pushed down into the scan, and can even be used to skip parts of the file using the built-in zonemaps. Note that this will depend on whether or not your Parquet file contains zonemaps.

Multi-File Reads and Globs

DuckDB can also read a series of Parquet files and treat them as if they were a single table. Note that this only works if the Parquet files have the same schema. You can specify which Parquet files you want to read using the glob syntax.

Wildcard Description
* matches any number of any characters (including none)
? matches any single character
[abc] matches one character given in the bracket
[a-z] matches one character from the range given in the bracket

Here is an example that reads all the files that end with .parquet located in the test folder:

-- read all files that match the glob pattern
SELECT * FROM parquet_scan('test/*.parquet');

Writing to Parquet Files

DuckDB also has support for writing to Parquet files using the COPY statement syntax. You can specify which compression format should be used using the CODEC parameter (options: UNCOMPRESSED, SNAPPY (default), ZSTD, GZIP).

-- write a query to a snappy compressed parquet file
COPY (SELECT * FROM tbl) TO 'result-snappy.parquet' (FORMAT 'parquet')
-- write "tbl" to a zstd compressed parquet file
COPY tbl TO 'result-zstd.parquet' (FORMAT 'PARQUET', CODEC 'ZSTD')
-- write a csv file to an uncompressed parquet file
COPY 'test.csv' TO 'result-uncompressed.parquet' (FORMAT 'PARQUET', CODEC 'UNCOMPRESSED')