Amazon Glacier
Developer Guide (API Version 2012-06-01)

Amazon Glacier Select SQL Reference

This section describes the SQL reference for Amazon Glacier select.

SELECT Command

Amazon Glacier select supports only the SELECT SQL command. The following ANSI standard clauses are supported for SELECT:

  • SELECT list

  • FROM clause

  • WHERE clause


Amazon Glacier select queries currently do not support subqueries or joins.

FROM Clause

Amazon Glacier select supports the following forms of the FROM clause:

FROM table_name FROM table_name alias FROM table_name AS alias

Where table_name is one of ARCHIVE or OBJECT referring to the archive being queried over. For users coming from traditional relational databases, this can be thought of as a database schema containing two views (named ARCHIVE and OBJECT respectively) over a single table.

Following standard SQL, the FROM clause creates rows that are filtered in the WHERE clause and projected in the SELECT list.

Attribute Access in the SELECT and WHERE Clauses

The SELECT and WHERE clauses can refer to the N-th column of a row with the column name _N, where N is the column position. The position count starts at 1. For example, the first column is named _1 and the second column is named _2.

A column can be referred to as _N or alias._N. For example, _2 and myAlias._2 are both valid ways to refer to a column in the SELECT list and WHERE clause.

Scalar Expressions

Within the WHERE clause and the SELECT list, you can have SQL scalar expressions, which are expressions that return scalar values. They have the following form:

  • literal

    An SQL literal.

  • column_reference

    A reference to a column in the form column_name or alias.column_name.

  • unary_op expression

    Where unary_op unary is an SQL unary operator.

  • expression binary_op expression

    Where binary_op is an SQL binary operator.

  • func_name

    Where func_name is the name of a scalar function to invoke.

  • expression [ NOT ] BETWEEN expression AND expression

  • expression LIKE expression [ ESCAPE expression ]

WHERE Clause

The WHERE clause follows this syntax:

WHERE condition

The WHERE clause filters rows based on the condition. A condition is an expression that has a Boolean result. Only rows for which the condition evaluates to TRUE are returned in the result.


The SELECT list names the columns, functions, and expressions that you want the query to return. The list represents the output of the query.

SELECT * SELECT projection [ AS column_alias | column_alias ] [, ...]

The first form with * (asterisk) returns every row that passed the WHERE clause, as-is. The second form creates a row with user-defined output scalar expressions projection for each column.

Supported Data Types

Amazon Glacier select supports the following subset of primitive data types.

Name Description Required
int 8-byte signed integer in the range -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807. 100000
string UTF8-encoded variable-length string. The default limit is 1 character. The maximum character limit is 2,147,483,647. 'xyz'
float 8-byte floating point number. CAST(0.456 AS FLOAT)
decimal 38-digit precision number, precision is p, and scale is s. 123.456

Time stamps represent a specific moment in time, always include a local offset, and are capable of arbitrary precision.

In the text format, time stamps follow the W3C note on date and time formats, but they must end with the literal “T” if not at least whole-day precision. Fractional seconds are allowed, with at least one digit of precision, and an unlimited maximum. Local-time offsets may be represented as either hour:minute offsets from UTC, or as the literal “Z” to denote a local time of UTC. They are required on time stamps with time and are not allowed on date values.

CAST('2007-04-05T14:30Z' AS TIMESTAMP)

Data Type Conversions

The general rule is to follow the CAST function if defined. If it is not defined, then follow the conversion rules in the next section. For more information about CAST, see SQL Functions.

Data Type Conversion Rules

The following are the data type conversion rules: All input data is treated as a string. It must be cast into the relevant data types when necessary.


The following operators are supported.

Logical Operators

  • AND

  • NOT

  • OR

Comparison Operators

  • <

  • >

  • <=

  • >=

  • =

  • <>

  • IN – Amazon Glacier select supports only IN for a fixed set of scalar values, for example: IN ('a', 'b', 'c')


Pattern Matching Operators

  • LIKE

Math Operators

Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and modulo are supported.

  • +

  • -

  • *

  • %

Operator Precedence

The following table shows operators precedence or in decreasing order.

Operator/Element Associativity Required
- right unary minus
*, /, % left multiplication, division, modulo
+, - left addition, subtraction
IN set membership
BETWEEN range containment
LIKE string pattern matching
<> less than, greater than
= right equality, assignment
NOT right logical negation
AND left logical conjunction
OR left logical disjunction

SQL Functions

Data Type Conversion Function

  • CAST

The CAST function converts an entity, such as an expression that evaluates to a single value, from one type to another.

CAST (<expression> AS <data type>)


A combination of one or more values, operators, and SQL functions that evaluate to a value.

data type

The target data type, such as INT, to cast the expression to.