For the current JoinBase's query language, an ANSI SQL compatible syntax has been implemented.

We also try to learn the great part of PostgreSQL/TimescaleDB, MySQL et. al. in the language side. If you feel that there are good representations, functions and designs in these dialects, don't hesitate to come to the community to give your suggestions.

Here, we mainly show the differences and extensions to the ANSI SQL syntax which needing attention. Feel free to ask help from us and the community.

Finally, JoinBase is evolving rapidly. This language document is continuing to be improved based on the latest progress.


Data Types

Data TypesDescriptionSupport Status
UInt8/UInt16/UInt32Unsigned integer
Float32/Float64IEEE 754 float point number
StringVariable-length UTF8 string
BlobVariable-length binary data block
Date32-bit date, days since UNIX epoch 1970-01-01
DateTimetimestamp with an optional timezone, measured as a Unix epoch. The time zone is a string indicating the name of a time zone, either a time zone offset form "+XX:XX" or "-XX:XX", such as +07:30, or "Region/City" such as "America/New_York". If timezone is not provided, the server timezone (configurable via JoinBase conf file) will be used.
DecimalSigned fixed-point big numbers with precision and scale. For division least significant digits are discarded (not rounded).
Booleanboolean true or false
FixedStringFixed-length string of N bytes.
Dictionary type, by manually mapping a low cardinality type to another type.
It is highly recommended to use this to boost the query performance if you have low cardinality String columns.

Typed Literals

Literals for primary types like integer or string is well established. For advanced types, like datetime, the traditional implicit pure string representations are subtle and error-prone.

To avoid ambiguity and enhance the maintainability of the language, not like some SQL dialects, single quoted string literal in the JoinBase is just for the String type. On the contrary, we favor typed literals for advanced literal, that is: type prefix + string representation of that type.

DateTime TypesExample
DateTimeform#1: datetime'2001-01-01 01:01:01'
(this form will use server defined time zone)
form#2: datetime'2001-01-01 01:01:01+08:00'
(this form use the time zone defined in the literal)

datetime prefix can be reduced to dt, like dt'2001-01-01 01:01:01' for short.
for short, d'2001-01-01'
for short, t'01:01:01'
There the type prefix has a parameter for specifying the byte width of FixedString type. Because the FixedString data has a fixed length. The width parameter is used for padding its string representation.
If the byte width is not provided, the length of its string representation will be used. That is, fs'abc123' is the short form of fs(6)'abc123'. See more in the note below.


  • Not like Postgresql, JoinBase only have one timezone-wared DateTime type. It is recommended that you use the default timezone of JoinBase, which is the time zone of the JoinBase server. But you can specify the time zone in anywhere needed.
  • Date and Time type are not related the time zones, it just plain date and time. If you need timezone wared behavior, you just use DateTime type.
  • FixedString data in the JoinBase is fixed length. For the shorter string representation, it is necessary to pad the representation to the fixed length (with zero). For the longer string representation, the excess trailing will be truncated away. To enhance the ergonomics, for the representation which you can not need to pad, you can omit the width parameter, like fs'abc123'.

Data Definition, Manipulation and Management

  • create database
  • create table
CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS [db_name.]table_name
    a Nullable(UInt32),
    b Int64
NullableA nullable column is explicitly defined with Nullable container type.
PARTITION BYPARTITION BY clause is used to specify the partition key and partition expression of this table. Currently, only one column can be used as the partition key and only the specific functions can be used for the partition expression. All specific functions are listed below. It is planed to extend this feature to allow the complex expression combinations in the future.

Allowed specific partition functions:

Function NameDescriptionNum of Arguments
no function, a.k.a. just one raw column.1
yyyyget the year from a Date or DateTime value as 4-digit integer1
yyyymmget the year, month from a Date or DateTime value as 6-digit integer1
yyyymmddget the year, month and day from a Date or DateTime value as 8-digit integer1
yyyymmdd10/yyyymmdd7/yyyymmdd3variant of yyyymmdd with DateTime type, but the interval gap is 10/7/3-day1
ymdhget the year, month, day, hour from a DateTime value as 10-digit integer1
ymdh2/ymdh4/ymdh6/ymdh12variant of ymdh with DateTime type, but the interval gap is 2/4/6/12-hour1
remreminder of an Int-like types1


For more performance-ergonomic, all no-nullable types (this is the default case) in the CREATE TABLE statement has a default value: empty string for String, 0 for int-like and float-like, false for boolean, and unix epoch timestamp 0 (ISO 8601: 1970-01-01T00:00:00Z) for Date and DateTime. It is allow to use default constraint to change the default value if necessary. See more for performance tunning.

  • show databases
  • show tables
  • show create table
SHOW CREATE TABLE [db_name.]table_name
  • desc table
DESC TABLE [db_name.]table_name
  • drop database
  • drop table
DROP TABLE IF EXISTS [db_name.]table_name
  • truncate table
TRUNCATE TABLE IF EXISTS [db_name.]table_name
  • insert into
INSERT INTO [db_name.]table VALUES (v11, v12, v13), (v21, v22, v23), ...
  • use database
USE db_name


  • general form
SELECT expr_list
[FROM [db.]table]
[WHERE PARTS range_list/last_subclause]
[WHERE expr]
[GROUP BY expr_list]
[ORDER BY expr_list]
WHERE PARTS clauseThis clause is an unique JoinBase extension to the standard SQL, related to the core concept of JoinBase - Partition.

This clause allows the user to explicitly specify the query partitions to reduce scanning dataset and accelerate query. *
Select clauseselect count(1) from table is not currently supported. You can use select count(some_column) from table as the workaround.
  • Currently, WHERE PARTS supports two subclause forms:
    1. range_list. The range_list consists of one or more comma separated ranges. A range is one of as follow:

      one number, like 123;

      half open number interval, start..end, start..end contains all values with start <= x < end, like 123..456;

      close number interval, start..=end, start..=end contains all values with start <= x <= end, like 123..=456;

    2. last_subclause. The last_subclause is used to specify the last number of partitions which you can query against without providing latest partition key because it is varying with time, like last or last 10. This form is very useful for querying latest data in the time based partitions. Note, last is just a short form to last 1.

Function Reference


Function Namecount, max, min, avg, sum, all, any
Descriptionaggregation functions


Function Nameabs, power, floor, ceil, ln, log10, log2, cos, acos, sin, asin, tan, atan
Descriptionmath related functions


Function Nameint32, int64, uint32, uint64, float32, float64
Descriptionexplicit prompt other compatible types into this type


Function Nameutf8_is_alpha, utf8_is_decimal, utf8_is_digit, utf8_is_lower, utf8_is_upper, utf8_is_numeric, utf8_is_space, string_is_ascii
Descriptiontesting functions for String
Function Nameutf8_length, utf8_capitalize, utf8_lower, utf8_upper, utf8_reverse, utf8_ltrim, utf8_rtrim, utf8_trim, starts_with, ends_with, find_substring, count_substring
DescriptionString related functions


Function Namebinary_length, find_substring
DescriptionBlob(Binary) related functions


Function Nameday,day_of_week,day_of_year,hour,minute,month,quarter,second,week,year
DescriptionDateTime related functions

Other Test

Function Nameis_finite, is_inf, is_nan
Descriptiontest functions for Floats