This article contains Python user-defined function (UDF) examples. It shows how to register UDFs, how to invoke UDFs, and provides caveats about evaluation order of subexpressions in Spark SQL.
In Databricks Runtime 14.0 and above, you can use Python user-defined table functions (UDTFs) to register functions that return entire relations instead of scalar values. See What are Python user-defined table functions?.
In Databricks Runtime 13.1 and below, Python UDF and UDAF (user-defined aggregate functions) are not supported in Unity Catalog on clusters that use shared access mode. These UDFs are supported in Databricks Runtime 13.2 and above for all access modes.
In Databricks Runtime 13.2 and above, you can register scalar Python UDFs to Unity Catalog using SQL syntax. See User-defined functions (UDFs) in Unity Catalog.
UDFs and UDAFs are not supported on Graviton clusters configured with shared access mode and Unity Catalog.
def squared(s): return s * s spark.udf.register("squaredWithPython", squared)
You can optionally set the return type of your UDF. The default return type is
from pyspark.sql.types import LongType def squared_typed(s): return s * s spark.udf.register("squaredWithPython", squared_typed, LongType())
%sql select id, squaredWithPython(id) as id_squared from test
from pyspark.sql.functions import udf from pyspark.sql.types import LongType squared_udf = udf(squared, LongType()) df = spark.table("test") display(df.select("id", squared_udf("id").alias("id_squared")))
Alternatively, you can declare the same UDF using annotation syntax:
from pyspark.sql.functions import udf @udf("long") def squared_udf(s): return s * s df = spark.table("test") display(df.select("id", squared_udf("id").alias("id_squared")))
Spark SQL (including SQL and the DataFrame and Dataset API) does not guarantee the order of
evaluation of subexpressions. In particular, the inputs of an operator or function are not
necessarily evaluated left-to-right or in any other fixed order. For example, logical
OR expressions do not have left-to-right “short-circuiting” semantics.
Therefore, it is dangerous to rely on the side effects or order of evaluation of Boolean
expressions, and the order of
HAVING clauses, since such expressions and clauses can be
reordered during query optimization and planning. Specifically, if a UDF relies on short-circuiting semantics in SQL for null checking, there’s no
guarantee that the null check will happen before invoking the UDF. For example,
spark.udf.register("strlen", lambda s: len(s), "int") spark.sql("select s from test1 where s is not null and strlen(s) > 1") # no guarantee
WHERE clause does not guarantee the
strlen UDF to be invoked after filtering out nulls.
To perform proper null checking, we recommend that you do either of the following:
Make the UDF itself null-aware and do null checking inside the UDF itself
CASE WHENexpressions to do the null check and invoke the UDF in a conditional branch
spark.udf.register("strlen_nullsafe", lambda s: len(s) if not s is None else -1, "int") spark.sql("select s from test1 where s is not null and strlen_nullsafe(s) > 1") // ok spark.sql("select s from test1 where if(s is not null, strlen(s), null) > 1") // ok