Working with tables on the Amazon Glue console - Amazon Glue
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Working with tables on the Amazon Glue console

A table in the Amazon Glue Data Catalog is the metadata definition that represents the data in a data store. You create tables when you run a crawler, or you can create a table manually in the Amazon Glue console. The Tables list in the Amazon Glue console displays values of your table's metadata. You use table definitions to specify sources and targets when you create ETL (extract, transform, and load) jobs.


With recent changes to the Amazon management console, you may need to modify your existing IAM roles to have the SearchTables permission. For new role creation, the SearchTables API permission has already been added as default.

To get started, sign in to the Amazon Web Services Management Console and open the Amazon Glue console at Choose the Tables tab, and use the Add tables button to create tables either with a crawler or by manually typing attributes.

Adding tables on the console

To use a crawler to add tables, choose Add tables, Add tables using a crawler. Then follow the instructions in the Add crawler wizard. When the crawler runs, tables are added to the Amazon Glue Data Catalog. For more information, see Using crawlers to populate the Data Catalog .

If you know the attributes that are required to create an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) table definition in your Data Catalog, you can create it with the table wizard. Choose Add tables, Add table manually, and follow the instructions in the Add table wizard.

When adding a table manually through the console, consider the following:

  • If you plan to access the table from Amazon Athena, then provide a name with only alphanumeric and underscore characters. For more information, see Athena names.

  • The location of your source data must be an Amazon S3 path.

  • The data format of the data must match one of the listed formats in the wizard. The corresponding classification, SerDe, and other table properties are automatically populated based on the format chosen. You can define tables with the following formats:


    Apache Avro JSON binary format.


    Character separated values. You also specify the delimiter of either comma, pipe, semicolon, tab, or Ctrl-A.


    JavaScript Object Notation.


    Extensible Markup Language format. Specify the XML tag that defines a row in the data. Columns are defined within row tags.


    Apache Parquet columnar storage.


    Optimized Row Columnar (ORC) file format. A format designed to efficiently store Hive data.

  • You can define a partition key for the table.

  • Currently, partitioned tables that you create with the console cannot be used in ETL jobs.

Table attributes

The following are some important attributes of your table:


The name is determined when the table is created, and you can't change it. You refer to a table name in many Amazon Glue operations.


The container object where your table resides. This object contains an organization of your tables that exists within the Amazon Glue Data Catalog and might differ from an organization in your data store. When you delete a database, all tables contained in the database are also deleted from the Data Catalog.


The description of the table. You can write a description to help you understand the contents of the table.

Table format

Specify creating a standard Amazon Glue table, or a table in Apache Iceberg format.

Enable compaction

Choose Enable compaction to compact small Amazon S3 objects in the table into larger objects.

IAM role

To run compaction, the service assumes an IAM role on your behalf. You can choose an IAM role using the drop-down. Ensure that the role has the permissions required to enable compaction.

To learn more about the required permissions for the IAM role, see Table optimization prerequisites .


The pointer to the location of the data in a data store that this table definition represents.


A categorization value provided when the table was created. Typically, this is written when a crawler runs and specifies the format of the source data.

Last updated

The time and date (UTC) that this table was updated in the Data Catalog.

Date added

The time and date (UTC) that this table was added to the Data Catalog.


If Amazon Glue discovers that a table in the Data Catalog no longer exists in its original data store, it marks the table as deprecated in the data catalog. If you run a job that references a deprecated table, the job might fail. Edit jobs that reference deprecated tables to remove them as sources and targets. We recommend that you delete deprecated tables when they are no longer needed.


If Amazon Glue requires a connection to your data store, the name of the connection is associated with the table.

Viewing and editing table details

To see the details of an existing table, choose the table name in the list, and then choose Action, View details.

The table details include properties of your table and its schema. This view displays the schema of the table, including column names in the order defined for the table, data types, and key columns for partitions. If a column is a complex type, you can choose View properties to display details of the structure of that field, as shown in the following example:

{ "StorageDescriptor": { "cols": { "FieldSchema": [ { "name": "primary-1", "type": "CHAR", "comment": "" }, { "name": "second ", "type": "STRING", "comment": "" } ] }, "location": "s3://aws-logs-111122223333-us-east-1", "inputFormat": "", "outputFormat": "", "compressed": "false", "numBuckets": "0", "SerDeInfo": { "name": "", "serializationLib": "org.apache.hadoop.hive.serde2.OpenCSVSerde", "parameters": { "separatorChar": "|" } }, "bucketCols": [], "sortCols": [], "parameters": {}, "SkewedInfo": {}, "storedAsSubDirectories": "false" }, "parameters": { "classification": "csv" } }

For more information about the properties of a table, such as StorageDescriptor, see StorageDescriptor structure.

To change the schema of a table, choose Edit schema to add and remove columns, change column names, and change data types.

To compare different versions of a table, including its schema, choose Compare versions to see a side-by-side comparison of two versions of the schema for a table. For more information, see Compare table schema versions .

To display the files that make up an Amazon S3 partition, choose View partition. For Amazon S3 tables, the Key column displays the partition keys that are used to partition the table in the source data store. Partitioning is a way to divide a table into related parts based on the values of a key column, such as date, location, or department. For more information about partitions, search the internet for information about "hive partitioning."


To get step-by-step guidance for viewing the details of a table, see the Explore table tutorial in the console.

Compare table schema versions

When you compare two versions of table schemas, you can compare nested row changes by expanding and collapsing nested rows, compare schemas of two versions side-by-side, and view table properties side-by-side.

To compare versions

  1. From the Amazon Glue console, choose Tables, then Actions and choose Compare versions.

    The screenshot shows the Actions button when selected. The drop-down menu displays the Compare versions option.
  2. Choose a version to compare by choosing the version drop-down menu. When comparing schemas, the Schema tab is highlighted in orange.

  3. When you compare tables between two versions, the table schemas are presented to you on the left and right side of the screen. This enables you to determine changes visually by comparing the Column name, data type, key, and comment fields side-by-side. When there is a change, a colored icon displays the type of change that was made.

    • Deleted – displayed by a red icon indicates where the column was removed from a previous version of the table schema.

    • Edited or Moved – displayed by a blue icon indicates where the column was modified or moved in a newer version of the table schema.

    • Added – displayed by a green icon indicates where the column was added to a newer version of the table schema.

    • Nested changes – displayed by a yellow icon indicates where the nested column contains changes. Choose the column to expand and view the columns that have either been deleted, edited, moved, or added.

    The screenshot shows the table schema comparison between two versions. On the left side is the older version. On the right side is the newer version. The delete icon is next to a column that was removed from the older version and is no longer in the newer version.
  4. Use the filter fields search bar to display fields based on the characters you enter here. If you enter a column name in either table version, the filtered fields are displayed in both table versions to show you where the changes have occurred.

  5. To compare properties, choose the Properties tab.

  6. To stop comparing versions, choose Stop comparing to return to the list of tables.