DataFusion: A Rust-native Query Engine for Apache Arrow

Published 04 Feb 2019
By Andy Grove (agrove)

We are excited to announce that DataFusion has been donated to the Apache Arrow project. DataFusion is an in-memory query engine for the Rust implementation of Apache Arrow.

Although DataFusion was started two years ago, it was recently re-implemented to be Arrow-native and currently has limited capabilities but does support SQL queries against iterators of RecordBatch and has support for CSV files. There are plans to add support for Parquet files.

SQL support is limited to projection (SELECT), selection (WHERE), and simple aggregates (MIN, MAX, SUM) with an optional GROUP BY clause.

Supported expressions are identifiers, literals, simple math operations (+, -, *, /), binary expressions (AND, OR), equality and comparison operators (=, !=, <, <=, >=, >), and CAST(expr AS type).


The following example demonstrates running a simple aggregate SQL query against a CSV file.

// create execution context
let mut ctx = ExecutionContext::new();

// define schema for data source (csv file)
let schema = Arc::new(Schema::new(vec![
    Field::new("c1", DataType::Utf8, false),
    Field::new("c2", DataType::UInt32, false),
    Field::new("c3", DataType::Int8, false),
    Field::new("c4", DataType::Int16, false),
    Field::new("c5", DataType::Int32, false),
    Field::new("c6", DataType::Int64, false),
    Field::new("c7", DataType::UInt8, false),
    Field::new("c8", DataType::UInt16, false),
    Field::new("c9", DataType::UInt32, false),
    Field::new("c10", DataType::UInt64, false),
    Field::new("c11", DataType::Float32, false),
    Field::new("c12", DataType::Float64, false),
    Field::new("c13", DataType::Utf8, false),

// register csv file with the execution context
let csv_datasource =
    CsvDataSource::new("test/data/aggregate_test_100.csv", schema.clone(), 1024);
ctx.register_datasource("aggregate_test_100", Rc::new(RefCell::new(csv_datasource)));

let sql = "SELECT c1, MIN(c12), MAX(c12) FROM aggregate_test_100 WHERE c11 > 0.1 AND c11 < 0.9 GROUP BY c1";

// execute the query
let relation = ctx.sql(&sql).unwrap();
let mut results = relation.borrow_mut();

// iterate over the results
while let Some(batch) = {
        "RecordBatch has {} rows and {} columns",

    let c1 = batch

    let min = batch

    let max = batch

    for i in 0..batch.num_rows() {
        let c1_value: String = String::from_utf8(c1.value(i).to_vec()).unwrap();
        println!("{}, Min: {}, Max: {}", c1_value, min.value(i), max.value(i),);


The roadmap for DataFusion will depend on interest from the Rust community, but here are some of the short term items that are planned:

  • Extending test coverage of the existing functionality
  • Adding support for Parquet data sources
  • Implementing more SQL features such as JOIN, ORDER BY and LIMIT
  • Implement a DataFrame API as an alternative to SQL
  • Adding support for partitioning and parallel query execution using Rust’s async and await functionality
  • Creating a Docker image to make it easy to use DataFusion as a standalone query tool for interactive and batch queries

Contributors Welcome!

If you are excited about being able to use Rust for data science and would like to contribute to this work then there are many ways to get involved. The simplest way to get started is to try out DataFusion against your own data sources and file bug reports for any issues that you find. You could also check out the current list of issues and have a go at fixing one. You can also join the user mailing list to ask questions.