Starburst PostgreSQL connector#

The Starburst PostgreSQL connector is an extended version of the PostgreSQL connector with configuration and usage identical.

The following improvements are included:


SQL support#

The connector supports all of the SQL statements listed in the PostgreSQL connector documentation.


The Starburst enhanced connector supports the following commands for use with ALTER TABLE EXECUTE:


The collect_statistics command is used with Managed statistics to collect statistics for a table and its columns.

The following statement collects statistics for the example_table table and all of its columns:

ALTER TABLE example_table EXECUTE collect_statistics;

Collecting statistics for all columns in a table may be unnecessarily performance-intensive, especially for wide tables. To only collect statistics for a subset of columns, you can include the columns parameter with an array of column names. For example:

ALTER TABLE example_table
    EXECUTE collect_statistics(columns => ARRAY['customer','line_item']);


The connector includes a number of performance improvements, detailed in the following sections.


The connector supports pushdown of all operations listed in the PostgreSQL connector documentation.

Dynamic filtering#

Dynamic filtering is enabled by default. It causes the connector to wait for dynamic filtering to complete before starting a JDBC query.

You can disable dynamic filtering by setting the dynamic-filtering.enabled property in your catalog configuration file to false.

Wait timeout#

By default, table scans on the connector are delayed up to 20 seconds until dynamic filters are collected from the build side of joins. Using a large timeout can potentially result in more detailed dynamic filters. However, it can also increase latency for some queries.

You can configure the dynamic-filtering.wait-timeout property in your catalog properties file:


You can use the dynamic_filtering_wait_timeout catalog session property in a specific session:

SET SESSION example.dynamic_filtering_wait_timeout = 1s;


The maximum size of dynamic filter predicate, that is pushed down to the connector during table scan for a column, is configured using the domain-compaction-threshold property in the catalog properties file:


You can use the domain_compaction_threshold catalog session property:

SET SESSION domain_compaction_threshold = 10;

By default, domain-compaction-threshold is set to 32. When the dynamic predicate for a column exceeds this threshold, it is compacted into a single range predicate.

For example, if the dynamic filter collected for a date column dt on the fact table selects more than 32 days, the filtering condition is simplified from dt IN ('2020-01-10', '2020-01-12',..., '2020-05-30') to dt BETWEEN '2020-01-10' AND '2020-05-30'. Using a large threshold can result in increased table scan overhead due to a large IN list getting pushed down to the data source.


Metrics about dynamic filtering are reported in a JMX table for each catalog:


Metrics include information about the total number of dynamic filters, the number of completed dynamic filters, the number of available dynamic filters and the time spent waiting for dynamic filters.

Starburst Cached Views#

The connectors supports table scan redirection to improve performance and reduce load on the data source.

JDBC connection pooling#

When JDBC connection pooling is enabled, each node creates and maintains a connection pool instead of opening and closing separate connections to the data source. Each connection is available to connect to the data source and retrieve data. After completion of an operation, the connection is returned to the pool and can be reused. This improves performance by a small amount, reduces the load on any required authentication system used for establishing the connection, and helps avoid running into connection limits on data sources.

JDBC connection pooling is disabled by default. You can enable JDBC connection pooling by setting the connection-pool.enabled property to true in your catalog configuration file:


The following catalog configuration properties can be used to tune connection pooling:

JDBC connection pooling catalog configuration properties#

Property name


Default value


Enable connection pooling for the catalog.



The maximum number of idle and active connections in the pool.



The maximum lifetime of a connection. When a connection reaches this lifetime it is removed, regardless of how recently it has been active.



The maximum size of the JDBC data source cache.



The expiration time of a cached data source when it is no longer accessed.


Managed statistics#

The connector supports Managed statistics allowing SEP to collect and store table and column statistics that can then be used for performance optimizations in query planning.

Statistics must be collected manually using the built-in collect_statistics command, see collect_statistics for details and examples.


The connector includes a number of security-related features, detailed in the following sections.

User impersonation#

The PostgreSQL connector supports user impersonation.

User impersonation can be enabled in the catalog file:


User impersonation in PostgreSQL connector is based on SET ROLE. For more details visit the PostgreSQL documentation.

Kerberos authentication#

The connector supports Kerberos authentication using either a keytab or credential cache.

To configure Kerberos authentication with a keytab, add the following catalog configuration properties to the catalog properties file:


With this configuration the user, defined in the principal property, is used to connect to the database, and the related Kerberos service ticket is located in the example.keytab file.

To configure Kerberos authentication with a credential cache, add the following catalog configuration properties to the catalog properties file:


In these configurations the user, as defined in the principal property, connects to the database. The related Kerberos service ticket is located in the etc/kerberos/example.keytab file, or cache credentials in the etc/kerberos/example.cache file.

Kerberos credential pass-through#

The PostgreSQL connector can be configured to pass through Kerberos credentials, received by SEP, to the PostgreSQL database.

Configure Kerberos and SEP, following the instructions in Kerberos credential pass-through.

Then configure the connector to pass through the credentials from the server to the database in your catalog properties file and ensure the Kerberos client configuration properties are in place on all nodes.


Now any database access via SEP is subject to the data access restrictions and permissions of the user supplied via Kerberos.

Password credential pass-through#

The connector supports password credential pass-through. To enable it, edit the catalog properties file to include the authentication type:


For more information about configurations and limitations, see Password credential pass-through.

AWS IAM authentication#

When the PostgreSQL database is deployed as an AWS RDS instance, the connector can use IAM authentication. This enhancement allows you to manage access control from SEP with IAM policies.


To enable IAM authentication, add the following configuration properties to the catalog configuration file:

connection-user=<RDS username>
aws.region-name=<AWS region>

You can also configure the connector to assume a specific IAM role for authentication before creating the access token, in order to apply policies specific to SEP. Alongside this role, you must include an (informal) external identifier of a user to assume this role.

To apply an IAM role to the connector, add the following configuration properties:


This table describes the configuration properties for IAM authentication:

IAM configuration properties#

Property name



The database account used to access the RDS database instance.


The name of the AWS region in which the RDS instance is deployed.


(Optional) Set an IAM role to assume for authentication before creating the access token. If set, aws.external-id must be configured as well.


(Optional) The informal identifier of the user who assumes the IAM role set in aws.iam-role.


The amount of time to keep the generated RDS access tokens for each user before they are regenerated. The maximum value is 15 minutes. Defaults to 10m.


The access key of the principal to authenticate with for the token generator service. Used for fixed authentication, setting this property disables automatic authentication.


The secret key of the principal to authenticate with for the token generator service. Used for fixed authentication, setting this property disables automatic authentication.


(Optional) A session token for temporary credentials, such as credentials obtained from SSO. Used for fixed authentication, setting this property disables automatic authentication.


By default the connector attempts to automatically obtain its authentication credentials from the environment. The default credential provider chain attempts to obtain credentials from the following sources, in order:


  2. Java system properties: aws.accessKeyId and aws.secretKey.

  3. Web identity token: credentials from the environment or container.

  4. Credential profiles file: a profiles file at the default location (~/.aws/credentials) shared by all AWS SDKs and the AWS CLI.

  5. EC2 service credentials: credentials delivered through the Amazon EC2 container service, assuming the security manager has permission to access the value of the AWS_CONTAINER_CREDENTIALS_RELATIVE_URI environment variable.

  6. Instance profile credentials: credentials delievered through the Amazon EC2 metadata service.

If the SEP cluster is running on an EC2 instance, these credentials most likely come from the metadata service.

Alternatively, you can set fixed credentials for authentication. This option disables the container’s automatic attempt to locate credentials. To use fixed credentials for authentication, set the following configuration properties:


# (Optional) You can use temporary credentials. For example, you can use temporary credentials from SSO