Teradata User Installed File (UIF)

Teradata’s SCRIPT Table Operator allows us to execute a custom user script/command, which can be installed onto the database as a User-Installed-File (UIF).

At a high level, the Operator works by sending data from sql “select” statements to the script for processing. The script then reads and processes data from stdin and returns its output to stdout (answerset).

In order to demonstrate how it all works, I’ll go through the process of downloading a demo Teradata Virtual Machine instance which, will be used to do the discovery and run some sample code.

VMPlayer/VMWare Workstation

If you do not have VMPlayer/Workstation installed, head over to https://www.vmware.com/au/products/workstation-player.html and download the free copy (for non-commercial use). You’ll need the software to run the Teradata Node.

Teradata Express for VMWare Player

Download a demo version of “Teradata Express for VMWare Player” from https://downloads.teradata.com/download/database/teradata-express-for-vmware-player.

As of now, the latest version is 16.20. You’ll need to signup/register before being able to access the link. Registration is free.

Download the .7z archive, which contains the VMWare image of the SUSE Linux OS with Teradata pre-installed.

Save the file to a local folder and use 7zip to extract the contents. You should have the following files in the extracted folder:

Double click the file ending .vmx file , which contains the config for the Teradata VM.

Secure Network Access to the Teradata VM

Before launching the VM, we’ll take some precautions and ensure that we secure network connectivity to the guest by setting up a host/guest only network.

This can be accomplished by selecting the VM from the list:

and then:

  • Player -> Manage -> Virtual Machine Settings
  • “Hardware”
  • “Network Adaptor”
  • Host-only: A private network shared with the host
  • Click on OK to save changes

Start Teradata VM and Test Connectivity

Launch the VM by clicking “Play Virtual Machine”.

Once the logon dialog appears, login with username: root and password:root

After successfully logging in, you should be at the VM’s workspace screen.

Some basic checks before proceeding. We’ll check if we can “ping” the guest VM from the host.

Open up a “Terminal” within the guest, and check the IP address by issuing an ifconfig.

The above shows that the VM has been assigned an IP address of (your IP may be different).

Ping the the above IP address from the host. I’m running a Windows 10 OS, so from Powershell, a ping returns the following:

This test indicates that the guest/host network active. For the examples that follow, you can either choose to connect to the guest from your host using the IP address identified by the ifconfig above, or via commands issued directly from within the VM.

To check if Teradata has launched at startup, from a Terminal on the VM, enter the command pdestate:

Teradata should be up and running, it can take a few minutes for Teradata PDE/RDBMS to launch at startup.

With Teradata up and running, let’s run a test query via bteq to check connectivity to the RDMS. A simple “select date” query will do.


The official documentation for the Teradata version we’re running (16.20) confirms that UIFs are supported. If you are planning on testing with an alternate version, check the documentation to ensure UIFs are supported.

Below are some basic examples of running some basic commands.

Example 1: Determine Linux User Executing Script

The following command lists the Linux user that executes the script on the Teradata Node.

The result shows that the Linux user is tdatuser. This is consistent with the documentation:

Example 2: List Python Version Running SMP/TPA Node

The example below runs code to display the version of python installed on the Teradata SMP/TPA Node.

The version of python currently installed is, 2.6.9, which is fairly outdated.

TERADATA SCRIPT Operator and Python

Python is by far one of the most appealing choices when it comes to choosing a coding language to meet your solution needs. With the Teradata Script Operator, we have the option of writing our own Python script (among other types) to process data. The script can be installed onto the database and used within our sql.

The best way of demonstrating how it all works is best illustrated with a worked solution, which is described next.

Creating a Teradata SHA256 Python UIF

This demo will show the process involved for creating, testing and installing a python UIF which processes emails stored in a database table, and outputs the raw email along with its associated sha256 hash.

Create Teradata Database Sandpit

Start by creating a sandpit database to store the UIFs and other objects that we’ll use during the process. The following will create a 2GB database named “myproj” as a child of “dbc”.

The access rights required are as follows:

Create Sample Data

The following table will hold the raw emails addresses.

Populate the table with some fake emails.

Write and Test Python Script

The sample Python code below generates sha256 hashes for supplied input strings (in this case sample email addresses used above) and outputs the raw email along with its sha256 hash.

The code generates the following hashes:

To ensure the hashes are correct, choose one email (myemail@test.com) and test its sha256 hash at https://asecuritysite.com/encryption/md5 :

The sha256 hash matches the output of the Python script, which indicates the script works as expected.

Prepare Python Script for Installation as Teradata UIF

The below shows the modified version of the script, which would need to be installed as a UIF onto the database.

The script sets the environment to “/usr/bin/python”, reads rows (with tab delimited fields) from sysin, and then returns the output to stdout.

We can now start working on getting the script installed onto the database

Save the script locally. I’ve saved to directory/root/Desktop/uif_scripts/sha256.py within the guest.

Installing the Python Script as a UIF

Open a bash terminal on the guest and change directory to the location where the UIF-ready script was saved to. Use bteq to install the script as UIF to database myproj:

The output of the run should look similar to the following:

Running the UIF: MYPROJ.sha256

Before we can run the UIF, we need to let Teradata know the database location of the script. This is achieved by running the following for the session. This parameter is valid for the session duration and will be unset once your session is no longer active:

The UIF can now be run against our test table (myproj.emails) using the following code.

The following output is returned:

Conclusion and Extended Topics

Hopefully this article has given a decent insight into UIFs and the flexibility they offer.

There are a some other topics that will be covered as an extension to this article. They were not included in this article as they deserve a dedicated discussion.

These topics include:

  • Extending the capabilities of UIFs to harness advanced features of other python packages not included in the default version of python
  • Options and workarounds for having to explicitly set UIF database search path (SEARCHUIFDBPATH)

Written by

Primarily a Learner/Coder with interests in Python, Cloud Technologies, Security and Automation. Pandas munching on Bamboo sticks give me the “Giggles” :))

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