Achilleus has a two-parter on working with columns in Spark. Part 1 covers some of the basic syntax and several functions:
Also, we can have typed columns which is basically a column with an expression encoder specified for the expected input and return type.
scala> val name = $"name".as[String]
name: org.apache.spark.sql.TypedColumn[Any,String] = name
scala> val name = $"name"
name: org.apache.spark.sql.ColumnName = name
There are more than 50 methods(67 the last time I counted ) that can be used for transformations on the column object. We will be covering some of the important methods that are generally used.
This is one of the most important function that is used in many of the window operations.We can talk about the window function in detail when discuss about aggregation in spark but for now, it will be fair enough to say that over method provides a way to apply an aggregation over a window specification which in turn can be used to specify partition, order and frame boundaries of the aggregation.
Check out both of these posts for useful tidbits.