Various new SQL features are added in this release. The widely used standard CHAR/VARCHAR data types are added as variants of the supported String types. More built-in functions (e.g., width_bucket (SPARK-21117) and regexp_extract_all (SPARK-24884) were added. The current number of built-in operators/functions has now reached 350. More DDL/DML/utility commands have been enhanced, including INSERT (SPARK-32976), MERGE (SPARK-32030) and EXPLAIN (SPARK-32337). Starting from this release, in Spark WebUI, the SQL plans are presented in a simpler and structured format (i.e. using EXPLAIN FORMATTED)
There have been quite a few advancements around the SQL side.