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A way to Merge Columns of DataFrames in Spark with no Common Column Key

Made post at Databricks forum, thinking about how to take two DataFrames of the same number of rows and combine, merge, all columns into one DataFrame. This is straightforward, as we can use the monotonically_increasing_id() function to assign unique IDs to each of the rows, the same for each Dataframe. It would be ideal to add extra rows which are null to the Dataframe with fewer rows so they match, although the code below does not do this.

Once the IDs are added, a DataFrame join will merge all the columns into one Dataframe.


# For two Dataframes that have the same number of rows, merge all columns, row by row.

# Get the function monotonically_increasing_id so we can assign ids to each row, when the
# Dataframes have the same number of rows.
from pyspark.sql.functions import monotonically_increasing_id

#Create some test data with 3 and 4 columns.
df1 = sqlContext.createDataFrame([("foo", "bar","too","aaa"), ("bar", "bar","aaa","foo"), ("aaa", "bbb","ccc","ddd")], ("k", "K" ,"v" ,"V"))
df2 = sqlContext.createDataFrame([("aaa", "bbb","ddd"), ("www", "eee","rrr"), ("jjj", "rrr","www")], ("m", "M" ,"n"))

# Add increasing Ids, and they should be the same.
df1 = df1.withColumn("id", monotonically_increasing_id())
df2 = df2.withColumn("id", monotonically_increasing_id())

# Perform a join on the ids.
df3 = df2.join(df1, "id", "outer").drop("id")
df3.show()

Started a GitHub repository as look at code snippets for Apache Spark.