Skip to main content

Incremental vs. snapshot base type in distribution tables

Qlik Catalog enables users to manage snapshot and incremental loads through partition administration in Hive or the distribution engine in use. When an entity is created the entity property, entity.base.type, is set designating whether the data loads into the entity through snapshot (default) where every data set loaded is a full "refresh" of all data for that entity or incremental where after the first load all subsequent data sets loaded are additions on top of already loaded data.

This setting drives the current view of the data exposed through distribution table; which in the case of snapshot is the partition of the last data that was loaded whereas for incremental loads; the current view is the aggregate of all data partitions.

To view which base type is configured for an entity, from entity grid in source module, select View entity details(view details) or View/Entity Properties from the More dropdown on the entity row to display General Information for the entity. Entity Base Type provides radio buttons for either Snapshot or Incremental. These buttons are informational and can be modified by administrators.

Entity base type

Querying records for an entity can yield significantly different record numbers depending on entity base type setting.

Entity Base Type returns

Entity Base Type





load A. 50 records (Partition 1)

load B: 10 records (Partition 2)

(Partition 1+2)

Returns = 60 records


Partition 1+ 2=

60 records



load A: 50 records (Partition 1)

load B: 60 records (Partition 2)

(Partition 2)

Returns = 60 records


Partition 1 + 2=

110 records


Information noteSOURCE.ENTITY:Distribution table created for an entity
Information noteSOURCE.ENTITY_HISTORY: Distribution table file containing all data records loaded for the entity

Did this page help you?

If you find any issues with this page or its content – a typo, a missing step, or a technical error – let us know how we can improve!