Snowflake Describe 101 Command Table: Simplified Syntax and Usage - Learn More | hello (2023)

The growing demand for efficient data handling and processing is at a new level. Because of the limitations of on-premises data storage and analytics tools, organizations are now turning to cloud solutions like Snowflake. snowflake is onCloud data storage and analytics platformWith it, you can instantly scale storage and compute resources independently. SecondaryStandard-SQL, Snowflake allows you to access your data and perform analysis at high speed.

Table of contents

One of the most important SQL commands is theSnowflake Description TableDomain. Use Snowflake Describe Table to get information about a table's columns and the default values ​​for phase properties. For an external table you can use theDescribe the external tableCommand to describe the table.

This article will show you how to use the Snowflake descriptor table effectively and describe external table commands.

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Table of contents

  • what is the snowflake
    • Key features of Snowflake
  • How do I use the Snowflake Description Table command?
    • Snowflake Describes the table syntax
    • Snowflake Acceptable Use Policy Summary Table
    • Examples of Snowflake description tables
  • How do I use Snowflake's Describe External Table command?
    • Snowflake Describes the external table syntax
    • Snowflake Describes an example of an external table
  • Diploma

what is the snowflake

Snowflake Describe 101 Command Table: Simplified Syntax and Usage - Learn More | hello (1)

snowflake is onData storage and analytics platformoffered assoftware as a servicerunning on a cloud infrastructure. It was designed to use an advancedSQL database enginewith a distinctive cloud pattern. Its paramount importance lies in its ability to independently scale storage and compute power, allowing customers to control their spending accordingly. Private clouds or hosted infrastructure are not supported. Snowflake automatically manages every part of the data storage process, including organization, structure, metadata, file size, compression, and statistics. It is available on Azure and AWS cloud platforms.

Key features of Snowflake

Snowflake offers the following notable features:

  • unique architecture: A fusion of the traditional shared disk and shared nothing database. Similar to the shared disk architecture, Snowflakes relies on a central repository for data that can be accessed by all nodes on a platform. On the other hand, it works withMPP (Massive Parallel Processing)Compute clusters, where each node stores some of the full data individually. like a database where nothing is shared. so users can enjoy the simplicity of the shared disk architecture and the power and benefits of a shared disk database.
  • scalability: The Snowflake architecture scales compute and storage resources independently. This allows users to scale up resources when a large amount of data needs to be loaded in a short amount of time and scale down after completion without requiring service intervention. To minimize administrative overhead, Snowflake introduced automatic scaling. This automatically starts and stops clusters during unpredictable resource processing.
  • Retrieving Objects: The UNDROP command is the solution to the mistakes we make when splitting data by deleting the wrong table. Traditional data recovery may take a long time to restore and backup. This Snowflake command allows you to restore your data instantly when you are in the recovery window.
  • results cache: A notable feature of Snowflake is the caching of results at multiple levels. This means that after executing a query, the data result remains immobile24 hours. So if a user within the account runs the same query again, the results are already available. This is useful when you want to compare a query before and after a change.
  • Handling semi-structured data: To process semi-structured data, the Snowflake architecture uses a read-in schema data type calledVARIANT. Stores structured and semi-structured data in the same destination. Once the data is loaded, Snowflake automatically extracts the attributes by parsing the data. This data is then stored in column format.
  • minimal administration: Delivered asData Warehouse als Service, Snowflake required minimal administrative user intervention. The scalability feature allows for the least involvement ofDBA (Database Administrator) and IT teams. No software or hardware installation is required.
  • Zero-Copy-Klone: If you want to clone an existing database, using traditional data warehouse services is hectic as you have to deploy a whole new environment and load the data. This is not feasible as it may cost customers additional value. Snowflake's zero-copy feature is the solution to this problem. With this feature, you can clone immediately without making a new copy, which saves disk space. It modifies the clone in your MetadataStore while still pointing to the original data file in the backend. ANDtime travel functionused to create clones of data from a time in the past makes it one of the best deals.
  • share data: Snowflake offers a secure data sharing feature that allows you to share database objects from one account to another without creating a duplicate. This provides more storage space and lower storage costs. Snowflake's metadata store makes data access quick and easy. In this way, Snowflake creates a network of data providers and consumers that enables many use cases. For those who don't have an account, Snowflake offers the ability to create one.readers count, a low-cost method that allows consumers to access shared data for free.

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How do I use the Snowflake Description Table command?

Describing a Snowflake table means providing information about a table's columns, the current, and sometimes default values ​​for the Stage properties. You can use the Describe Snowflake Table command to do this. The Describe Snowflake Table command has two purposes. Extract the data from the table or check if it meets the specified criteria. However, TYPE = STAGE is irrelevant for views, since views do not have stage properties. Also, DESC TABLE and DESCRIBE VIEW are interchangeable.

A) Snowflake Describes the table syntax


The Snowflake description table syntax has the following parameters:

  • <Name>: Enter the identifier of the table to be described. The entire string must be enclosed in double quotes if the identifier contains spaces or special characters. Identifiers in double quotes are case sensitive.
  • TYPE = COLUMNS | SCENARIO: Indicates whether to display the column or phase properties (current and default values) for the grid.The default is TYPE = COLUMNS.

B) Snowflake Describes guidelines for using the table

For best results, follow the guidelines for using the Snowflake description table below:

  • Use SHOW PARAMETERS in the table to display the object's parameters.
  • DESCRIBE THE VIEWand TABLE DESCthey are interchangeable. The DESCRIBE command has two purposes. Extract the data from the table or check if it meets the specified criteria. However, TYPE = STAGE is irrelevant for views, since views do not have stage properties.
  • Defined as a column, there is an output that includes the POLICY NAME column to displayColumn-level securitymasking policy. If Snowflake is not an Enterprise or Advanced edition and does not have a masking policy, Snowflake becomes NULLS.
  • A function is called to post-process the output of the commandRESULT_SCAN. It treats the output as a table and is queried.

C) Snowflake Describe table examples

To understand the Snowflake Description Table command, let's create a sample student table and run some sample queries.


Create student table (RollNo number non-zero primary key, first name varchar(50), last name varchar(50), location varchar(100));
  • Columns describe with Snowflake Describe Table command.
student descriptive table;
  • Describe staging properties with Snowflake Describe Table command.
table desc student type = internship;
  • Find masking policies with Snowflake's Describe Table command.
tabela desc ssn_record;


-----------------------+--------+-------+--- - ----- +------------+ name | type | type | Zero? | Default | primary key | EMPLOYEE_SSN_1 | VARCHAR(32) | COLUMN | and | [NULL] | north | -----------+--------+-----------+---------+------ - ----------------------+unique key | check | expression | Comment | policy name | north | [NULL] | [NULL] | [NULL] | MY_DB.MY_ESQUEMA.SSN_MASK_1 |-----------+--------+------------+---------+ ------------------------+

For more information, see the official documentation ofsnowflake describes the table command.

How do I use Snowflake's Describe External Table command?

This command illustrates the VIRTUAL and VALUE columns in an external table. To understand this command, let's look at the syntax and an example.

A) Describe the syntax of the external table


Is<Name>The parameter specifies the identifier of the external table to be described. The entire string must be enclosed in double quotes if the identifier contains spaces or special characters. Identifiers in double quotes are case sensitive. There is a SCAN RESULTS function for post-processing the command output. It treats the output as a table and is queried.

B) Describe the example of the external table

For reference, let's first create an external table:

create external table student(...);

Now, to describe the columns of the external table, you can run the following command:

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external table describing the student;


In this article, you have learned how to use them effectivelySnowflake Description Tableand Snowflake describe external table commands. Snowflake, a cloud data warehouse, is provided as Software as a Service (SaaS). It enables data storage, processing and analysis solutions that are fast, easy to use and more flexible than traditional solutions. Snowflake makes it very easy for data analysts, with full support for both standard and advanced SQL, so you can run queries effortlessly. You can run thoseSnowflake Description TableSQL command to retrieve information about columns in a table and default values ​​for stage properties.

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Tell us about your experience with the Snowflake description table and describe external table commands! Do let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


How do you make a Snowflake syntax table? ›

Creates a new table populated with the data returned by a query: CREATE [ OR REPLACE ] TABLE <table_name> [ ( <col_name> [ <col_type> ] , <col_name> [ <col_type> ] , ... ) ] [ CLUSTER BY ( <expr> [ , <expr> , ... ] ) ]

What syntax does Snowflake use? ›

Snowflake supports standard SQL, including a subset of ANSI SQL:1999 and the SQL:2003 analytic extensions. Snowflake also supports common variations for a number of commands where those variations do not conflict with each other.

How would you describe Snowflake? ›

A snowflake is a single ice crystal that has achieved a sufficient size, and may have amalgamated with others, which falls through the Earth's atmosphere as snow.

How do you describe a table command? ›

To describe a table in SQL we first write DESC or DESCRIBE and the name of the table followed by a semicolon ;``. As SQL is case insensitive we can write DESC command as desc as well. This is the simple syntax to retrieve the structure of the table. DESC | DESCRIBE [TableName | ViewName];

How do you describe data in a table? ›

  1. Start by saying what information is shown. ...
  2. In the second paragraph give an overview of the most important features of the information.
  3. Be selective and choose the key observations and trends. ...
  4. Divide your observations into paragraphs about different aspects of the data.

How do you create a syntax table? ›

Syntax. CREATE TABLE table_name( column1 datatype, column2 datatype, column3 datatype, ..... columnN datatype, PRIMARY KEY( one or more columns ) ); CREATE TABLE is the keyword telling the database system what you want to do. In this case, you want to create a new table.

Is SQL syntax different in Snowflake? ›

Microsoft SQL Server uses T-SQL and Snowflake SQL is ANSI SQL compatible. So, if you look for the differences between T-SQL and ANSI SQL, there might be resources available online. I have good news for you. Snowflake SQL follows the ANSI SQL standard.

What are the different table types in Snowflake? ›

Snowflake offers three types of tables namely, Temporary, Transient & Permanent.

Is Snowflake easy to learn? ›

Things are different with Snowflake since it is fully SQL-based. Chances are, you have some experience using BI or data analysis tools that work on SQL. Most of what you already know can be applied to Snowflake. Not to mention that SQL is an easy-to-learn language, a significant benefit for general users.

Is Snowflake SQL or no SQL? ›

Snowflake is fundamentally built to be a complete SQL database. It is a columnar-stored relational database and works well with Tableau, Excel and many other tools familiar to end users.

What coding language is Snowflake? ›

For general users, Snowflake provides complete ANSI SQL language support for managing day-to -day operations. It's cloud agnostic, with unlimited, seamless scalability across Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure (with the prospect of adding Google Cloud soon).

What is the description of table format? ›

A table is an arrangement of information or data, typically in rows and columns, or possibly in a more complex structure. Tables are widely used in communication, research, and data analysis.

How do you describe tables and figures? ›

Labelling Tables and Figures

Tables and figures must all be labelled with numbered captions that clearly identify and describe them. Figure captions are generally placed below the figures, while table captions must be placed above the tables.

How would you describe an external table in a Snowflake? ›

External tables store file-level metadata about the data files, such as the filename, a version identifier and related properties. This enables querying data stored in files in an external stage as if it were inside a database.
The clause can only include one or more of the following comparison operators:
  1. =
  2. >
  3. <


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