Notational Conventions

The following notational conventions are used in Snowflake documentation:

Notation Used In Description
ITEM, ITEM Syntax, descriptions, examples All-uppercase indicates a Snowflake SQL command, keyword, parameter, or function
item Examples All-lowercase indicates a user-supplied value for an identifier, parameter, or argument.
<item>, item Syntax, descriptions Angle brackets or italics indicate identifier/parameter/argument values that are provided by users
XML documents/data Angle brackets indicate the start or end of an element.
( item1 item2 ... ) Syntax, descriptions, examples

Parentheses are used in SQL to group parameters or arguments.

They are required when entering a command, i.e. they must be typed exactly as they appear.

[ITEM], [ item1 ... ] Syntax, descriptions

Square brackets indicate optional parts of a statement. They should not be typed.

In many cases, items in the square brackets are optional because default values are provided.

JSON documents/data Square brackets are array delimiters.
{ item1 item2 ... } Syntax, descriptions Curly braces indicate groupings of identifiers, parameters, or arguments. They should not be typed.
JSON documents/data Curly braces are object delimiters.
| Syntax, descriptions A vertical bar indicates a choice between two or more items or values. They should not be typed.


In syntax and code descriptions, angle brackets (< >), square brackets ([ ]), curly braces ({ }), and vertical bars (|) are used for notational purposes only. To avoid syntax errors, do not include them when entering a command or writing code.

However, the brackets and braces have specific meanings in JSON and XML, and therefore must be included when working with JSON or XML documents/data.