Notational Conventions

The following notational conventions are used in Snowflake documentation.


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

Syntax, Examples, and Text

Notation Description
ITEM , ITEM All-uppercase indicates a Snowflake SQL command, keyword, parameter name, or function name.
item , item All-lowercase indicates a user-supplied value for an identifier, parameter, or argument.
<item> , item Angle brackets and italics indicate identifiers, parameters, or arguments that are provided by users.
( item1 item2 ... )

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).

{ item1 item2 ... } Curly braces indicate groupings of identifiers, parameters, or arguments. They do not need to be entered.
[ ITEM ] , [ item1 item2 ... ]

Square brackets indicate optional parts of a statement. They do not need to be entered.

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

| A vertical bar indicates a choice between two or more items or values, usually within square brackets or curly braces. They do not need to be entered.


Notation Description
[ item1 ... ] Square brackets are JSON array delimiters.
{ item1 item2 ... } Curly braces are JSON object delimiters.

XML Data

Notation Description
<item> ... </item> Angle brackets indicate the start or end of an XML element.