Information Schema

The Snowflake Information Schema (aka “Data Dictionary”) consists of a set of system-defined views and table functions that provide extensive metadata information about the objects created in your account. The Snowflake Information Schema is based on the SQL-92 ANSI Information Schema, but with the addition of views and functions that are specific to Snowflake.

Note

ANSI uses the term “catalog” to refer to databases. To maintain compatibility with the standard, the Snowflake Information Schema topics use “catalog” in place of “database” where applicable. For all intents and purposes, the terms are conceptually equivalent and interchangeable.

In this Topic:

What is the INFORMATION_SCHEMA Schema?

Each database created in your account automatically includes a built-in, read-only schema named INFORMATION_SCHEMA. The schema contains the following objects:

  • Views for all the objects contained in the database, as well as views for account-level objects (i.e. non-database objects such as roles, warehouses, and databases)
  • Table functions for historical and usage data across your account.

Information Schema Views and Table Functions

List of Views

The views in INFORMATION_SCHEMA display metadata about objects defined in the database, as well as metadata for non-database, account-level objects that are common across all databases. Each instance of INFORMATION_SCHEMA includes:

  • ANSI-standard views for the database and account-level objects that are relevant to Snowflake.
  • Snowflake-specific views for the non-standard objects that Snowflake supports (stages, file formats, etc.).

Unless otherwise noted, the Snowflake Information Schema views are ANSI-standard:

View Type Notes
APPLICABLE_ROLES Account  
COLUMNS Database  
DATABASES Account Snowflake-specific view.
ENABLED_ROLES Account  
FILE FORMATS Database Snowflake-specific view.
FUNCTIONS Database  
INFORMATION_SCHEMA_CATALOG_NAME Account  
LOAD_HISTORY Account Snowflake-specific; data retained for 14 days.
OBJECT_PRIVILEGES Account  
PIPES Database  
REFERENTIAL_CONSTRAINTS Database  
SCHEMATA Database  
SEQUENCES Database  
STAGES Database Snowflake-specific view.
TABLE_CONSTRAINTS Database  
TABLE_PRIVILEGES Database  
TABLE_STORAGE_METRICS Database Snowflake-specific view.
TABLES Database  
USAGE_PRIVILEGES Account  
VIEWS Database  

List of Table Functions

The table functions in INFORMATION_SCHEMA can be used to return account-level usage and historical information for storage, warehouses, user logins, and queries:

Table Function Data Retention Notes
AUTOMATIC_CLUSTERING_HISTORY 14 days Results depend on MONITOR USAGE privilege. [1]
COPY_HISTORY 7 days Results returned only for the ACCOUNTADMIN role.
DATA_TRANSFER_HISTORY 14 days Results depend on MONITOR USAGE privilege. [1]
DATABASE_STORAGE_USAGE_HISTORY 6 months Results depend on MONITOR USAGE privilege. [1]
LOGIN_HISTORY , LOGIN_HISTORY_BY_USER 7 days Results depend on the privileges assigned to the user’s current role.
PIPE_USAGE_HISTORY 14 days Results depend on MONITOR USAGE privilege. [1]
QUERY_HISTORY , QUERY_HISTORY_BY_* 7 days Results depend on the privileges assigned to the user’s current role.
STAGE_STORAGE_USAGE_HISTORY 6 months Results depend on MONITOR USAGE privilege. [1]
WAREHOUSE_LOAD_HISTORY 14 days Results depend on MONITOR USAGE privilege. [1]
WAREHOUSE_METERING_HISTORY 6 months Results depend on MONITOR USAGE privilege. [1]

[1] Returns results if role has been assigned the MONITOR USAGE global privilege; otherwise, returns results only for the ACCOUNTADMIN role.

Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) for Views

The ERD for the views in the INFORMATION_SCHEMA schema is too large to display in this topic. To view and/or download the ERD in PDF format, click the following image:

ER diagram of Information Schema views

General Usage Notes

  • Each INFORMATION_SCHEMA schema is read-only (i.e. the schema, and all the views and table functions in the schema, cannot be modified or dropped).

  • Queries on INFORMATION_SCHEMA views do not guarantee consistency with respect to concurrent DDL. For example, if a set of tables are created while a long-running INFORMATION_SCHEMA query is being executed, the result of the query may include some, none, or all of the tables created.

  • The output of a view or table function depend on the privileges granted to the user’s current role. When querying an INFORMATION_SCHEMA view or table function, only objects for which the current role has been granted access privileges are returned.

  • To prevent performance issues, the following error is returned if the filters specified in an INFORMATION_SCHEMA query are not sufficiently selective:

    Information schema query returned too much data. Please repeat query with more selective predicates.

Tip

The Information Schema views are optimized for queries that retrieve a small subset of objects from the dictionary. Whenever possible, maximize the performance of your queries by filtering on schema and object names.

For more usage information and details, see the Snowflake Information Schema blog post.

Considerations for Replacing SHOW Commands with Information Schema Views

The INFORMATION_SCHEMA views provides a SQL interface to the same information provided by the SHOW <objects> commands. You can use the views to replace these commands; however, there are some key differences to consider before switching:

Considerations SHOW Commands Information Schema Views
Warehouses Not required to execute. Warehouse must be running and currently in use to query the views.
Pattern matching/filtering Case-insensitive (when filtering using LIKE). Standard (case-sensitive) SQL semantics. Snowflake automatically converts unquoted, case-insensitive identifiers to uppercase internally, so unquoted object names must be queried in uppercase in the Information Schema views.
Query results Most SHOW commands limit results to the current schema by default. Views display all objects in the current/specified database. To query against a particular schema, you must use a filter predicate (e.g. ... WHERE table_schema = CURRENT_SCHEMA()...). Note that Information Schema queries lacking sufficiently selective filters return an error and do not execute (see General Usage Notes in this topic).

Qualifying the Names of Information Schema Views and Table Functions in Queries

When querying an INFORMATION_SCHEMA view or table function, you must use the qualified name of the view/table function or the INFORMATION_SCHEMA schema must be in use for the session.

For example:

  • To query using the fully-qualified names of the view and table function, in the form of database.information_schema.name:

    SELECT * FROM testdb.INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA = 'PUBLIC' ... ;
    
    SELECT * FROM TABLE(testdb.INFORMATION_SCHEMA.LOGIN_HISTORY( ... ));
    
  • To query using the qualified names of the view and table function, in the form of information_schema.name:

    USE DATABASE testdb;
    
    SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA = 'PUBLIC' ... ;
    
    SELECT * FROM TABLE(INFORMATION_SCHEMA.LOGIN_HISTORY( ... ));
    
  • To query with the INFORMATION_SCHEMA schema in use for the session:

    USE SCHEMA testdb.INFORMATION_SCHEMA;
    
    SELECT * FROM TABLES WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA = 'PUBLIC' ... ;
    
    SELECT * FROM TABLE(LOGIN_HISTORY( ... ));
    

For more detailed examples, see the reference documentation for each view/table function.