Snowflake offers a Cloud-based, configurable Data Warehouse platform with a focus on providing robust solutions to enterprise problems as well as offering a remarkable ecosystem of work collaborations, BI, Analytical tools, and SaaS partners.

Snowflake stands out among Data Warehouse technologies because of its key features, immediate, real-time, and always-on experiences. Snowflake TRUNCATE Table feature maintains deleted data for archive purposes. Snowflake TRUNCATE Table is a command that deletes all records from a table while preserving the schema or structure of the table.

In this post, you will understand what Snowflake TRUNCATE Table is. You will learn the key steps to use the Snowflake TRUNCATE Table command. Let’s get started with a brief overview of Snowflake.

What is Snowflake?

Snowflake Truncate Table - Snowflake Logo

Snowflake is a highly scalable SaaS (Software as a Service) that offers a unique database management system warehousing, data lakes, statistical modeling, information science, data app development, and safe real-time / shared data sharing and consumption. To meet the demanding demands of growing companies, Snowflake includes out-of-the-box capabilities such as storage and compute separation, on-the-fly scaling computation, information exchange, data clones, and third-party tool support. All of your data can be stored in one place and scale your computing independently with Snowflake.

Snowflake allows you to create data-intensive apps with minimal effort. It supports programming languages such as Go, Java,.NET, Python, C, Node. js, and others. Snowflake provides data warehousing, computing, and analytic capabilities that are significantly quicker, easy to use, and more adaptable than traditional systems.

What is Snowflake TRUNCATE Table?

The Snowflake TRUNCATE Table component is a Feature offered by snowflake that deletes all existing rows from a table or partition while maintaining the table’s integrity. However, you can’t use it on a view, an external, or a temporary table. Depending on whether the flow of current is in the midst of a database transaction, Snowflake TRUNCATE Table is executed in one of two ways. The first is to use the TRUNCATE command. The second option is to use a DELETE FROM statement, which itself is recommended if the current job is a transaction. It eliminates all rows from a table while maintaining the table’s integrity. 

After the command completes, the load metadata for the table is deleted, allowing the same files to be uploaded into the table again. For the duration of the data retention term, Snowflake TRUNCATE Table keeps deleted data for archival purposes (e.g., utilizing Time Travel). The load metadata, on the other hand, cannot be restored when a table is truncated.

Snowflake TRUNCATE Table is used to delete all records from a table while keeping the table’s schema or structure. Despite the fact that Snowflake TRUNCATE Table is regarded as a DDL command, rather than a DML statement so it can’t be undone, truncate procedures, especially for large tables, drop and recreate the table, which is much quicker than deleting rows one by one. Truncate operations result in an implicit commit, therefore they can’t be undone.

Delete or Truncate: Which is better?

TRUNCATE is quicker than DELETE since it does not check all records before deleting them. Snowflake TRUNCATE Table locks the entire table to drop the data from the table. As a result, this command needs significantly low transaction space than DELETE. TRUNCATE, unlike DELETE, does not revive the no. of rows that have been deleted from the table.

Syntax:

TRUNCATE [ TABLE ] [ IF EXISTS ] <name>

Parameters:

  • Provides the table to truncate an identifier.
  • If the identifier comprises spaces or special characters, double quotes must be used to surround the entire string.
  • The identifiers’ case is also taken into consideration.
  • In case the table identifier isn’t completely qualified, the Snowflake TRUNCATE Table command searches the latest table’s schema for the session.

Usage Notes:

  • Snowflake TRUNCATE Table keep deleted data for future reuse for the duration of the data retention period; however, the load information cannot be restored when the table is truncated.
  • If the table name is completely qualified or the database schema is presently in use for the session, the table keyword is not required.
  • The Snowflake TRUNCATE Table command is a DML (Data Manipulation Language) command that is used to add (insert), delete (delete), and alter (update) data in a database.

Steps to Work with Snowflake TRUNCATE Table Command

Now that you understand why you need to use the TRUNCATE command, in this section you will learn the key steps to work with the Snowflake TRUNCATE Table command. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Sign in to your Account

We must first log into our Snowflake account. To log in, go to snowflake.com and enter your credentials. Follow the instructions in the link above to complete the process.

Step 2: Create a Snowflake Database

The CREATE DATABASE statement can be used to create it in one of two ways. Note as Snowflake includes a default schema labeled public with every database it creates, so you do not require to build a schema in the database.

Syntax:

create or replace database [database-name] ; 

The output of the above statement: In the screenshot below, you can see that the above statement is properly executed.

Snowflake Truncate Table - Create a Database
Snowflake Truncate Table – Create a Database

Step 3: Choose a Database

You will use the “use” command to choose the database user-built prior.

Syntax:

Use database [database-name]; 

Step 4: Create a Table in Snowflake

Here, we’ll use the CREATE, a statement to make a table, as shown below. It either creates a new table or replaces an existing table in the specified schema.

Syntax:

CREATE [ OR REPLACE ] TABLE [ ( [ ] , [ ] , ... ) ] ; 

The output of the above statement:

Snowflake Truncate Table - Create a Table
Snowflake Truncate Table – Create a Table

Step 5: Insert a Row of Data in the Table

The INSERT statement within the Snowflake system database will be used to insert rows into the table. The DDL instruction is the INSERT statement. That is, we are inserting one or perhaps more rows into the database to update it.

Syntax:

INSERT [ OVERWRITE ] INTO [ ( [ , ... ] ) ] { VALUES ( { | DEFAULT | NULL } [ , ... ] ) [ , ( ... ) ] | }

The above command, as you can see, adds a single row to the customer table. You can see the output of the above query below:

Snowflake Truncate Table - Insert Rows in the Table
Snowflake Truncate Table – Insert Rows in the Table

Step 6: Fetch your Data

We’ll use the SELECT statement to check the row inserted in the table, as seen below.

Snowflake Truncate Table - Fetch and display data from the table
Snowflake Truncate Table – Fetch and display data from the table

Step 7: Truncate your Snowflake Table

We’re going to delete all rows from the table but keep the schema using the Snowflake TRUNCATE Table command as mentioned below:

Syntax:

TRUNCATE [ TABLE ] [ IF EXISTS ] table_name 

Conclusion

In this post, you learned more about Snowflake TRUNCATE Table and also understood the basic differences between DELETE & TRUNCATE. In addition, you learned the detailed steps to work with your Snowflake Database and how you can truncate your Snowflake table using the Snowflake TRUNCATE Table command.

However, extracting complex data from a diverse set of data sources like Databases, CRMs, Project management Tools, Streaming Services, Marketing Platforms to your Snowflake can seem to be quite challenging. This is where a simpler alternative like Hevo can save your day! 

Hevo Data is a No-Code Data Pipeline that offers a faster way to move data from 150+ Data Sources including 40+ Free Sources, into your Data Warehouse such as Snowflake to be visualized in a BI tool. Hevo is fully automated and hence does not require you to code.

Want to take Hevo for a spin?

SIGN UP and experience the feature-rich Hevo suite first hand. You can also have a look at the unbeatable pricing that will help you choose the right plan for your business needs.

Do you have any doubts? Feel free to ask or share your experience with Snowflake TRUNCATE Table in the comments section below!

mm
Customer Experience Engineer, Hevo Data

Skand, with 2.5 years of experience, specializes in MySQL, Postgres, and REST APIs at Hevo. He efficiently troubleshoots customer issues, contributes to knowledge base and SOPs, and assists customers in achieving their use cases through Hevo's platform.

No-code Data Pipeline for Snowflake