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DESCRIBE

Use the DESCRIBE command to view columns in the specified table, source, sink, view, or materialized view.

DESCRIBE is a shortcut for SHOW COLUMNS.

tip

DESCRIBE also lists the indexes on a table or materialized view, whereas SHOW COLUMNS doesn't.

Syntax

DESCRIBE relation_name;

Parameters

Parameter or clauseDescription
relation_nameThe table, source, sink, view or materialized view whose columns will be listed.

Examples

Preparation
CREATE TABLE customers (
customer_id BIGINT PRIMARY KEY,
name VARCHAR,
email VARCHAR
);
COMMENT ON COLUMN customers.customer_id IS 'Unique identifier for each customer';
COMMENT ON COLUMN customers.name IS 'Name of the customer';
COMMENT ON COLUMN customers.email IS 'Email address of the customer';
COMMENT ON TABLE customers IS 'All customer records';
CREATE INDEX idx_customers_email ON customers(email);

After creating the table, columns, and indexes, as well as adding comments to each of them, we can use the DESCRIBE command to see all the information in a structured format.

Output
DESCRIBE customers;
| Name                | Type                                                                  | Is Hidden | Description                         |
| ------------------- | --------------------------------------------------------------------- | --------- | ----------------------------------- |
| customer_id | bigint | false | Unique identifier for each customer |
| name | character varying | false | Name of the customer |
| email | character varying | false | Email address of the customer |
| primary key | customer_id | | |
| distribution key | customer_id | | |
| idx_customers_email | index(email ASC, customer_id ASC) include(name) distributed by(email) | | |
| table description | customers | | All customer records |
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