What’s SQL DESCRIBE? – Analytics Vidhya

What’s SQL DESCRIBE? – Analytics Vidhya
What’s SQL DESCRIBE? – Analytics Vidhya


In relational databases, the place knowledge is meticulously organized in tables, understanding their construction is crucial. SQL’s DESCRIBE (or DESC in some database methods) command offers you to develop into an information detective, peering into the interior make-up of your tables and extracting helpful info.


  • The DESCRIBE command in SQL permits customers to discover the construction of database tables by retrieving particulars about their columns.
  • This non-destructive assertion gives insights into column names, knowledge varieties, nullability, and extra properties relying on the database system.
  • It helps customers perceive desk construction, write correct queries, and improve documentation and collaboration.
  • The essential syntax is DESCRIBE <table_name>;, and an instance utilization is proven with a prospects Desk as an instance typical output.


DESCRIBE is a non-destructive assertion used to introspect a desk’s schema. It retrieves particulars concerning the desk’s columns, offering insights into:

  • Column Names: The identifiers used to reference particular person knowledge factors inside the desk.
  • Knowledge Varieties: This tells concerning the form of knowledge every column can retailer (e.g., integers, strings, dates).
  • Nullability: Whether or not a column can include lacking values (NULL) or should all the time have a worth (NOT NULL).
  • Extra Properties (system-dependent): Some database methods would possibly present additional particulars, like default values, column measurement limitations, or key constraints.

Advantages of Utilizing DESCRIBE

By using DESCRIBE, you achieve quite a few benefits:

  • Understanding Desk Construction: Rapidly grasp the structure of a desk, together with the forms of knowledge it holds.
  • Writing Correct Queries: Guarantee your queries reference columns with acceptable knowledge varieties and keep away from potential errors.
  • Documentation and Collaboration: Facilitate communication by clearly displaying the desk’s make-up.

Syntax and Utilization

The essential syntax of DESCRIBE is simple:

DESCRIBE <table_name>;


DESC <table_name>;

Exchange <table_name> with the precise identify of the desk you need to look at.


Think about a desk named prospects storing buyer info:

CREATE TABLE prospects (


  identify VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL,

  electronic mail VARCHAR(255) UNIQUE,

  phone_number CHAR(12)


Executing DESCRIBE prospects would doubtless return output just like:


DESCRIBE is a elementary device for any SQL consumer. By incorporating this command into your workflow, you’ll be able to successfully navigate the construction of your database tables, write correct queries, and foster easy collaboration. Keep in mind, understanding your knowledge is essential to unlocking its full potential.

Regularly Requested Questions

Q1. Does DESCRIBE modify the desk knowledge?

Ans. No, DESCRIBE is a read-only command. It solely retrieves details about the desk’s construction with out altering the precise knowledge.

Q2. Can I exploit DESCRIBE on views?

Ans. Sure, DESCRIBE can be used on views to grasp the underlying columns and tables concerned within the view’s definition.

Q3. Are there any options to DESCRIBE?

Ans. Relying in your database system, you might need other ways to view desk schema info. Seek the advice of your system’s documentation for particular instructions or instruments.

This autumn. What if DESCRIBE doesn’t present all the knowledge I want?

Ans. In some circumstances, DESCRIBE may not reveal all the small print concerning the desk. You may discover system-specific instruments or info schema queries to delve deeper into the desk’s definition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *