Overview of Data Unloading¶
Similar to data loading, Snowflake supports bulk export (i.e. unload) of data from a database table into flat, delimited text files.
In this Topic:
Bulk Unloading Process¶
The process for unloading data into files is the same as the loading process, except in reverse:
- Step 1
Use the COPY INTO <location> command to copy the data from the Snowflake database table into one or more files in a Snowflake or external stage.
- Step 2
Download the file from the stage:
From a Snowflake stage, use the GET command to download the data file(s).
From S3, use the interfaces/tools provided by Amazon S3 to get the data file(s).
From Azure, use the interfaces/tools provided by Microsoft Azure to get the data file(s).
Bulk Unloading Using Queries¶
Snowflake supports specifying a SELECT statement instead of a table in the COPY INTO <location> command. The results of the query are written to one or more files as specified in the command and the file(s) are stored in the specified location (internal or external).
SELECT queries in COPY statements support the full syntax and semantics of Snowflake SQL queries, including JOIN clauses, which enables downloading data from multiple tables.
Bulk Unloading into Single or Multiple Files¶
The COPY INTO <location> command provides a copy option (SINGLE) for unloading data into a single file or multiple files. The default is SINGLE = FALSE (i.e. unload into multiple files).
Snowflake assigns each file a unique name. The location path specified for
the command can contain a filename prefix that is assigned to all the data files
generated. If a prefix is not specified, Snowflake prefixes the generated
Snowflake appends a suffix that ensures each file name is unique across
parallel execution threads; e.g.
When unloading data into multiple files, use the MAX_FILE_SIZE copy option to specify the maximum size of each file created.