Snowflake : Converting an array into a string in Snowflake [ARRAY_TO_STRING]


Comprehensive Guide to Snowflake’s ARRAY_TO_STRING Function

The ARRAY_TO_STRING function in Snowflake is a utility function designed to convert an array into a string format. The function operates by concatenating the array’s elements with a specified delimiter. Understanding this function is critical when dealing with array data that needs to be presented or stored in a string format.

In this article, we will delve into the functionality of the ARRAY_TO_STRING function, demonstrating its use through a practical example with a Data Definition Language (DDL) script and INSERT statement using a table named “freshers_in”.

Understanding the Syntax

The ARRAY_TO_STRING function follows the below syntax:

ARRAY_TO_STRING(<array_expression>, <delimiter>)

<array_expression>: The array which you want to convert into a string.
<delimiter>: The delimiter which you want to use for separating the elements in the array.

Using ARRAY_TO_STRING Function in Practice

Let’s go through an example to grasp how to utilize the ARRAY_TO_STRING function in Snowflake.

Creating a Table using DDL

First, we’ll create a table named ‘freshers_in’ with an ‘id’ field and a ‘skills’ field that will hold an array of strings.

CREATE TABLE freshers_in (
    id INTEGER,
    skills ARRAY

Inserting Data into the Table

Next, we’ll insert some data into the ‘freshers_in’ table using the ARRAY_CONSTRUCT function to create arrays of strings.

INSERT INTO freshers_in (id, skills)
SELECT 2, ARRAY_CONSTRUCT('C++', 'JavaScript', 'React') UNION ALL

Using the ARRAY_TO_STRING Function

Now that we have our table and data ready, we can proceed to use the ARRAY_TO_STRING function.

    ARRAY_TO_STRING(skills, ', ') AS skills_string


1	[   "Java",   "Python",   "SQL" ]	Java, Python, SQL
2	[   "C++",   "JavaScript",   "React" ]	C++, JavaScript, React
3	[   "HTML",   "CSS",   "JavaScript" ]	HTML, CSS, JavaScript

This SELECT statement will return a new column named ‘skills_string’ that contains a string representation of the ‘skills’ array with each element separated by a comma and a space.

Snowflake’s ARRAY_TO_STRING function offers a simple and effective way of transforming array data into string format, making it easier to present and store. The key to mastering its usage is practicing with a variety of array data and different delimiters to better understand how it functions under different scenarios. By incorporating it into your data analysis toolkit, you can enhance your ability to handle array data in Snowflake.

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