Query Tags

Introduction to Query Tags

Query tags are an integral feature in modern data management and analytics, providing a mechanism for tagging and tracking database queries. These tags are essentially metadata elements that can be attached to SQL queries or database transactions. By assigning descriptive labels or identifiers to various database operations, query tags serve multiple significant purposes:

  1. Improved Query Organization and Classification: Query tags enable categorizing and organizing queries more efficiently. This is especially useful in complex data environments where numerous queries are executed simultaneously or in systems with multiple users and applications.

  2. Enhanced Monitoring and Troubleshooting: By tagging queries, administrators and analysts can more easily monitor database performance and identify problematic queries. This aids in quicker troubleshooting and optimization of database operations.

  3. Effective Cost Allocation and Reporting: In cloud-based or distributed database systems, query tags can be used to track resource usage and operational costs. This is crucial for accurate billing, cost allocation, and generating detailed usage reports for different departments or projects.

  4. Audit and Compliance: Query tags help maintain detailed logs of database activities, which are vital for audit trails and ensuring compliance with data governance standards and regulations.

  5. Customized Analytics and Insights: Tags allow for the aggregation and analysis of data based on specific query attributes, facilitating more tailored and insightful analytics.

In essence, query tags act as a bridge between the technical execution of database operations and their management, oversight, and analysis. Their adoption in data management and analytics signifies a step towards more organized, transparent, and efficient database usage and administration.

Query Tags in CoginitiScript

In CoginitiScript, query tags are a metadata feature that allows users to annotate SQL queries with additional information in the form of key-value pairs. These tags serve as a layer of metadata that enriches the query with descriptive or functional data. The primary function of query tags in CoginitiScript is to provide a systematic way to label and categorize database queries, making them more identifiable and traceable within a data management system.

Format and Types of Values for :query_tags

  • Format: The :query_tags metadata in CoginitiScript accepts key-value pairs. This format is consistent with common data representation models, making it intuitive and easy to use.
  • Types of Values Allowed: The key-value pairs in :query_tags can include:
    • Strings: Quoted sequences of characters, providing flexibility to include various textual annotations.
    • Numbers: Numeric values, useful for quantifying or categorizing queries in a numerical context.
    • Booleans: True or False values, allowing for binary categorization or flagging of queries.


#+src sql Main()
#+meta {
    :query_tags {
      k1 "v1",
      :k2 2,
      :k3 true
SELECT 1 AS col1, 'abc' AS col2

The map of key-value pairs provided in :query_tags is serialized into JSON. This standardized format ensures compatibility and ease of integration across various platforms. The use of JSON serialization also facilitates the transfer and interpretation of these tags in different database environments.

  • On platforms like Snowflake and Redshift, the JSON-serialized query tags can be used in session query tag statements to annotate and manage queries within the session.
  • For BigQuery, the serialized map takes the form of "key:value" pairs, aligning with the platform's specific requirements for query annotations.
  • In other environments, the serialized query tags might be appended as comments to each statement or utilized in a manner that aligns with the platform's native query tagging capabilities.


SET query_group TO '{"k1":"v1","k2":2,"k3":true}'
SELECT 1 AS col1, 'abc' AS col2
SET query_group TO 'default'


ALTER SESSION SET query_tag = '{"k1":"v1","k2":2,"k3":true}'
SELECT 1 AS col1, 'abc' AS col2


SET @@query_label = "k1:v1,k2:2,k3:true";
SELECT 1 AS col1, 'abc' AS col2


SELECT 1 AS col1, 'abc' AS col2
/* {"k1":"v1","k2":2,"k3":true} */

Platform-Specific Nuances

Each platform has its unique syntax and limitations regarding the implementation of query tags. Understanding these nuances is crucial for effectively utilizing query tags in a way that is compatible and optimized for the specific database environment you are working with. The differences in character limits and syntax for setting and unsetting tags reflect the varied approaches and capabilities of each database system.

Querying Logs for Query Tag Information

Administrators can leverage the information encoded in query tags to gain insights into database usage, performance, and cost. Querying logs for tag-related data requires understanding the specific query structures and log formats of each database platform.

Sample SQL Queries for Different Platforms

  • Snowflake

    SELECT query_tag, query_id, execution_time 
    FROM snowflake.account_usage.query_history
    WHERE query_tag IS NOT NULL
    ORDER BY start_time DESC;

    Use Case: Identify and analyze queries from different departments for cost allocation.

  • Redshift

    SELECT query_group, query, elapsed, userid 
    FROM stl_query
    WHERE query_group IS NOT NULL
    ORDER BY starttime DESC;

    Use Case: Monitor queries by user groups for performance optimization.

  • Yellowbrick

    SELECT ybd_query_tags, query_text, execution_time 
    FROM sys.log_query
    WHERE ybd_query_tags IS NOT NULL
    ORDER BY submit_time DESC;

    Use Case: Analyze tagged queries for identifying frequent query patterns.

  • BigQuery

    SELECT j.labels, j.job_id, j.total_bytes_processed 
    WHERE j.labels IS NOT NULL
    ORDER BY creation_time DESC;

    Use Case: Track job executions with specific labels for cost tracking.

  • Trino

    SELECT query_id, state, user, query, total_cpu_time, total_memory_reservation
    FROM system.runtime.queries
    WHERE query LIKE '%tag_specific_identifier%'
    ORDER BY created_at DESC;

    Use Case: This query helps in identifying and analyzing queries with specific tags (denoted here as tag_specific_identifier) for understanding user activity, query performance, and resource usage.

Each of these queries is tailored to the respective database platforms, utilizing their unique systems for storing and retrieving query-related information. By adapting these queries to their specific needs, administrators can effectively mine their database logs for valuable insights derived from query tags.

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