Snowflake Merge The Ultimate Guide

Snowflake Merge: The Ultimate Guide

A Snowflake Merge is a powerful command that allows for seamless merging of two tables, allowing for insertions, deletions and updates.

By using the Snowflake Merge command, data analysts can ensure data consistency by updating data while also maintaining a clean database.


The Snowflake Merge command is a great tool to perform Merge operations between two tables. It offers the capability to INSERT, DELETE, and UPDATE operations to make data management more efficient. There are different types of Snowflake Merge methods, including the Switch-Merge Method, the Delete-Insert Method, and the Merge Method to cater to different needs and scenarios.

Revise the Switch-Merge Technique.

The Switch-Merge Method is used when users want to replace one table with another table completely. The table to be replaced is dropped, and the new table is created as a copy of the old table with the new updates.

Rewording: Method of deletion and insertion.

When users need to explicitly specify what rows and columns to delete or insert, they can use the Delete-Insert Method. It requires the user to specify the data to remove and the new values to insert explicitly. This method is useful when users only need to update some values in the table that do not change often.

Alter amalgamation process.

The Merge Method is the most commonly used method and merges two tables by comparing them row by row. When a row exists in both tables, a specified set of columns will be updated in the existing row in the target table, while any new rows in the source table will be inserted into the target table. This method is very flexible and can handle different types of merge scenarios.

Switch-Merge Method

The Snowflake Merge command is a useful tool to merge data from two or more tables, but what about the Switch-Merge method? The Switch-Merge method in Snowflake is another way of merging data, which involves creating a new table that contains the data from the other tables or streams, then switching the references to the new table.

Snowflake Switch-Merge Method Flowchart

Rephrase: The process.

Here are the basic steps for using the Switch-Merge method in Snowflake:

  • Step 1: Creating Target Table in Snowflake – Create a new table that will be the target table for the merged data.
  • Step 2: Creating Staging Table in Snowflake – Create a staging table that contains the data you want to merge into the target table.
  • Step 3: Merging Tables Using Select Statement – Use a Select statement to merge the data from the staging table into the target table.

Give me an instance.

Let’s take a look at how to use the Switch-Merge Method in Snowflake:

  1. Create a target table: To get started, create a new table and name it as “TargetTable”.
  2. Create a staging table: Next, create another table named “StagingTable” that contains the data you want to merge into the target table.
  3. Use a Select statement to merge the tables: After creating the two tables, use a Select statement to merge the data from the staging table into the target table.

That’s it! Once you have completed these steps, you can switch the references to your new table, which now contains all of the data from the original tables.

Delete-Insert Method

The Delete-Insert Method in Snowflake is a useful feature when updating an entire table rather than just updating a few columns or rows. This method involves deleting the outdated data and replacing it with the new data.

Snowflake Delete-Insert Method Flowchart

Rephrase: The Procedures.

  • Creating Target Table: The first step in the Delete-Insert Method is creating a Target Table within the Snowflake environment. The Target Table is where the updated data will be stored.
  • Creating Staging Table: The second step is creating a Staging Table within the Snowflake environment. The Staging Table will be used to temporarily store the new data before it replaces the old data in the Target Table.
  • Merging Tables: Lastly, the tables are merged using the Delete-Insert Query. This query will delete the outdated data from the Target Table and replace it with the new relevant data from the Staging Table.

Provide an instance as a demonstration.

Here is a step-by-step illustration of the Delete-Insert Method in Snowflake:

Step 1 Create the Target Table called “employees_copy”.
Step 2 Create the Staging Table called “employees_temporary”.
Step 3 Insert the updated data into the Staging Table.
Step 4 Run the Delete-Insert Query to replace the outdated data in the Target Table with the new relevant data from the Staging Table.

Merge Method

Snowflake merge is a command that enables you to merge data from two tables by inserting, updating, and deleting values based on data comparison. This provides the user flexibility in merging tables without the need to write complex SQL queries.

Snowflake Merge Method Flowchart

The Steps

  • Creating Target Table in Snowflake: Start by creating a target table in Snowflake database where the data will be merged into.
  • Creating Staging Table in Snowflake: Next, create a staging table with the same columns and structure as the target table to store the new data that will be merged.
  • Merging Tables Using Merge Query: After creating the staging table, use the merge command to merge the two tables. Snowflake’s merge command operates on a basis of filtering on the join condition and performs actions such as insert, update, and delete accordingly.


Let’s say we have two tables: “Employees” and “NewEmployees,” and we want to merge the data in “NewEmployees” into “Employees,” using the “employee_id” column as the join condition. The merge query would look like this:

MERGE INTO Employees
USING NewEmployees
ON Employees.employee_id = NewEmployees.employee_id
WHEN MATCHED THEN UPDATE SET Employees.employee_name = NewEmployees.employee_name
WHEN NOT MATCHED THEN INSERT (employee_id, employee_name) values (NewEmployees.employee_id, NewEmployees.employee_name);

This merge query first filters the two tables based on the join condition, then updates the employee_name in the Employees table to match the one in the NewEmployees table where the employee_id matches. If the employee_id does not exist in the Employees table, a new record with the employee_id and employee_name from the NewEmployees table is inserted.

Snowflake UPSERT i.e. MERGE operation

The Snowflake Merge command, also called UPSERT, is a powerful way to merge data from two tables. The Merge operation includes three functions: Insert, Delete, and Update. This allows you to insert new data, delete outdated data, and update existing data all in one command, making it a very efficient way to manage your tables.


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Advantages of Using Snowflake Merge

Snowflake Merge is a powerful command that allows you to merge data from two or more tables in a highly efficient and cost-effective way. Compared to traditional methods like SQL Merge, Snowflake Merge comes with several advantages that make it an attractive option for data warehousing.

Comparison to Traditional SQL Merge

The main advantage of Snowflake Merge over traditional SQL Merge is its ability to handle large volumes of data. Snowflake Merge uses a distributed architecture that allows it to process large data sets much faster than SQL Merge, even when dealing with complex queries or frequent updates.

Another advantage of Snowflake Merge is its simplicity. Unlike traditional SQL Merge, which requires complex coding and a high level of technical expertise, Snowflake Merge has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to use, even for non-technical users.

Finally, Snowflake Merge is much more cost-effective than traditional SQL Merge. This is because Snowflake charges users only for the amount of data they store, while SQL Merge requires users to purchase expensive software licenses and maintain expensive hardware infrastructure.

Ease of Use and Cost-Effectiveness in Data Warehousing

In addition to its advantages over traditional SQL Merge, Snowflake Merge also offers several unique benefits for data warehousing.

For example, Snowflake Merge is highly scalable, allowing users to easily add or remove computing resources as needed to handle changing workloads. This makes it an ideal choice for businesses that need to quickly scale their data warehousing operations without incurring significant costs or downtime.

Finally, Snowflake Merge is compatible with a wide range of data sources and formats, making it easy to integrate into existing data warehousing workflows. This makes it an ideal choice for businesses that need a flexible and versatile data warehousing solution that can handle a diverse range of data types and formats.

Challenges of Using Snowflake Merge

When it comes to working with large data sets, using Snowflake Merge can present some challenges for companies. Here are two common issues:

Performance Issues in Large Datasets: One of the biggest challenges companies face when using Snowflake Merge is that merging large datasets can cause performance issues. This is especially true when the tables being merged are of different sizes. To avoid performance issues, companies need to carefully consider their approach to merging data in Snowflake.

Complexity in Query Optimization: Another challenge of using Snowflake Merge is the complexity involved in query optimization. The Merge command can be used to perform a variety of operations, including Insert, Update, and Delete. However, it can be difficult to optimize queries that involve these operations, particularly when working with large data sets. To overcome this challenge, companies should consider using Snowflake’s optimization tools and techniques.


What is Snowflake Merge?

Snowflake Merge is a command that allows users to merge two tables by inserting, deleting, and updating operations. This command performs update records based on values in the other table. Essentially, it enables the user to make changes on the source tables and apply them to the target table.

What is the Difference between Switch-Merge, Delete-Insert, and Merge Method?

Switch-Merge, Delete-Insert, and Merge Method are all ways of merging data from multiple tables into one. The difference between them lies in their functionality and use cases.

The Switch-Merge method involves creating a new table or stream that contains the data from the other tables and switching the references to the new table. The main benefit of this approach is that it enables users to merge multiple tables without altering the original data.

The Delete-Insert method involves updating a table by deleting outdated rows and adding new rows containing the updated data. This approach is useful when the user wants to replace all of the data in a table, rather than changing a few rows or columns.

The Merge Method, on the other hand, allows users to perform insert, delete, and update operations on the target table with the changes made onto source tables. This approach is useful when the user wants to make updates to multiple tables simultaneously.


The Snowflake Merge command is a powerful tool that allows you to merge data from two tables, and perform insert, delete, and update operations on the target table. Snowflake Merge command simplifies the process of updating large amounts of data and prevents data inconsistencies. With its efficient performance and easy-to-use interface, Snowflake Merge command has become an essential tool for many data analytics and business intelligence professionals. By overcoming challenges like data quality, storage, and shortage of data science professionals, businesses can leverage Snowflake Merge command and take data-driven decisions to boost their growth and success.


Snowflake Documentation on MERGE Operation

Wikipedia page on SQL Merge

Being a web developer, writer, and blogger for five years, Jade has a keen interest in writing about programming, coding, and web development.
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