SQL formatting is an important step in the SQL writing process. Yet, not all text editing applications offer an ability to format SQL-specific syntax. Below is a tool to paste in your SQL, click 'Format SQL', then get your SQL formatted automatically for you!
SQL Format Rules
SQL styling has some subjectivity to it. Each SQL language (which is database-dependent) has slightly different styling preferences. That being said, SQL editing typically has some best practices that most would consider to be true. Thanks to the great aggregation work of Simon Hollywell, we are able to summarize these into a succinct set of guides, which we further summarized below. While only some of these rules are auto-enforced by this SQL format tool, it is a great general guide for table and query structure alike.
Use consistent, descriptive names and identifiers Utilize white space and indentation for readability Store dates in ISO 8601 format (YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS.SSSSS) Prefer standard SQL functions for portability Avoid redundant SQL and include necessary comments.
CamelCase, descriptive prefixes like sp_ or tbl_ Plurals in names; use collective terms instead Quoted identifiers; prefer SQL-92 double quotes if needed Applying object-oriented design to SQL/database structures
Ensure uniqueness, avoid reserved keywords, and limit length to 30 characters Start with a letter, avoid ending with an underscore Use underscores instead of spaces, avoid multiple consecutive underscores Avoid abbreviations unless widely understood
Prefer collective names over plurals Avoid prefixes and giving a table the same name as any of its columns
Use singular names, avoid id as the only identifier Use lowercase except for proper nouns
Aliases should relate to the original name Use the first letter of each word in the object’s name Include the AS keyword for clarity
Include a verb in the name Avoid prefixes like sp_
Use specific suffixes like _id, _status, _total, etc., for clarity
Use uppercase for reserved words Prefer full-length keywords over abbreviated ones Use spacing to align code for readability Include spaces around equals signs and after commas Use line spacing to separate logical sections Indent joins and subqueries for clarity
SQL Formatting Embedded Analytics Solutions
It is great to have tools in your workflow that help enforce some of these standards, while making sure it's easy to iterate. Explo is an embedded analytics solution that offers this capability out-of-the-box, as it offers a wonderful SQL editing experience, with built-in formatting and error detection and prevention. Further, Explo offers a seamless way for teams to visualize their SQL data in a drag-and-drop charting interface. Explo is the future of embedded analytics and makes SQL writing at the forefront of this next-level experience. Feel free to give Explo a try by reaching out to the team today!