SQL Autocompletion and Introspection

These features are the result of Xing-Zhi Jiang's work during Google Summer of Code 2021 and they are being fine-tuned and improved constantly to get a decent code completion and introspection experience in the MariaDB Jupyter Kernel.


The MariaDB Jupyter kernel is able to provide SQL autocompletion with a basic internal understanding of the context within your statements. We are trying to make the suggestions as precise as possible, but any SQL autocompletion is imperfect unless you either duplicate the entire grammar logic of MariaDB Server or the MariaDB Server itself develops mechanisms for external tools to poke into its parsing logic.

Autocompletion in Jupyter can be triggered with the key TAB. In the classic Juptyter Notebook interface, it's possible to install some extensions to enable continuous hinting, but at the time this article is written there is no mechanism to enable continuous hinting in the new JupyterLab interface.

Here's a summary of our autocompletion capabilities, but we strongly recommend you play with the feature yourself and discover what it can do.

SQL keywords and functions completion

Completion of database names in USE statements

Completion of database names in constructs like database_to_autocomplete.table_name

Completion of table names in constructs like db.table_name_to_autocomplete

Completion of column names in the WHERE clause

Completion of column names in SELECT queries

Completion of column names in INSERT statements

Resolving aliases and completion of column names in constructs like alias.column_to_autocomplete

Completion of SHOW statments

Completion of user accounts

Completion of global and session variables


Code introspection in Jupyter can be triggered with the SHIFT-TAB combination. This feature was designed to help you understand your database environment faster whilst typing SQL statements, for instance checking the table schema by inspecting on the table name before selecting a bunch of columns, or even checking the documentation of a SQL function to see the function signature and some practical examples and spare you an extra search on the MariaDB Knowledge Base.

Although we tried to make introspection look exactly the same in both classic Jupyter Notebook and Jupyterlab interfaces, it wasn't possible due to some fundamental difference in how Notebook renders the introspection tooltip in comparison to the newer JupyterLab interface. For the moment, to see the full introspection information in Notebook that the MariaDB kernel sends to the frontend, you'll need to hit shift-tab then click on the expand button from the tooltip to get the HTML representation of the introspection information.

Here's a visual summary of our currently supported introspection capabilities.

Database introspection

Table schema and data summary

Column datatype and sample data

SQL function documentation and examples

User accounts introspection


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