Documentation Visual SQL (beta) FAQs

Transition Q&As for Visual SQL

In case you missed it, we wrote a full article on What’s different with the new Visual SQL interface?. This FAQ is for any extra questions you might have, especially pertaining to the rollout and eventual transition to Visual SQL. If you have any questions or concerns that we didn’t address here, you can reach out to us at support@chartio.com.

Upcoming features

We’re constantly working toward feature parity between Data Explorer and Visual SQL. We can’t give any specific release dates, but here are some of the major features coming soon to Visual SQL (from soonest to latest—but nothing’s set in stone):

  • Undo/Redo
  • Clone Queries
  • OR filters in Visual Mode Queries
  • If…Then Action
  • Multi-column Sort Action

Q: What are Data Explorer and Visual SQL?

The Data Explorer is our previous chart creation and exploration interface and Visual SQL is our new chart creation and exploration interface.


Q: What’s new in Visual SQL vs the Data Explorer?

So many things! We wrote a full blog post for you explaining all of the new updates. Checkout What’s different with the new Visual SQL interface?


Q: What are the advantages of Visual SQL?

These are some of the new features Visual SQL has to offer:

  • Our new Visual SQL user interface allows users to easily visualize their SQL and any pipeline steps!
  • Visual SQL automatically chooses if a column is a measure or a dimension. It is also easy to switch between grouping and aggregating if needed.
  • When browsing tables and selecting columns, Visual SQL shows a sample set of data for the table. This makes it easy to know if the column you are selecting is the correct one.
  • Visual SQL now has a fixed data table at the bottom of the window. This data table shows the data for the selected query or pipeline step.
  • Adding and merging additional queries can now be done at any point in the pipeline.

and more is covered in our blog post.


Q: Are you deprecating Data Explorer?

Ultimately, we’d like to move away from Data Explorer, but we also want to make sure everyone can get accustomed to using Visual SQL before that happens. There’s no rush here, and we’re confident you’ll be happily adopting the new interface long before we deprecate anything.


Q: Will anything happen to the charts I’ve made with Advanced or Basic mode?

No—never. Everything still works as usual, but right now you can use our Visual SQL interface as well if you prefer. Eventually (no rush here) we’ll deprecate the old interfaces but will ensure all of your charts and dashboards are ported over.


Q: What happened to measures and dimensions in Visual SQL?

In Data Explorer, the data from your table was pre-determined as dimensions and measures. In our new Visual SQL, we are allowing you to preview your entire table as you add columns then choose whether to group or aggregate those columns in your Result Table. This new experience will make it even easier to get up and running in Chartio. Check out our Quick Start Guide to learn the basics.


Q: I really liked using the Advanced Mode in Data Explorer. Is there something similar in Visual SQL?

The features of Basic and Advanced Mode have been combined into Visual SQL, making it more powerful and flexible than Data Explorer - and easier to use. We’ll continue to add new features to Visual SQL to make your experience even better.


Q: Is Visual SQL available to everyone?

As of early March, we’re enabling everyone to try out Visual SQL via the toggle button in Data Explorer.


Q: Can I switch back to the old Data Explorer interface?

We know change can be hard, so we’re giving all customers the temporary ability to switch back and forth between the two interfaces by using the “Try Visual SQL” toggle button in Data Explorer. However, depending on which interface you use to initially save your chart, you can only use that interface when editing the chart going forward.


Q: Will any of my charts made using the Data Explorer be affected by the change to Visual SQL?

Short answer is no. When you edit a chart, the chart editor interface shown depends on which interface you used to create that chart. If you used Data Explorer, you can only edit the chart via the Data Explorer interface. Similarly, if you used Visual SQL, you can only edit the chart via Visual SQL. If you do experience any issues, let us know—we’ll be happy to help resolve them.


Q: Can I use both interface versions for charts on the same dashboard?

Yes! As we mentioned previously, each chart can only use one of the editors. But it’s fine to have charts made with Visual SQL and charts made with Data Explorer coexist on the same dashboard.


Q: There are features missing from Visual SQL that were available in Data Explorer. Are they gone forever or can I still access them?

We’re constantly rolling out features to the new Visual SQL interface. Some of the features to be released soon: Alerts, Data Stores, and more.


Q: Does Visual SQL cost more?

Nope! We simply want to give you a better experience when visualizing your data.


Q: Where can I get training on Visual SQL?

You can access our Visual SQL docs or sign up to attend our weekly Visual SQL Introductory Training Webinars!

If you want a quick introduction to Visual SQL, check out this 2-minute video we put together:


Q: Can I provide feedback about the new Visual SQL interface?

You can send us your feedback via e-mail at support@chartio.com or by chatting with us in Intercom. We truly appreciate your feedback!