It is not a common use-case, but occasionally we need to create a page or a document that contains the description of the Athena tables we have. It is relatively easy to do if we have written comments in the create external table statements while creating them because those comments can be retrieved using the boto3 client.

In this article, I am going to show you how to do it.

First, we have to create a glue client using the following statement:

import boto3

glue_client = boto3.client('glue',

To retrieve the tables, we need to know the database name:

glue_tables = glue_client.get_tables(DatabaseName=db_name, MaxResults=1000)

Now, we can iterate over the tables and retrieve the data such as the column names, types, and the comments added when the table was created:

for table in glue_tables['TableList']:
    for column in table['StorageDescriptor']['Columns']:
        column_name = column['Name']
        comment = column.get('Comment', '')
        column_type = column['Type']

We have to remember that the code above does not return the columns used for data partitioning. To get the partition keys, we need the following code:

for table in glue_tables['TableList']:
    for partition_key in table.get('PartitionKeys', []):
        column_name = partition_key['Name']
        comment = partition_key.get('Comment', '')
        column_type = partition_key['Type']
Older post

How to perform a batch write to DynamoDB using boto3

How to write multiple DynamoDB objects at once using boto3

Newer post

How to start an AWS Glue Crawler to refresh Athena tables using boto3

How to create and start an AWS Glue Crawler from Python code using boto3