# The Structure of a Query

The general format of a query is:

[optional query flag [optional query flag argument]] <query argument> 

The query flags may be before or after the query argument.

Many query flags have a short and long format. The short format is:

-short_query_flag [optional query flag argument]
for example,  -B dw-ripe

The long format is:

--long_query_flag [optional query flag argument]
for example, --no-filtering dw-ripe

When a query includes many query flags, the short and long format options may be mixed. You may list each query flag separately, for example:

-B –i tech-c --no-grouping DW-RIPE

You can also group short query flags together. The long query flags must always be separated. When short flags are grouped, only the last flag in a group may have a flag argument, as in:

-Bi TECH-c --no-grouping dw-RIPE

The query argument is not case-sensitive. As shown in the examples above, it can be in upper case, lower case or a mixed case. Query flags are case-sensitive. This applies to both short- and long-format flags. However, the arguments to the query flags are not case-sensitive. There can be an optional space between a query flag and its argument. However, if the query flag argument is a list, there can be no spaces between elements of the list.

-rBG –Tinetnum,inet6num –imb ripe-ncc-hm-mnt
-rBG –T inetnum,inet6num –i MB ripe-ncc-hm-mnt

A list of query flags and query flag arguments are available.

If you type an IP range you will get an exact match IP range if it exists. Otherwise smallest IP range containing it. (inetnum/inet6num and route/route6 objects).

If you type a single IP address you will get the smallest IP range containing this IP address. (inetnum/inet6num and route/route6 objects).