NQL (North Query Language) is an advanced query language that gives users greater power and flexibility in filtering results as compared to the filters UI.

Getting Started

To get started with NQL, click on the “+ Filter” link on the “All Initiatives” page. Select “Add NQL” from the dropdown.

Select the “Add NQL” option in filters to start adding NQL

On selecting this option, the NQL input field appears. You can now start writing your NQL query. Press enter to trigger a search based on your NQL query.

Search using NQL

Important: NQL can run alongside other UI based filters – the result set is filtered based on both NQL and other filters. It is up to the user to ensure that the filtering criteria specified in the two does not conflict. If that happens it is quite likely that no results will be returned.

Syntax and Examples

The basic syntax of an NQL expression is:

field operator value

For example,

status = "In Progress"
owner = 3
priority = "High"
created_at > "2023-02-06"
due_date < "2023-01-01"
owner IS NULL
due_date IS SET
due_date IS NOT SET
due_date is SET ORDER BY owner

One can also combine multiple NQL expressions using the AND, OR or NOT operators:

status = "In Progress" AND owner = 3
updated_at < "2023-01-01" AND NOT status = "Done"
priority = "High" AND (owner = 3 OR owner = 4)
priority = "High" AND NOT (owner = 3 OR owner = 4)

As the last example shows, expressions can be grouped together using parenthesis, if required.


The following operators are available in NQL:

  1. Equals, i.e. =
  2. Less than, <
  3. Less than or equal: <=
  4. Greater than: >
  5. Greater than or equal: >=
  6. Is, i.e. is. Can be used to check if a value is set (is set) or not set (is null).

System Fields

The following system fields are available in NQL.

Note: is set and is null in the available operators implies that is not set and is not null can also be used.

FieldDescriptionAvailable operatorsExamples
created_atDate on which initiative was created=, <, <=, >, >=created_at = “2023-01-31”
created_at >= “2020-01-01”
updated_atDate on which initiative was last updated=, <, <=, >, >=updated_at = “2023-01-31”
updated_at >= “2020-01-01”
last_updated_byId of the user who last updated the initiative=last_updated_by = 123
ownerUser id of any of the initiative’s owners=, is set, is nullowner = 123
teamid of the team to which the initiative belongs=team = 456
is_closedWhether an initiative is closed or not. Possible values are true or false.=is_closed = true
is_closed = false
closed_onDate on which the initiative was closed=, <, <=, >, >=closed_on = “2023-01-31”
closed_on >= “2020-01-01”
priorityPriority of the initiative. Possible values are "High", "Mid" or "Low"=priority = “High”
statusStatus of the initiative. Possible values are "Not Started", "In Progress", "Behind", "At Risk", "Done"=status = “Not Started”
status = “Done”
due_dateDue date of the initiative.=, is set, is nulldue_date <= “2023-03-31”
due_date is null
comment_countCount of comments on the initiative=, <, <=, >, >=comment_count > 0
last_comment_onDate on which the last comment was made=, <, <=, >, >=last_comment_on = “2023-01-31”
last_comment_on >= “2020-01-01”
key_resultid of the Key Result (KR) to which the initiative belongs=key_result = 345
System fields in NQL

Custom Fields

NQL supports custom fields too. Just start typing the custom field name and auto complete will give you a list of all available fields, including custom fields. Once you select a custom field, it’s field name in NQL is replaced by “cf_<id>” where <id> is the sytem generated id for the custom field. Using ids ensures that your queries can survive custom field renames.

Custom Field TypeDescriptionAvailable OperatorsExamples
TextText value=, is set, is nullcf_123 = “foo”
NumberNumber value=, <, <=, >, >=, is set, is nullcf_234 = 1
cf_234 >= 10
DateDate value=, <, <=, >, >=, is set, is nullcf_345 = “2020-01-01”
cf_345 <= “2023-03-31”
Userid of the user set in the custom field=, is set, is nullcf_456 = 1
cf_456 is set
Dropdownid of the custom field dropdown option=, is set, is nullcf_567 = 1
cf_567 is null

Ordering Results

NQL can also be used to order results by using the ORDER BY clause. It’s general form is as follows:

ORDER BY field1, field2, ...
ORDER BY field1 ASC, field2 DESC, ...

Fields can be any system or custom fields.

The ORDER BY clause must come last in an NQL query. A query containing a single ORDER BY clause and noting else is also valid and will work as expected.

Important: If an ORDER BY clause is added to the NQL query, then ordering results by clicking via field headers in the result table will not work.


owner = 3 ORDER BY status
team = 3 AND due_date <= 2023-06-30 ORDER BY owner ASC, status DESC

Auto Complete

NQL provides auto complete functionality for the following:

  1. Field name
  2. Users (e.g. owner or custom fields with user type)
  3. Custom fields dropdown options
  4. KRs
  5. Status
  6. Priority

To ensure that queries can survive renames, auto complete replaces the following with system generated ids:

  1. Custom field names
  2. Users
  3. KRs
  4. Custom field dropdown options
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