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Home » » Introduction to MySQL: A MySQL Tutorial

Introduction to MySQL: A MySQL Tutorial

This chapter provides a tutorial introduction to MySQL by showing how to use the mysql client program to create and use a simple database. mysql (sometimes referred to as the tor”) is an interactive program that allows you to connect to a MySQL server, run queries, and view the results. mysql may also be used in batch mode: you place your queries in a file beforehand, then tell mysql to execute the contents of the file.

Both ways of using mysql are covered here.
To see a list of options provided by mysql, invoke it with the --help option:
shell> mysql --help
This chapter assumes that mysql is installed on your machine and that a MySQL server is
available to which you can connect. If this is not true, contact your MySQL administrator.
(If you are the administrator, you will need to consult other sections of this manual.)
This chapter describes the entire process of setting up and using a database. If you are
interested only in accessing an already-existing database, you may want to skip over the
sections that describe how to create the database and the tables it contains.
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Because this chapter is tutorial in nature, many details are necessarily left out. Consult the
relevant sections of the manual for more information on the topics covered here
.
Connecting to and Disconnecting from the Server
To connect to the server, you’ll usually need to provide a MySQL user name when you
invoke mysql and, most likely, a password. If the server runs on a machine other than the
one where you log in, you’ll also need to specify a hostname. Contact your administrator
to find out what connection parameters you should use to connect (that is, what host, user
name, and password to use). Once you know the proper parameters, you should be able to
connect like this:
shell> mysql -h host -u user -p
Enter password: ********
The ******** represents your password; enter it when mysql displays the Enter password:
prompt.
If that works, you should see some introductory information followed by a mysql> prompt:
shell> mysql -h host -u user -p
Enter password: ********
Welcome to the MySQL monitor. Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 459 to server version: 3.22.20a-log
Type ’help’ for help.
mysql>
The prompt tells you that mysql is ready for you to enter commands.

Some MySQL installations allow users to connect as the anonymous (unnamed) user to the
server running on the local host. If this is the case on your machine, you should be able to
connect to that server by invoking mysql without any options:
shell> mysql
After you have connected successfully, you can disconnect any time by typing QUIT at the
mysql> prompt:
mysql> QUIT
Bye
You can also disconnect by pressing Control-D.
Most examples in the following sections assume you are connected to the server. They
indicate this by the mysql> prompt.

Entering Queries
Make sure you are connected to the server, as discussed in the previous section. Doing so
will not in itself select any database to work with, but that’s okay. At this point, it’s more
important to find out a little about how to issue queries than to jump right in creating
tables, loading data into them, and retrieving data from them. This section describes the
basic principles of entering commands, using several queries you can try out to familiarise
yourself with how mysql works.

Here’s a simple command that asks the server to tell you its version number and the current
date. Type it in as shown below following the mysql> prompt and press Enter:
mysql> SELECT VERSION(), CURRENT_DATE;
+--------------+--------------+
| version() | CURRENT_DATE |
+--------------+--------------+
| 3.22.20a-log | 1999-03-19 |
+--------------+--------------+
1 row in set (0.01 sec)
mysql>
This query illustrates several things about mysql:
• A command normally consists of a SQL statement followed by a semicolon. (There are
some exceptions where a semicolon is not needed. QUIT, mentioned earlier, is one of
them. We’ll get to others later.)
• When you issue a command, mysql sends it to the server for execution and displays the
results, then prints another mysql> to indicate that it is ready for another command.
• mysql displays query output as a table (rows and columns). The first row contains
labels for the columns. The rows following are the query results. Normally, column
labels are the names of the columns you fetch from database tables. If you’re retrieving
the value of an expression rather than a table column (as in the example just shown),
mysql labels the column using the expression itself.
• mysql shows how many rows were returned and how long the query took to execute,
which gives you a rough idea of server performance. These values are imprecise because
they represent wall clock time (not CPU or machine time), and because they are a ected
by factors such as server load and network latency. (For brevity, the “rows in set” line
is not shown in the remaining examples in this chapter.)
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Keywords may be entered in any lettercase. The following queries are equivalent:
mysql> SELECT VERSION(), CURRENT_DATE;
mysql> select version(), current_date;
mysql> SeLeCt vErSiOn(), current_DATE;
Here’s another query. It demonstrates that you can use mysql as a simple calculator:
mysql> SELECT SIN(PI()/4), (4+1)*5;
+-------------+---------+
| SIN(PI()/4) | (4+1)*5 |
+-------------+---------+
| 0.707107 | 25 |
+-------------+---------+
The commands shown thus far have been relatively short, single-line statements. You can
even enter multiple statements on a single line. Just end each one with a semicolon:
mysql> SELECT VERSION(); SELECT NOW();
+--------------+
| version() |
+--------------+
| 3.22.20a-log |
+--------------+
+---------------------+
| NOW() |
+---------------------+
| 1999-03-19 00:15:33 |
+---------------------+
A command need not be given all on a single line, so lengthy commands that require several
lines are not a problem. mysql determines where your statement ends by looking for the
terminating semicolon, not by looking for the end of the input line. (In other words, mysql
accepts free-format input: it collects input lines but does not execute them until it sees the
semicolon.)
Here’s a simple multiple-line statement:
mysql> SELECT
-> USER()
-> ,
-> CURRENT_DATE;
+--------------------+--------------+
| USER() | CURRENT_DATE |
+--------------------+--------------+
| joesmith@localhost | 1999-03-18 |
+--------------------+--------------+
In this example, notice how the prompt changes from mysql> to -> after you enter the first
line of a multiple-line query. This is how mysql indicates that it hasn’t seen a complete statement and is waiting for the rest. The prompt is your friend, because it provides valuable feedback. If you use that feedback, you will always be aware of what mysql is waiting for.
If you decide you don’t want to execute a command that you are in the process of entering,
cancel it by typing \c:
mysql> SELECT
-> USER()
-> \c
mysql>
Here, too, notice the prompt. It switches back to mysql> after you type \c, providing
feedback to indicate that mysql is ready for a new command.
The following table shows each of the prompts you may see and summarises what they
mean about the state that mysql is in:
Prompt Meaning
mysql> Ready for new command.
-> Waiting for next line of multiple-line command.
’> Waiting for next line, collecting a string that begins with a single quote (‘’’).
"> Waiting for next line, collecting a string that begins with a double quote (‘"’).
Multiple-line statements commonly occur by accident when you intend to issue a command
on a single line, but forget the terminating semicolon. In this case, mysql waits for more
input:
mysql> SELECT USER()
->
If this happens to you (you think you’ve entered a statement but the only response is a
-> prompt), most likely mysql is waiting for the semicolon. If you don’t notice what the
prompt is telling you, you might sit there for a while before realising what you need to do.
Enter a semicolon to complete the statement, and mysql will execute it:
mysql> SELECT USER()
-> ;
800 Image_Holiday

+--------------------+
| USER() |
+--------------------+
| joesmith@localhost |
+--------------------+
The ’> and "> prompts occur during string collection. In MySQL, you can write strings
surrounded by either ‘’’ or ‘"’ characters (for example, ’hello’ or "goodbye"), and mysql
lets you enter strings that span multiple lines. When you see a ’> or "> prompt, it means
that you’ve entered a line containing a string that begins with a ‘’’ or ‘"’ quote character,
but have not yet entered the matching quote that terminates the string. That’s fine if you
really are entering a multiple-line string, but how likely is that? Not very. More often,
the ’> and "> prompts indicate that you’ve inadvertantly left out a quote character. For
example:
mysql> SELECT * FROM my_table WHERE name = "Smith AND age <>
If you enter this SELECT statement, then press Enter and wait for the result, nothing will
happen. Instead of wondering why this query takes so long, notice the clue provided by the
"> prompt. It tells you that mysql expects to see the rest of an unterminated string. (Do
you see the error in the statement? The string "Smith is missing the second quote.)
At this point, what do you do? The simplest thing is to cancel the command. However,
you cannot just type \c in this case, because mysql interprets it as part of the string that
it is collecting! Instead, enter the closing quote character (so mysql knows you’ve finished
the string), then type \c:
mysql> SELECT * FROM my_table WHERE name = "Smith AND age <> "\c
mysql>

The prompt changes back to mysql>, indicating that mysql is ready for a new command.
It’s important to know what the ’> and "> prompts signify, because if you mistakenly enter
an unterminated string, any further lines you type will appear to be ignored by mysql —
including a line containing QUIT! This can be quite confusing, especially if you don’t know
that you need to supply the terminating quote before you can cancel the current command.

Creating and Using a Database
Now that you know how to enter commands, it’s time to access a database.
Suppose you have several pets in your home (your menagerie) and you’d like to keep track
of various types of information about them. You can do so by creating tables to hold your
data and loading them with the desired information. Then you can answer di erent sorts
of questions about your animals by retrieving data from the tables. This section shows you
how to:
• Create a database
• Create a table
• Load data into the table
• Retrieve data from the table in various ways
• Use multiple tables
The menagerie database will be simple (deliberately), but it is not di cult to think of real-
world situations in which a similar type of database might be used. For example, a database
like this could be used by a farmer to keep track of livestock, or by a veterinarian to keep
track of patient records. A menagerie distribution containing some of the queries and sample
data used in the following sections can be obtained from the MySQL web site. It’s available
in either compressed tar format (http://www.mysql.com/Downloads/Contrib/Examples/menagerie.tar.gz)
or Zip format (http://www.mysql.com/Downloads/Contrib/Examples/menagerie.zip).
Use the SHOW statement to find out what databases currently exist on the server:
mysql> SHOW DATABASES;
+----------+
| Database |
+----------+
| mysql |
| test |
| tmp |

+----------+

The list of databases is probably di erent on your machine, but the mysql and test
databases are likely to be among them. The mysql database is required because it de-
scribes user access privileges. The test database is often provided as a workspace for users
to try things out.
If the test database exists, try to access it:
mysql> USE test
Database changed
Note that USE, like QUIT, does not require a semicolon. (You can terminate such statements
with a semicolon if you like; it does no harm.) The USE statement is special in another way,
too: it must be given on a single line.
You can use the test database (if you have access to it) for the examples that follow, but
anything you create in that database can be removed by anyone else with access to it. For
this reason, you should probably ask your MySQL administrator for permission to use a
database of your own. Suppose you want to call yours menagerie. The administrator needs
to execute a command like this:
mysql> GRANT ALL ON menagerie.* TO your_mysql_name;
where your_mysql_name is the MySQL user name assigned to you.

Creating and Selecting a Database
If the administrator creates your database for you when setting up your permissions, you
can begin using it. Otherwise, you need to create it yourself:
mysql> CREATE DATABASE menagerie;
Under Unix, database names are case sensitive (unlike SQL keywords), so you must always
refer to your database as menagerie, not as Menagerie, MENAGERIE, or some other variant.
This is also true for table names. (Under Windows, this restriction does not apply, although
you must refer to databases and tables using the same lettercase throughout a given query.)
Creating a database does not select it for use; you must do that explicitly. To make
menagerie the current database, use this command:
mysql> USE menagerie

Database changed
Your database needs to be created only once, but you must select it for use each time
you begin a mysql session. You can do this by issuing a USE statement as shown above.
Alternatively, you can select the database on the command line when you invoke mysql.
Just specify its name after any connection parameters that you might need to provide. For
example:
shell> mysql -h host -u user -p menagerie
Enter password: ********
Note that menagerie is not your password on the command just shown. If you want to
supply your password on the command line after the -p option, you must do so with no
intervening space (for example, as -pmypassword, not as -p mypassword). However, putting
your password on the command line is not recommended, because doing so exposes it to
snooping by other users logged in on your machine.

Creating a Table
Creating the database is the easy part, but at this point it’s empty, as SHOW TABLES will
tell you:
mysql> SHOW TABLES;
Empty set (0.00 sec)
The harder part is deciding what the structure of your database should be: what tables you
will need and what columns will be in each of them.
You’ll want a table that contains a record for each of your pets. This can be called the pet
table, and it should contain, as a bare minimum, each animal’s name. Because the name
by itself is not very interesting, the table should contain other information. For example,
if more than one person in your family keeps pets, you might want to list each animal’s
owner. You might also want to record some basic descriptive information such as species
and sex.
How about age? That might be of interest, but it’s not a good thing to store in a database.
Age changes as time passes, which means you’d have to update your records often. Instead,
it’s better to store a fixed value such as date of birth. Then, whenever you need age, you can
calculate it as the di erence between the current date and the birth date. MySQL provides
functions for doing date arithmetic, so this is not di cult. Storing birth date rather than
age has other advantages, too:
• You can use the database for tasks such as generating reminders for upcoming pet
birthdays. (If you think this type of query is somewhat silly, note that it is the same
question you might ask in the context of a business database to identify clients to whom
you’ll soon need to send out birthday greetings, for that computer-assisted personal
touch.)
• You can calculate age in relation to dates other than the current date. For example, if
you store death date in the database, you can easily calculate how old a pet was when
it died.
You can probably think of other types of information that would be useful in the pet table,
but the ones identified so far are su cient for now: name, owner, species, sex, birth, and
death.
Use a CREATE TABLE statement to specify the layout of your table:
mysql> CREATE TABLE pet (name VARCHAR(20), owner VARCHAR(20),
-> species VARCHAR(20), sex CHAR(1), birth DATE, death DATE);
VARCHAR is a good choice for the name, owner, and species columns because the column
values will vary in length. The lengths of those columns need not all be the same, and
need not be 20. You can pick any length from 1 to 255, whatever seems most reasonable to
you. (If you make a poor choice and it turns out later that you need a longer field, MySQL
provides an ALTER TABLE statement.)
Animal sex can be represented in a variety of ways, for example, "m" and "f", or perhaps
"male" and "female". It’s simplest to use the single characters "m" and "f".
The use of the DATE data type for the birth and death columns is a fairly obvious choice.
Now that you have created a table, SHOW TABLES should produce some output:
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mysql> SHOW TABLES;
+---------------------+
| Tables in menagerie |
+---------------------+
| pet
|
+---------------------+
To verify that your table was created the way you expected, use a DESCRIBE statement:
mysql> DESCRIBE pet;
+---------+-------------+------+-----+---------+-------+
| Field | Type | Null | Key | Default | Extra |
+---------+-------------+------+-----+---------+-------+
| name | varchar(20) | YES | | NULL | |
| owner | varchar(20) | YES | | NULL | |
| species | varchar(20) | YES | | NULL | |
| sex | char(1) | YES | | NULL | |
| birth | date | YES | | NULL | |
| death | date | YES | | NULL | |
+---------+-------------+------+-----+---------+-------+
You can use DESCRIBE any time, for example, if you forget the names of the columns in
your table or what types they are.

Loading Data into a Table
After creating your table, you need to populate it. The LOAD DATA and INSERT statements
are useful for this.
Suppose your pet records can be described as shown below. (Observe that MySQL expects
dates in YYYY-MM-DD format; this may be di erent than what you are used to.)
name owner species sex birth death
Flu y Harold cat f 1993-02-04
Claws Gwen cat m 1994-03-17
Bu y Harold dog f 1989-05-13
Fang Benny dog m 1990-08-27
Bowser Diane dog m 1998-08-31 1995-07-29
Chirpy Gwen bird f 1998-09-11
Whistler Gwen bird
1997-12-09

Slim Benny snake m 1996-04-29
Because you are beginning with an empty table, an easy way to populate it is to create a
text file containing a row for each of your animals, then load the contents of the file into
the table with a single statement.
You could create a text file ‘pet.txt’ containing one record per line, with values separated
by tabs, and given in the order in which the columns were listed in the CREATE TABLE
statement. For missing values (such as unknown sexes or death dates for animals that
are still living), you can use NULL values. To represent these in your text file, use \N.
For example, the record for Whistler the bird would look like this (where the whitespace
between values is a single tab character):

Whistler Gwen bird \N 1997-12-09 \N
To load the text file ‘pet.txt’ into the pet table, use this command:
mysql> LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE "pet.txt" INTO TABLE pet;
You can specify the column value separator and end of line marker explicitly in the LOAD
DATA statement if you wish, but the defaults are tab and linefeed. These are su cient for
the statement to read the file ‘pet.txt’ properly.
When you want to add new records one at a time, the INSERT statement is useful. In its
simplest form, you supply values for each column, in the order in which the columns were
listed in the CREATE TABLE statement. Suppose Diane gets a new hamster named Pu ball.

You could add a new record using an INSERT statement like this:
mysql> INSERT INTO pet
-> VALUES (’Puffball’,’Diane’,’hamster’,’f’,’1999-03-30’,NULL);
Note that string and date values are specified as quoted strings here. Also, with INSERT,
you can insert NULL directly to represent a missing value. You do not use \N like you do
with LOAD DATA.
From this example, you should be able to see that there would be a lot more typing involved
to load your records initially using several INSERT statements rather than a single LOAD DATA
statement.
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Retrieving Information from a Table
The SELECT statement is used to pull information from a table. The general form of the
statement is:
SELECT what_to_select
FROM which_table
WHERE conditions_to_satisfy
what_to_select indicates what you want to see. This can be a list of columns, or * to
indicate “all columns.” which_table indicates the table from which you want to retrieve
data. The WHERE clause is optional. If it’s present, conditions_to_satisfy specifies
conditions that rows must satisfy to qualify for retrieval.

Selecting All Data
The simplest form of SELECT retrieves everything from a table:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet;
+----------+--------+---------+------+------------+------------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+----------+--------+---------+------+------------+------------+
| Fluffy | Harold | cat | f | 1993-02-04 | NULL |
| Claws | Gwen | cat | m | 1994-03-17 | NULL |
| Buffy | Harold | dog | f | 1989-05-13 | NULL |
| Fang | Benny | dog | m | 1990-08-27 | NULL |
| Bowser | Diane | dog | m | 1998-08-31 | 1995-07-29 |
| Chirpy | Gwen | bird | f | 1998-09-11 | NULL |
| Whistler | Gwen | bird | NULL | 1997-12-09 | NULL |
| Slim | Benny | snake | m | 1996-04-29 | NULL |
| Puffball | Diane | hamster | f | 1999-03-30 | NULL |
+----------+--------+---------+------+------------+------------+
This form of SELECT is useful if you want to review your entire table, for instance, after
you’ve just loaded it with your initial dataset. As it happens, the output just shown reveals
an error in your data file: Bowser appears to have been born after he died! Consulting your
original pedigree papers, you find that the correct birth year is 1989, not 1998.
There are are least a couple of ways to fix this:
• Edit the file ‘pet.txt’ to correct the error, then empty the table and reload it using
DELETE and LOAD DATA:
mysql> SET AUTOCOMMIT=1; # Used for quick re-create of the table
mysql> DELETE FROM pet;
mysql> LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE "pet.txt" INTO TABLE pet;
However, if you do this, you must also re-enter the record for Pu ball.
• Fix only the erroneous record with an UPDATE statement:
mysql> UPDATE pet SET birth = "1989-08-31" WHERE name = "Bowser";
As shown above, it is easy to retrieve an entire table. But typically you don’t want to do
that, particularly when the table becomes large. Instead, you’re usually more interested in
answering a particular question, in which case you specify some constraints on the informa-
tion you want. Let’s look at some selection queries in terms of questions about your pets
that they answer.

Selecting Particular Rows
You can select only particular rows from your table. For example, if you want to verify the
change that you made to Bowser’s birth date, select Bowser’s record like this:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE name = "Bowser";
+--------+-------+---------+------+------------+------------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+--------+-------+---------+------+------------+------------+
| Bowser | Diane | dog | m | 1989-08-31 | 1995-07-29 |
+--------+-------+---------+------+------------+------------+
The output confirms that the year is correctly recorded now as 1989, not 1998.
String comparisons are normally case insensitive, so you can specify the name as "bowser",
"BOWSER", etc. The query result will be the same.
You can specify conditions on any column, not just name. For example, if you want to know
which animals were born after 1998, test the birth column:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE birth >= "1998-1-1";
+----------+-------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+----------+-------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| Chirpy | Gwen | bird | f | 1998-09-11 | NULL |

| Puffball | Diane | hamster | f | 1999-03-30 | NULL |
+----------+-------+---------+------+------------+-------+
You can combine conditions, for example, to locate female dogs:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE species = "dog" AND sex = "f";
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| Buffy | Harold | dog | f | 1989-05-13 | NULL |
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
The preceding query uses the AND logical operator. There is also an OR operator:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE species = "snake" OR species = "bird";
+----------+-------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+----------+-------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| Chirpy | Gwen | bird | f | 1998-09-11 | NULL |
| Whistler | Gwen | bird | NULL | 1997-12-09 | NULL |
| Slim | Benny | snake | m | 1996-04-29 | NULL |
+----------+-------+---------+------+------------+-------+
AND and OR may be intermixed. If you do that, it’s a good idea to use parentheses to indicate
how conditions should be grouped:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE (species = "cat" AND sex = "m")
-> OR (species = "dog" AND sex = "f");
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| Claws | Gwen | cat | m | 1994-03-17 | NULL |
| Buffy | Harold | dog | f | 1989-05-13 | NULL |
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+

Selecting Particular Columns
If you don’t want to see entire rows from your table, just name the columns in which you’re
interested, separated by commas. For example, if you want to know when your animals
were born, select the name and birth columns:
mysql> SELECT name, birth FROM pet;
+----------+------------+
| name | birth |
+----------+------------+
| Fluffy | 1993-02-04 |
| Claws | 1994-03-17 |
| Buffy | 1989-05-13 |
| Fang | 1990-08-27 |
| Bowser | 1989-08-31 |
| Chirpy | 1998-09-11 |
| Whistler | 1997-12-09 |
| Slim | 1996-04-29 |

| Puffball | 1999-03-30 |
+----------+------------+
To find out who owns pets, use this query:
mysql> SELECT owner FROM pet;
+--------+
| owner |
+--------+
| Harold |
| Gwen |
| Harold |
| Benny |
| Diane |
| Gwen |
| Gwen |
| Benny |
| Diane |
+--------+
However, notice that the query simply retrieves the owner field from each record, and some
of them appear more than once. To minimise the output, retrieve each unique output record
just once by adding the keyword DISTINCT:
mysql> SELECT DISTINCT owner FROM pet;
+--------+
| owner |
+--------+
| Benny |
| Diane |
| Gwen |
| Harold |
+--------+
You can use a WHERE clause to combine row selection with column selection. For example,
to get birth dates for dogs and cats only, use this query:
mysql> SELECT name, species, birth FROM pet
-> WHERE species = "dog" OR species = "cat";
+--------+---------+------------+
| name | species | birth |
+--------+---------+------------+
| Fluffy | cat | 1993-02-04 |
| Claws | cat | 1994-03-17 |
| Buffy | dog | 1989-05-13 |
| Fang | dog | 1990-08-27 |
| Bowser | dog | 1989-08-31 |
+--------+---------+------------+
PARSHIP.it, per una vita insieme!

Sorting Rows

You may have noticed in the preceding examples that the result rows are displayed in no
particular order. However, it’s often easier to examine query output when the rows are
sorted in some meaningful way. To sort a result, use an ORDER BY clause.
Here are animal birthdays, sorted by date:
mysql> SELECT name, birth FROM pet ORDER BY birth;
+----------+------------+
| name | birth |
+----------+------------+
| Buffy | 1989-05-13 |
| Bowser | 1989-08-31 |
| Fang | 1990-08-27 |
| Fluffy | 1993-02-04 |
| Claws | 1994-03-17 |
| Slim | 1996-04-29 |
| Whistler | 1997-12-09 |
| Chirpy | 1998-09-11 |
| Puffball | 1999-03-30 |
+----------+------------+
To sort in reverse order, add the DESC (descending) keyword to the name of the column you
are sorting by:
mysql> SELECT name, birth FROM pet ORDER BY birth DESC;
+----------+------------+
| name | birth |
+----------+------------+
| Puffball | 1999-03-30 |
| Chirpy | 1998-09-11 |
| Whistler | 1997-12-09 |
| Slim | 1996-04-29 |
| Claws | 1994-03-17 |
| Fluffy | 1993-02-04 |
| Fang | 1990-08-27 |
| Bowser | 1989-08-31 |
| Buffy | 1989-05-13 |
+----------+------------+
You can sort on multiple columns. For example, to sort by type of animal, then by birth
date within animal type with youngest animals first, use the following query:
mysql> SELECT name, species, birth FROM pet ORDER BY species, birth DESC;
+----------+---------+------------+
| name | species | birth |
+----------+---------+------------+
| Chirpy | bird | 1998-09-11 |
| Whistler | bird | 1997-12-09 |
| Claws | cat | 1994-03-17 |
| Fluffy | cat | 1993-02-04 |
| Fang | dog | 1990-08-27 |
| Bowser | dog | 1989-08-31 |

| Buffy | dog | 1989-05-13 |
| Puffball | hamster | 1999-03-30 |
| Slim | snake | 1996-04-29 |
+----------+---------+------------+
Note that the DESC keyword applies only to the column name immediately preceding it
(birth); species values are still sorted in ascending order.

Date Calculations
MySQL provides several functions that you can use to perform calculations on dates, for
example, to calculate ages or extract parts of dates.
To determine how many years old each of your pets is, compute the di erence in the year
part of the current date and the birth date, then subtract one if the current date occurs
earlier in the calendar year than the birth date. The following query shows, for each pet,
the birth date, the current date, and the age in years.
mysql> SELECT name, birth, CURRENT_DATE,
-> (YEAR(CURRENT_DATE)-YEAR(birth))
-> - (RIGHT(CURRENT_DATE,5) AS age
-> FROM pet;
+----------+------------+--------------+------+
| name | birth | CURRENT_DATE | age |
+----------+------------+--------------+------+
| Fluffy | 1993-02-04 | 2001-08-29 | 8 |
| Claws | 1994-03-17 | 2001-08-29 | 7 |
| Buffy | 1989-05-13 | 2001-08-29 | 12 |
| Fang | 1990-08-27 | 2001-08-29 | 11 |
| Bowser | 1989-08-31 | 2001-08-29 | 11 |
| Chirpy | 1998-09-11 | 2001-08-29 | 2 |
| Whistler | 1997-12-09 | 2001-08-29 | 3 |
| Slim | 1996-04-29 | 2001-08-29 | 5 |
| Puffball | 1999-03-30 | 2001-08-29 | 2 |
+----------+------------+--------------+------+
Here, YEAR() pulls out the year part of a date and RIGHT() pulls o the rightmost five
characters that represent the MM-DD (calendar year) part of the date. The part of the
expression that compares the MM-DD values evaluates to 1 or 0, which adjusts the year
di erence down a year if CURRENT_DATE occurs earlier in the year than birth. The full
expression is somewhat ungainly, so an alias (age) is used to make the output column label
more meaningful.
The query works, but the result could be scanned more easily if the rows were presented
in some order. This can be done by adding an ORDER BY name clause to sort the output by
name:
mysql> SELECT name, birth, CURRENT_DATE,
-> (YEAR(CURRENT_DATE)-YEAR(birth))
-> - (RIGHT(CURRENT_DATE,5) AS age
-> FROM pet ORDER BY name;
+----------+------------+--------------+------+
| name | birth | CURRENT_DATE | age |
+----------+------------+--------------+------+
| Bowser | 1989-08-31 | 2001-08-29 | 11 |
| Buffy | 1989-05-13 | 2001-08-29 | 12 |
| Chirpy | 1998-09-11 | 2001-08-29 | 2 |
| Claws | 1994-03-17 | 2001-08-29 | 7 |
| Fang | 1990-08-27 | 2001-08-29 | 11 |
| Fluffy | 1993-02-04 | 2001-08-29 | 8 |
| Puffball | 1999-03-30 | 2001-08-29 | 2 |
| Slim | 1996-04-29 | 2001-08-29 | 5 |
| Whistler | 1997-12-09 | 2001-08-29 | 3 |
+----------+------------+--------------+------+
To sort the output by age rather than name, just use a di erent ORDER BY clause:
mysql> SELECT name, birth, CURRENT_DATE,
-> (YEAR(CURRENT_DATE)-YEAR(birth))
-> - (RIGHT(CURRENT_DATE,5) AS age
-> FROM pet ORDER BY age;
+----------+------------+--------------+------+
| name | birth | CURRENT_DATE | age |
+----------+------------+--------------+------+
| Chirpy | 1998-09-11 | 2001-08-29 | 2 |
| Puffball | 1999-03-30 | 2001-08-29 | 2 |
| Whistler | 1997-12-09 | 2001-08-29 | 3 |
| Slim | 1996-04-29 | 2001-08-29 | 5 |
| Claws | 1994-03-17 | 2001-08-29 | 7 |
| Fluffy | 1993-02-04 | 2001-08-29 | 8 |
| Fang | 1990-08-27 | 2001-08-29 | 11 |
| Bowser | 1989-08-31 | 2001-08-29 | 11 |
| Buffy | 1989-05-13 | 2001-08-29 | 12 |
+----------+------------+--------------+------+
A similar query can be used to determine age at death for animals that have died. You
determine which animals these are by checking whether or not the death value is NULL.
Then, for those with non-NULL values, compute the di erence between the death and birth
values:
mysql> SELECT name, birth, death,
-> (YEAR(death)-YEAR(birth)) - (RIGHT(death,5) AS age
-> FROM pet WHERE death IS NOT NULL ORDER BY age;
+--------+------------+------------+------+
| name | birth | death | age |
+--------+------------+------------+------+
| Bowser | 1989-08-31 | 1995-07-29 | 5 |
+--------+------------+------------+------+
The query uses death IS NOT NULL rather than death != NULL because NULL is a special
value. This is explained later. See Section 3.3.4.6 [Working with NULL], page 144.
What if you want to know which animals have birthdays next month? For this type of
calculation, year and day are irrelevant; you simply want to extract the month part of the
birth column. MySQL provides several date-part extraction functions, such as YEAR(),
MONTH(), and DAYOFMONTH(). MONTH() is the appropriate function here. To see how it
works, run a simple query that displays the value of both birth and MONTH(birth):
mysql> SELECT name, birth, MONTH(birth) FROM pet;
+----------+------------+--------------+
| name | birth | MONTH(birth) |
+----------+------------+--------------+
| Fluffy | 1993-02-04 | 2 |
| Claws | 1994-03-17 | 3 |
| Buffy | 1989-05-13 | 5 |
| Fang | 1990-08-27 | 8 |
| Bowser | 1989-08-31 | 8 |
| Chirpy | 1998-09-11 | 9 |
| Whistler | 1997-12-09 | 12 |
| Slim | 1996-04-29 | 4 |
| Puffball | 1999-03-30 | 3 |
+----------+------------+--------------+
Finding animals with birthdays in the upcoming month is easy, too. Suppose the current
month is April. Then the month value is 4 and you look for animals born in May (month
5) like this:
mysql> SELECT name, birth FROM pet WHERE MONTH(birth) = 5;
+-------+------------+
| name | birth |
+-------+------------+
| Buffy | 1989-05-13 |
+-------+------------+
There is a small complication if the current month is December, of course. You don’t just
add one to the month number (12) and look for animals born in month 13, because there
is no such month. Instead, you look for animals born in January (month 1).
Temp 728x90

You can even write the query so that it works no matter what the current month is. That
way you don’t have to use a particular month number in the query. DATE_ADD() allows
you to add a time interval to a given date. If you add a month to the value of NOW(), then
extract the month part with MONTH(), the result produces the month in which to look for
birthdays:
mysql> SELECT name, birth FROM pet
-> WHERE MONTH(birth) = MONTH(DATE_ADD(NOW(), INTERVAL 1 MONTH));
A di erent way to accomplish the same task is to add 1 to get the next month after the
current one (after using the modulo function (MOD) to wrap around the month value to 0 if
it is currently 12):
mysql> SELECT name, birth FROM pet
-> WHERE MONTH(birth) = MOD(MONTH(NOW()), 12) + 1;
Note that MONTH returns a number between 1 and 12. And MOD(something,12) returns a
number between 0 and 11. So the addition has to be after the MOD(), otherwise we would
go from November (11) to January (1).


Working with NULL Values
The NULL value can be surprising until you get used to it. Conceptually, NULL means missing
value or unknown value and it is treated somewhat di erently than other values. To test
for NULL, you cannot use the arithmetic comparison operators such as =, <, or !=. To demonstrate this for yourself, try the following query: mysql> SELECT 1 = NULL, 1 != NULL, 1 <> NULL;
+----------+-----------+----------+----------+
| 1 = NULL | 1 != NULL | 1 <> NULL |
+----------+-----------+----------+----------+
| NULL | NULL | NULL | NULL |
+----------+-----------+----------+----------+
Clearly you get no meaningful results from these comparisons. Use the IS NULL and IS NOT
NULL operators instead:
mysql> SELECT 1 IS NULL, 1 IS NOT NULL;
+-----------+---------------+
| 1 IS NULL | 1 IS NOT NULL |
+-----------+---------------+
| 0 | 1 |
+-----------+---------------+
In MySQL, 0 or NULL means false and anything else means true. The default truth value
from a boolean operation is 1.
This special treatment of NULL is why, in the previous section, it was necessary to determine
which animals are no longer alive using death IS NOT NULL instead of death != NULL.

Pattern Matching
MySQL provides standard SQL pattern matching as well as a form of pattern matching
based on extended regular expressions similar to those used by Unix utilities such as vi,
grep, and sed.
SQL pattern matching allows you to use ‘_’ to match any single character and ‘%’ to match
an arbitrary number of characters (including zero characters). In MySQL, SQL patterns
are case insensitive by default. Some examples are shown below. Note that you do not
use = or != when you use SQL patterns; use the LIKE or NOT LIKE comparison operators
instead.
To find names beginning with ‘b’:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE name LIKE "b%";
+--------+--------+---------+------+------------+------------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+--------+--------+---------+------+------------+------------+
| Buffy | Harold | dog | f | 1989-05-13 | NULL |
| Bowser | Diane | dog | m | 1989-08-31 | 1995-07-29 |
+--------+--------+---------+------+------------+------------+
To find names ending with ‘fy’:

mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE name LIKE "%fy";
+--------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+--------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| Fluffy | Harold | cat | f | 1993-02-04 | NULL |
| Buffy | Harold | dog | f | 1989-05-13 | NULL |
+--------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
To find names containing a ‘w’:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE name LIKE "%w%";
+----------+-------+---------+------+------------+------------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+----------+-------+---------+------+------------+------------+
| Claws | Gwen | cat | m | 1994-03-17 | NULL |
| Bowser | Diane | dog | m | 1989-08-31 | 1995-07-29 |
| Whistler | Gwen | bird | NULL | 1997-12-09 | NULL |
+----------+-------+---------+------+------------+------------+
To find names containing exactly five characters, use the ‘_’ pattern character:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE name LIKE "_____";
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| Claws | Gwen | cat | m | 1994-03-17 | NULL |
| Buffy | Harold | dog | f | 1989-05-13 | NULL |
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
The other type of pattern matching provided by MySQL uses extended regular expressions.
When you test for a match for this type of pattern, use the REGEXP and NOT REGEXP operators
(or RLIKE and NOT RLIKE, which are synonyms).
Some characteristics of extended regular expressions are:
• ‘.’ matches any single character.
• A character class ‘[...]’ matches any character within the brackets. For example,
‘[abc]’ matches ‘a’, ‘b’, or ‘c’. To name a range of characters, use a dash. ‘[a-z]’
matches any lowercase letter, whereas ‘[0-9]’ matches any digit.
• ‘*’ matches zero or more instances of the thing preceding it. For example, ‘x*’ matches
any number of ‘x’ characters, ‘[0-9]*’ matches any number of digits, and ‘.*’ matches
any number of anything.
• Regular expressions are case sensitive, but you can use a character class to match both
lettercases if you wish. For example, ‘[aA]’ matches lowercase or uppercase ‘a’ and
‘[a-zA-Z]’ matches any letter in either case.
• The pattern matches if it occurs anywhere in the value being tested. (SQL patterns
match only if they match the entire value.)
• To anchor a pattern so that it must match the beginning or end of the value being
tested, use ‘^’ at the beginning or ‘$’ at the end of the pattern.
To demonstrate how extended regular expressions work, the LIKE queries shown above are
rewritten below to use REGEXP.
To find names beginning with ‘b’, use ‘^’ to match the beginning of the name:

mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE name REGEXP "^b";
+--------+--------+---------+------+------------+------------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+--------+--------+---------+------+------------+------------+
| Buffy | Harold | dog | f | 1989-05-13 | NULL |
| Bowser | Diane | dog | m | 1989-08-31 | 1995-07-29 |
+--------+--------+---------+------+------------+------------+
Prior to MySQL Version 3.23.4, REGEXP is case sensitive, and the previous query will return
no rows. To match either lowercase or uppercase ‘b’, use this query instead:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE name REGEXP "^[bB]";
From MySQL 3.23.4 on, to force a REGEXP comparison to be case sensitive, use the BINARY
keyword to make one of the strings a binary string. This query will match only lowercase
‘b’ at the beginning of a name:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE name REGEXP BINARY "^b";
To find names ending with ‘fy’, use ‘$’ to match the end of the name:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE name REGEXP "fy$";
+--------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+--------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| Fluffy | Harold | cat | f | 1993-02-04 | NULL |
| Buffy | Harold | dog | f | 1989-05-13 | NULL |
+--------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
To find names containing a lowercase or uppercase ‘w’, use this query:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE name REGEXP "w";
+----------+-------+---------+------+------------+------------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+----------+-------+---------+------+------------+------------+
| Claws | Gwen | cat | m | 1994-03-17 | NULL |
| Bowser | Diane | dog | m | 1989-08-31 | 1995-07-29 |
| Whistler | Gwen | bird | NULL | 1997-12-09 | NULL |
+----------+-------+---------+------+------------+------------+
Because a regular expression pattern matches if it occurs anywhere in the value, it is not
necessary in the previous query to put a wild card on either side of the pattern to get it to
match the entire value like it would be if you used a SQL pattern.
To find names containing exactly five characters, use ‘^’ and ‘$’ to match the beginning and
end of the name, and five instances of ‘.’ in between:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE name REGEXP "^.....$";
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| Claws | Gwen | cat | m | 1994-03-17 | NULL |
| Buffy | Harold | dog | f | 1989-05-13 | NULL |
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
You could also write the previous query using the ‘{n}’ “repeat-n-times” operator:
mysql> SELECT * FROM pet WHERE name REGEXP "^.{5}$";
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+

| name | owner | species | sex | birth | death |
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
| Claws | Gwen | cat | m | 1994-03-17 | NULL |
| Buffy | Harold | dog | f | 1989-05-13 | NULL |
+-------+--------+---------+------+------------+-------+
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Counting Rows
Databases are often used to answer the question, “How often does a certain type of data
occur in a table?” For example, you might want to know how many pets you have, or how
many pets each owner has, or you might want to perform various kinds of censuses on your
animals.
Counting the total number of animals you have is the same question as “How many rows
are in the pet table?” because there is one record per pet. The COUNT() function counts
the number of non-NULL results, so the query to count your animals looks like this:
mysql> SELECT COUNT(*) FROM pet;
+----------+
| COUNT(*) |
+----------+
| 9 |
+----------+
Earlier, you retrieved the names of the people who owned pets. You can use COUNT() if you
want to find out how many pets each owner has:
mysql> SELECT owner, COUNT(*) FROM pet GROUP BY owner;
+--------+----------+
| owner | COUNT(*) |
+--------+----------+
| Benny | 2 |
| Diane | 2 |
| Gwen | 3 |
| Harold | 2 |
+--------+----------+
Note the use of GROUP BY to group together all records for each owner. Without it, all you
get is an error message:
mysql> SELECT owner, COUNT(owner) FROM pet;
ERROR 1140 at line 1: Mixing of GROUP columns (MIN(),MAX(),COUNT()...)
with no GROUP columns is illegal if there is no GROUP BY clause
COUNT() and GROUP BY are useful for characterising your data in various ways. The following
examples show di erent ways to perform animal census operations.
Number of animals per species:
mysql> SELECT species, COUNT(*) FROM pet GROUP BY species;
+---------+----------+
| species | COUNT(*) |
+---------+----------+
| bird | 2 |

| cat | 2 |
| dog | 3 |
| hamster | 1 |
| snake | 1 |
+---------+----------+
Number of animals per sex:
mysql> SELECT sex, COUNT(*) FROM pet GROUP BY sex;
+------+----------+
| sex | COUNT(*) |
+------+----------+
| NULL | 1 |
| f | 4 |
| m | 4 |
+------+----------+
(In this output, NULL indicates sex unknown.)
Number of animals per combination of species and sex:
mysql> SELECT species, sex, COUNT(*) FROM pet GROUP BY species, sex;
+---------+------+----------+
| species | sex | COUNT(*) |
+---------+------+----------+
| bird | NULL | 1 |
| bird | f | 1 |
| cat | f | 1 |
| cat | m | 1 |
| dog | f | 1 |
| dog | m | 2 |
| hamster | f | 1 |
| snake | m | 1 |
+---------+------+----------+
You need not retrieve an entire table when you use COUNT(). For example, the previous
query, when performed just on dogs and cats, looks like this:
mysql> SELECT species, sex, COUNT(*) FROM pet
-> WHERE species = "dog" OR species = "cat"
-> GROUP BY species, sex;
+---------+------+----------+
| species | sex | COUNT(*) |
+---------+------+----------+
| cat | f | 1 |
| cat | m | 1 |
| dog | f | 1 |
| dog | m | 2 |
+---------+------+----------+
Or, if you wanted the number of animals per sex only for known-sex animals:
mysql> SELECT species, sex, COUNT(*) FROM pet
-> WHERE sex IS NOT NULL
-> GROUP BY species, sex;
+---------+------+----------+

| species | sex | COUNT(*) |
+---------+------+----------+
| bird | f | 1 |
| cat | f | 1 |
| cat | m | 1 |
| dog | f | 1 |
| dog | m | 2 |
| hamster | f | 1 |
| snake | m | 1 |
+---------+------+----------+

Using More Than one Table
The pet table keeps track of which pets you have. If you want to record other information
about them, such as events in their lives like visits to the vet or when litters are born, you
need another table. What should this table look like? It needs:
• To contain the pet name so you know which animal each event pertains to.
• A date so you know when the event occurred.
• A field to describe the event.
• An event type field, if you want to be able to categorise events.
Given these considerations, the CREATE TABLE statement for the event table might look like
this:
mysql> CREATE TABLE event (name VARCHAR(20), date DATE,
-> type VARCHAR(15), remark VARCHAR(255));
As with the pet table, it’s easiest to load the initial records by creating a tab-delimited text
file containing the information:
Flu y 1995-05-15 litter 4 kittens, 3 female, 1 male
Bu y 1993-06-23 litter 5 puppies, 2 female, 3 male
Bu y 1994-06-19 litter 3 puppies, 3 female
Chirpy 1999-03-21 vet needed beak straightened
Slim 1997-08-03 vet broken rib
Bowser 1991-10-12 kennel
Fang 1991-10-12 kennel
Fang 1998-08-28 birthday Gave him a new chew toy
Claws 1998-03-17 birthday Gave him a new ea collar
Whistler 1998-12-09 birthday First birthday
Load the records like this:
mysql> LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE "event.txt" INTO TABLE event;
Based on what you’ve learned from the queries you’ve run on the pet table, you should be
able to perform retrievals on the records in the event table; the principles are the same.
But when is the event table by itself insu cient to answer questions you might ask?
Suppose you want to find out the ages of each pet when they had their litters. The event
table indicates when this occurred, but to calculate the age of the mother, you need her
birth date. Because that is stored in the pet table, you need both tables for the query:

mysql> SELECT pet.name, (TO_DAYS(date) - TO_DAYS(birth))/365 AS age, remark
-> FROM pet, event
-> WHERE pet.name = event.name AND type = "litter";
+--------+------+-----------------------------+
| name | age | remark
|
+--------+------+-----------------------------+
| Fluffy | 2.27 | 4 kittens, 3 female, 1 male |
| Buffy | 4.12 | 5 puppies, 2 female, 3 male |
| Buffy | 5.10 | 3 puppies, 3 female |
+--------+------+-----------------------------+
There are several things to note about this query:
• The FROM clause lists two tables because the query needs to pull information from both
of them.
• When combining (joining) information from multiple tables, you need to specify how
records in one table can be matched to records in the other. This is easy because they
both have a name column. The query uses WHERE clause to match up records in the two
tables based on the name values.
• Because the name column occurs in both tables, you must be specific about which table
you mean when referring to the column. This is done by prepending the table name to
the column name.
You need not have two di erent tables to perform a join. Sometimes it is useful to join a
table to itself, if you want to compare records in a table to other records in that same table.
For example, to find breeding pairs among your pets, you can join the pet table with itself
to pair up males and females of like species:
mysql> SELECT p1.name, p1.sex, p2.name, p2.sex, p1.species
-> FROM pet AS p1, pet AS p2
-> WHERE p1.species = p2.species AND p1.sex = "f" AND p2.sex = "m";
+--------+------+--------+------+---------+
| name | sex | name | sex | species |
+--------+------+--------+------+---------+
| Fluffy | f | Claws | m | cat |
| Buffy | f | Fang | m | dog |
| Buffy | f | Bowser | m | dog |
+--------+------+--------+------+---------+
In this query, we specify aliases for the table name in order to refer to the columns and
keep straight which instance of the table each column reference is associated with.
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Getting Information About Databases and Tables
What if you forget the name of a database or table, or what the structure of a given table is
(for example, what its columns are called)? MySQL addresses this problem through several
statements that provide information about the databases and tables it supports.
You have already seen SHOW DATABASES, which lists the databases managed by the server.
To find out which database is currently selected, use the DATABASE() function:

mysql> SELECT DATABASE();
+------------+
| DATABASE() |
+------------+
| menagerie |
+------------+
If you haven’t selected any database yet, the result is blank.
To find out what tables the current database contains (for example, when you’re not sure
about the name of a table), use this command:
mysql> SHOW TABLES;
+---------------------+
| Tables in menagerie |
+---------------------+
| event |
| pet
|
+---------------------+
If you want to find out about the structure of a table, the DESCRIBE command is useful; it
displays information about each of a table’s columns:
mysql> DESCRIBE pet;
+---------+-------------+------+-----+---------+-------+
| Field | Type | Null | Key | Default | Extra |
+---------+-------------+------+-----+---------+-------+
| name | varchar(20) | YES | | NULL | |
| owner | varchar(20) | YES | | NULL | |
| species | varchar(20) | YES | | NULL | |
| sex | char(1) | YES | | NULL | |
| birth | date | YES | | NULL | |
| death | date | YES | | NULL | |
+---------+-------------+------+-----+---------+-------+
Field indicates the column name, Type is the data type for the column, Null indicates
whether or not the column can contain NULL values, Key indicates whether or not the
column is indexed, and Default specifies the column’s default value.
If you have indexes on a table, SHOW INDEX FROM tbl_name produces information about
them.

Examples of Common Queries
Here are examples of how to solve some common problems with MySQL.
Some of the examples use the table shop to hold the price of each article (item number)
for certain traders (dealers). Supposing that each trader has a single fixed price per article,
then (article, dealer) is a primary key for the records.
Start the command line tool mysql and select a database:
mysql your-database-name
(In most MySQL installations, you can use the database-name ’test’).
You can create the example table as:

CREATE TABLE shop (
article INT(4) UNSIGNED ZEROFILL DEFAULT ’0000’ NOT NULL,
dealer CHAR(20)
DEFAULT ’’ NOT NULL,
price DOUBLE(16,2) DEFAULT ’0.00’ NOT NULL,
PRIMARY KEY(article, dealer));
INSERT INTO shop VALUES
(1,’A’,3.45),(1,’B’,3.99),(2,’A’,10.99),(3,’B’,1.45),(3,’C’,1.69),
(3,’D’,1.25),(4,’D’,19.95);
Okay, so the example data is:
mysql> SELECT * FROM shop;
+---------+--------+-------+
| article | dealer | price |
+---------+--------+-------+
| 0001 | A | 3.45 |
| 0001 | B | 3.99 |
| 0002 | A | 10.99 |
| 0003 | B | 1.45 |
| 0003 | C | 1.69 |
| 0003 | D | 1.25 |
| 0004 | D | 19.95 |
+---------+--------+-------+

The Maximum Value for a Column
“What’s the highest item number?”
SELECT MAX(article) AS article FROM shop
+---------+
| article |
+---------+
| 4 |
+---------+

The Row Holding the Maximum of a Certain Column
“Find number, dealer, and price of the most expensive article.”
In ANSI SQL this is easily done with a sub-query:
SELECT article, dealer, price
FROM shop
WHERE price=(SELECT MAX(price) FROM shop)
In MySQL (which does not yet have sub-selects), just do it in two steps:
1. Get the maximum price value from the table with a SELECT statement.
2. Using this value compile the actual query:

SELECT article, dealer, price
FROM shop
WHERE price=19.95
Another solution is to sort all rows descending by price and only get the first row using the
MySQL specific LIMIT clause:
SELECT article, dealer, price
FROM shop
ORDER BY price DESC
LIMIT 1
NOTE: If there are several most expensive articles (for example, each 19.95) the LIMIT
solution shows only one of them!

Maximum of Column per Group
“What’s the highest price per article?”
SELECT article, MAX(price) AS price
FROM shop
GROUP BY article
+---------+-------+
| article | price |
+---------+-------+
| 0001 | 3.99 |
| 0002 | 10.99 |
| 0003 | 1.69 |
| 0004 | 19.95 |
+---------+-------+

The Rows Holding the Group-wise Maximum of a Certain Field

“For each article, find the dealer(s) with the most expensive price.”
In ANSI SQL, I’d do it with a sub-query like this:
SELECT article, dealer, price
FROM shop s1
WHERE price=(SELECT MAX(s2.price)
FROM shop s2
WHERE s1.article = s2.article);
In MySQL it’s best do it in several steps:
1. Get the list of (article,maxprice).
2. For each article get the corresponding rows that have the stored maximum price.
This can easily be done with a temporary table:

CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE tmp (
article INT(4) UNSIGNED ZEROFILL DEFAULT ’0000’ NOT NULL,
price DOUBLE(16,2) DEFAULT ’0.00’ NOT NULL);
LOCK TABLES shop read;
INSERT INTO tmp SELECT article, MAX(price) FROM shop GROUP BY article;
SELECT shop.article, dealer, shop.price FROM shop, tmp
WHERE shop.article=tmp.article AND shop.price=tmp.price;
UNLOCK TABLES;
DROP TABLE tmp;
If you don’t use a TEMPORARY table, you must also lock the ’tmp’ table.
“Can it be done with a single query?”
Yes, but only by using a quite ine cient trick that I call the “MAX-CONCAT trick”:
SELECT article,
SUBSTRING( MAX( CONCAT(LPAD(price,6,’0’),dealer) ), 7) AS dealer,
0.00+LEFT( MAX( CONCAT(LPAD(price,6,’0’),dealer) ), 6) AS price
FROM shop
GROUP BY article;
+---------+--------+-------+
| article | dealer | price |
+---------+--------+-------+
| 0001 | B | 3.99 |
| 0002 | A | 10.99 |
| 0003 | C | 1.69 |
| 0004 | D | 19.95 |
+---------+--------+-------+
The last example can, of course, be made a bit more e cient by doing the splitting of the
concatenated column in the client.

Using user variables
You can use MySQL user variables to remember results without having to store them in
temporary variables in the client. See Section 6.1.4 [Variables], page 344.
For example, to find the articles with the highest and lowest price you can do:
select @min_price:=min(price),@max_price:=max(price) from shop;
select * from shop where price=@min_price or price=@max_price;
+---------+--------+-------+
| article | dealer | price |
+---------+--------+-------+
| 0003 | D | 1.25 |

Chapter 3: Introduction to MySQL: A MySQL Tutorial
155
| 0004 | D | 19.95 |
+---------+--------+-------+

Using Foreign Keys
In MySQL 3.23.44 and up, InnoDB tables supports checking of foreign key constraints.
You don’t actually need foreign keys to join 2 tables. The only thing MySQL currently
doesn’t do (in type types other than InnoDB), is CHECK to make sure that the keys you use
really exist in the table(s) you’re referencing and it doesn’t automatically delete rows from
a table with a foreign key definition. If you use your keys like normal, it’ll work just fine:
CREATE TABLE persons (
id SMALLINT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
name CHAR(60) NOT NULL,
PRIMARY KEY (id)
);
CREATE TABLE shirts (
id SMALLINT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
style ENUM(’t-shirt’, ’polo’, ’dress’) NOT NULL,
color ENUM(’red’, ’blue’, ’orange’, ’white’, ’black’) NOT NULL,
owner SMALLINT UNSIGNED NOT NULL REFERENCES persons,
PRIMARY KEY (id)
);
INSERT INTO persons VALUES (NULL, ’Antonio Paz’);
INSERT INTO shirts VALUES
(NULL, ’polo’, ’blue’, LAST_INSERT_ID()),
(NULL, ’dress’, ’white’, LAST_INSERT_ID()),
(NULL, ’t-shirt’, ’blue’, LAST_INSERT_ID());
INSERT INTO persons VALUES (NULL, ’Lilliana Angelovska’);
INSERT INTO shirts VALUES
(NULL, ’dress’, ’orange’, LAST_INSERT_ID()),
(NULL, ’polo’, ’red’, LAST_INSERT_ID()),
(NULL, ’dress’, ’blue’, LAST_INSERT_ID()),
(NULL, ’t-shirt’, ’white’, LAST_INSERT_ID());
SELECT * FROM persons;
+----+---------------------+
| id | name |
+----+---------------------+

| 1 | Antonio Paz |
| 2 | Lilliana Angelovska |
+----+---------------------+
SELECT * FROM shirts;
+----+---------+--------+-------+
| id | style | color | owner |
+----+---------+--------+-------+
| 1 | polo | blue | 1 |
| 2 | dress | white | 1 |
| 3 | t-shirt | blue | 1 |
| 4 | dress | orange | 2 |
| 5 | polo | red | 2 |
| 6 | dress | blue | 2 |
| 7 | t-shirt | white | 2 |
+----+---------+--------+-------+
SELECT s.* FROM persons p, shirts s
WHERE p.name LIKE ’Lilliana%’
AND s.owner = p.id
AND s.color <> ’white’;
+----+-------+--------+-------+
| id | style | color | owner |
+----+-------+--------+-------+
| 4 | dress | orange | 2 |
| 5 | polo | red | 2 |
| 6 | dress | blue | 2 |
+----+-------+--------+-------+
Disclaimer - 728x90

Searching on Two Keys
MySQL doesn’t yet optimise when you search on two di erent keys combined with OR
(searching on one key with di erent OR parts is optimised quite well):
SELECT field1_index, field2_index FROM test_table WHERE field1_index = ’1’
OR field2_index = ’1’
The reason is that we haven’t yet had time to come up with an e cient way to handle this
in the general case. (The AND handling is, in comparison, now completely general and works
very well.)
For the moment you can solve this very e ciently by using a TEMPORARY table. This type
of optimisation is also very good if you are using very complicated queries where the SQL
server does the optimisations in the wrong order.
CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE tmp
SELECT field1_index, field2_index FROM test_table WHERE field1_index = ’1’;
INSERT INTO tmp
SELECT field1_index, field2_index FROM test_table WHERE field2_index = ’1’;

SELECT * from tmp;
DROP TABLE tmp;
The above way to solve this query is in e ect a UNION of two queries.

Calculating visits per day
The following shows an idea of how you can use the bit group functions to calculate the
number of days per month a user has visited a web page.
CREATE TABLE t1 (year YEAR(4), month INT(2) UNSIGNED ZEROFILL, day INT(2) UNSIGNED ZEROFILL);
INSERT INTO t1 VALUES(2000,1,1),(2000,1,20),(2000,1,30),(2000,2,2),(2000,2,23),(2000,2,23);
SELECT year,month,BIT_COUNT(BIT_OR(1< mysql <> mysql -h host -u user -p <> mysql <> mysql <> mysql.out
• You can distribute your script to other people so they can run the commands, too.
• Some situations do not allow for interactive use, for example, when you run a query
from a cron job. In this case, you must use batch mode.
The default output format is di erent (more concise) when you run mysql in batch mode
than when you use it interactively. For example, the output of SELECT DISTINCT species
FROM pet looks like this when run interactively:
+---------+
| species |
+---------+
| bird |
| cat |
| dog |
| hamster |
| snake |
+---------+
But like this when run in batch mode:
species
bird
cat
dog
hamster
snake
If you want to get the interactive output format in batch mode, use mysql -t. To echo to
the output the commands that are executed, use mysql -vvv.

Queries from Twin Project
At Analytikerna and Lentus, we have been doing the systems and field work for a big
research project. This project is a collaboration between the Institute of Environmental
Medicine at Karolinska Institutet Stockholm and the Section on Clinical Research in Aging
and Psychology at the University of Southern California.
The project involves a screening part where all twins in Sweden older than 65 years are
interviewed by telephone. Twins who meet certain criteria are passed on to the next stage.
In this latter stage, twins who want to participate are visited by a doctor/nurse team.

Some of the examinations include physical and neuropsychological examination, laboratory
testing, neuroimaging, psychological status assessment, and family history collection. In
addition, data are collected on medical and environmental risk factors.
More information about Twin studies can be found at: http://www.imm.ki.se/TWIN/TWINUKW.HTM
The latter part of the project is administered with a Web interface written using Perl and
MySQL.
Each night all data from the interviews are moved into a MySQL database.


Find all Non-distributed Twins
The following query is used to determine who goes into the second part of the project:
select
concat(p1.id, p1.tvab) + 0 as tvid,
concat(p1.christian_name, " ", p1.surname) as Name,
p1.postal_code as Code,
p1.city as City,
pg.abrev as Area,
if(td.participation = "Aborted", "A", " ") as A,
p1.dead as dead1,
l.event as event1,
td.suspect as tsuspect1,
id.suspect as isuspect1,
td.severe as tsevere1,
id.severe as isevere1,
p2.dead as dead2,
l2.event as event2,
h2.nurse as nurse2,
h2.doctor as doctor2,
td2.suspect as tsuspect2,
id2.suspect as isuspect2,
td2.severe as tsevere2,
id2.severe as isevere2,
l.finish_date
from
twin_project as tp
/* For Twin 1 */
left join twin_data as td on tp.id = td.id and tp.tvab = td.tvab
left join informant_data as id on tp.id = id.id and tp.tvab = id.tvab
left join harmony as h on tp.id = h.id and tp.tvab = h.tvab
left join lentus as l on tp.id = l.id and tp.tvab = l.tvab
/* For Twin 2 */
left join twin_data as td2 on p2.id = td2.id and p2.tvab = td2.tvab
left join informant_data as id2 on p2.id = id2.id and p2.tvab = id2.tvab
left join harmony as h2 on p2.id = h2.id and p2.tvab = h2.tvab
left join lentus as l2 on p2.id = l2.id and p2.tvab = l2.tvab,
person_data as p1,
person_data as p2,

postal_groups as pg
where
/* p1 gets main twin and p2 gets his/her twin. */
/* ptvab is a field inverted from tvab */
p1.id = tp.id and p1.tvab = tp.tvab and
p2.id = p1.id and p2.ptvab = p1.tvab and
/* Just the sceening survey */
tp.survey_no = 5 and
/* Skip if partner died before 65 but allow emigration (dead=9) */
(p2.dead = 0 or p2.dead = 9 or
(p2.dead = 1 and
(p2.death_date = 0 or
(((to_days(p2.death_date) - to_days(p2.birthday)) / 365)
>= 65))))
and
(
/* Twin is suspect */
(td.future_contact = ’Yes’ and td.suspect = 2) or
/* Twin is suspect - Informant is Blessed */
(td.future_contact = ’Yes’ and td.suspect = 1 and id.suspect = 1) or
/* No twin - Informant is Blessed */
(ISNULL(td.suspect) and id.suspect = 1 and id.future_contact = ’Yes’) or
/* Twin broken off - Informant is Blessed */
(td.participation = ’Aborted’
and id.suspect = 1 and id.future_contact = ’Yes’) or
/* Twin broken off - No inform - Have partner */
(td.participation = ’Aborted’ and ISNULL(id.suspect) and p2.dead = 0))
and
l.event = ’Finished’
/* Get at area code */
and substring(p1.postal_code, 1, 2) = pg.code
/* Not already distributed */
and (h.nurse is NULL or h.nurse=00 or h.doctor=00)
/* Has not refused or been aborted */
and not (h.status = ’Refused’ or h.status = ’Aborted’
or h.status = ’Died’ or h.status = ’Other’)
order by
tvid;
Some explanations:
concat(p1.id, p1.tvab) + 0 as tvid
We want to sort on the concatenated id and tvab in numerical order. Adding
0 to the result causes MySQL to treat the result as a number.
column id This identifies a pair of twins. It is a key in all tables.
column tvab
This identifies a twin in a pair. It has a value of 1 or 2.
So verliebt man sich heute - FriendScout24

column ptvab
This is an inverse of tvab. When tvab is 1 this is 2, and vice versa. It exists
to save typing and to make it easier for MySQL to optimise the query.
This query demonstrates, among other things, how to do lookups on a table from the same
table with a join (p1 and p2). In the example, this is used to check whether a twin’s partner
died before the age of 65. If so, the row is not returned.
All of the above exist in all tables with twin-related information. We have a key on both
id,tvab (all tables), and id,ptvab (person_data) to make queries faster.
On our production machine (A 200MHz UltraSPARC), this query returns about 150-200
rows and takes less than one second.
The current number of records in the tables used above:
Table
Rows
person_data 71074
lentus
5291
twin_project 5286
twin_data 2012
informant_data 663
harmony
381
postal_groups 100

Show a Table on Twin Pair Status
Each interview ends with a status code called event. The query shown below is used to
display a table over all twin pairs combined by event. This indicates in how many pairs
both twins are finished, in how many pairs one twin is finished and the other refused, and
so on.
select
t1.event,
t2.event,
count(*)
from
lentus as t1,
lentus as t2,
twin_project as tp
where
/* We are looking at one pair at a time */
t1.id = tp.id
and t1.tvab=tp.tvab
and t1.id = t2.id
/* Just the sceening survey */
and tp.survey_no = 5
/* This makes each pair only appear once */
and t1.tvab=’1’ and t2.tvab=’2’
group by
t1.event, t2.event;

Using MySQL with Apache
There are programs that let you authenticate your users from a MySQL database and also
let you log your log files into a MySQL table. See Section 1.6.1 [Portals], page 23.
You can change the Apache logging format to be easily readable by MySQL by putting the
following into the Apache configuration file:
LogFormat \
"\"%h\",%{%Y%m%d%H%M%S}t,%>s,\"%b\",\"%{Content-Type}o\", \
\"%U\",\"%{Referer}i\",\"%{User-Agent}i\""
In MySQL you can do something like this:
LOAD DATA INFILE ’/local/access_log’ INTO TABLE table_name
FIELDS TERMINATED BY


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