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7 MySQL language reference

7.1 Literals: how to write strings and numbers

7.1.1 Strings

A string is a sequence of characters, surrounded by either single quote (`'') or double quote (`"') characters. Examples:

'a string'
"another string"

Within a string, certain sequences have special meaning. Each of these sequences begins with a backslash (`\'), known as the escape character. MySQL recognizes the following escape sequences:

\0
An ASCII 0 (NUL) character.
\n
A newline character.
\t
A tab character.
\r
A carriage return character.
\b
A backspace character.
\'
A single quote (`'') character.
\"
A double quote (`"') character.
\\
A backslash (`\') character.
\%
A `%' character. This is used to search for literal instances of `%' in contexts where `%' would otherwise be interpreted as a wildcard character.
\_
A `_' character. This is used to search for literal instances of `_' in contexts where `_' would otherwise be interpreted as a wildcard character.

Note that if you use `\%' or `\%_' in some string contexts, these will return the strings `\%' and `\_' and not `%' and `_'.

There are several ways to include quotes within a string:

The SELECT statements shown below demonstrate how quoting and escaping work:

mysql> SELECT 'hello', '"hello"', '""hello""', 'hel''lo', '\'hello';
+-------+---------+-----------+--------+--------+
| hello | "hello" | ""hello"" | hel'lo | 'hello |
+-------+---------+-----------+--------+--------+

mysql> SELECT "hello", "'hello'", "''hello''", "hel""lo", "\"hello";
+-------+---------+-----------+--------+--------+
| hello | 'hello' | ''hello'' | hel"lo | "hello |
+-------+---------+-----------+--------+--------+

mysql> SELECT "This\nIs\nFour\nlines";
+--------------------+
| This
Is
Four
lines |
+--------------------+

If you want to insert binary data into a BLOB column, the following characters must be represented by escape sequences:

NUL
ASCII 0. You should represent this by `\0' (a backslash and an ASCII `0' character).
\
ASCII 92, backslash. Represent this by `\\'.
'
ASCII 39, single quote. Represent this by `\''.
"
ASCII 34, double quote. Represent this by `\"'.

If you write C code, you can use the C API function mysql_escape_string() to escape characters for the INSERT statement. See section 20.3 C API function overview. In Perl, you can use the quote method of the DBI package to convert special characters to the proper escape sequences. See section 20.5.2 The DBI interface.

You should use an escape function on any string that might contain any of the special characters listed above!

7.1.2 Numbers

Integers are represented as a sequence of digits. Floats use `.' as a decimal separator. Either type of number may be preceded by `-' to indicate a negative value.

Examples of valid integers:

1221
0
-32

Examples of valid floating-point numbers:

294.42
-32032.6809e+10
148.00

An integer may be used in a floating-point context; it is interpreted as the equivalent floating-point number.

7.1.3 Hexadecimal values

MySQL supports hexadecimal values. In number context these acts like an integer (64 bit precision). In string context these acts like a binary string where each pair of hex digits is converted to a character.

mysql> SELECT 0xa+0
       -> 10
mysql> select 0x5061756c;
       -> Paul

Hexadecimal strings is often used by ODBC to give values for BLOB columns.

7.1.4 NULL values

The NULL value means ``no data'' and is different from values such as 0 for numeric types or the empty string for string types. See section 18.15 Problems with NULL values.

NULL may be represented by \N when using the text file import or export formats (LOAD DATA INFILE, SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE). See section 7.15 LOAD DATA INFILE syntax.

7.1.5 Database, table, index, column and alias names

Database, table, index, column and alias names all follow the same rules in MySQL:

In MySQL you can refer to a column using any of the following forms:

Column reference Meaning
col_name Column col_name from whichever table used in the query contains a column of that name
tbl_name.col_name Column col_name from table tbl_name of the current database
db_name.tbl_name.col_name Column col_name from table tbl_name of the database db_name. This form is available in MySQL 3.22 or later.

You need not specify a tbl_name or db_name.tbl_name prefix for a column reference in a statement unless the reference would be ambiguous. For example, suppose tables t1 and t2 each contain a column c, and you retrieve c in a SELECT statement that uses both t1 and t2. In this case, c is ambiguous because it is not unique among the tables used in the statement, so you must indicate which table you mean by writing t1.c or t2.c. Similarly, if you are retrieving from a table t in database db1 and from a table t in database db2, you must refer to columns in those tables as db1.t.col_name and db2.t.col_name.

The syntax .tbl_name means the table tbl_name in the current database. This syntax is accepted for ODBC compatibility, because some ODBC programs prefix table names with a `.' character.

7.1.5.1 Case sensitivity in names

In MySQL, databases and tables correspond to directories and files within those directories. Consequently, the case sensitivity of the underlying operating system determines the case sensitivity of database and table names. This means database and table names are case sensitive in Unix and case insensitive in Win32.

Note: Although database and table names are case insensitive for Win32, you should not refer to a given database or table using different cases within the same query. The following query would not work because it refers to a table both as my_table and as MY_TABLE:

mysql> SELECT * FROM my_table WHERE MY_TABLE.col=1;

Column names are case insensitive in all cases.

Aliases on tables are case sensitive. The following query would not work because it refers to the alias both as a and as A:

mysql> SELECT col_name FROM tbl_name AS a
           WHERE a.col_name = 1 OR A.col_name = 2;

Aliases on columns are case insensitive.

7.2 Column types

MySQL supports a number of column types, which may be grouped into three categories: numeric types, date and time types, and string (character) types. This section first gives an overview of the types available and summarizes the storage requirements for each column type, then provides a more detailed description of the properties of the types in each category. The overview is intentionally brief. The more detailed descriptions should be consulted for additional information about particular column types, such as the allowable formats in which you can specify values.

The column types supported by MySQL are listed below. The following code letters are used in the descriptions:

M
Indicates the maximum display size. The maximum legal display size is 255.
D
Applies to floating-point types and indicates the number of digits following the decimal point. The maximum possible value is 30, but should be no greater than M-2.

Square brackets (`[' and `]') indicate parts of type specifiers that are optional.

Note that if you specify ZEROFILL for a column, MySQL will automatically add the UNSIGNED attribute to the column.

TINYINT[(M)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
A very small integer. The signed range is -128 to 127. The unsigned range is 0 to 255.
SMALLINT[(M)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
A small integer. The signed range is -32768 to 32767. The unsigned range is 0 to 65535.
MEDIUMINT[(M)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
A medium-size integer. The signed range is -8388608 to 8388607. The unsigned range is 0 to 16777215.
INT[(M)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
A normal-size integer. The signed range is -2147483648 to 2147483647. The unsigned range is 0 to 4294967295.
INTEGER[(M)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
This is a synonym for INT.
BIGINT[(M)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
A large integer. The signed range is -9223372036854775808 to 9223372036854775807. The unsigned range is 0 to 18446744073709551615. Note that all arithmetic is done using signed BIGINT or DOUBLE values, so you shouldn't use unsigned big integers larger than 9223372036854775807 (63 bits) except with bit functions! Note that -, + and * will use BIGINT arithmetic when both arguments are INTEGER values! This means that if you multiply two big integers (or results from functions that return integers) you may get unexpected results if the result is larger than 9223372036854775807.
FLOAT(precision) [ZEROFILL]
A floating-point number. Cannot be unsigned. precision can be 4 or 8. FLOAT(4) is a single-precision number and FLOAT(8) is a double-precision number. These types are like the FLOAT and DOUBLE types described immediately below. FLOAT(4) and FLOAT(8) have the same ranges as the corresponding FLOAT and DOUBLE types, but their display size and number of decimals is undefined. In MySQL 3.23, this is a true floating point value. In earlier MySQL versions, FLOAT(precision) always has 2 decimals. This syntax is provided for ODBC compatibility.
FLOAT[(M,D)] [ZEROFILL]
A small (single-precision) floating-point number. Cannot be unsigned. Allowable values are -3.402823466E+38 to -1.175494351E-38, 0 and 1.175494351E-38 to 3.402823466E+38. The M is the display with and D is the number of decimals.
DOUBLE[(M,D)] [ZEROFILL]
A normal-size (double-precision) floating-point number. Cannot be unsigned. Allowable values are -1.7976931348623157E+308 to -2.2250738585072014E-308, 0 and 2.2250738585072014E-308 to 1.7976931348623157E+308. The M is the display with and D is the number of decimals.
DOUBLE PRECISION[(M,D)] [ZEROFILL]
REAL[(M,D)] [ZEROFILL]
These are synonyms for DOUBLE.
DECIMAL(M,D) [ZEROFILL]
An unpacked floating-point number. Cannot be unsigned. Behaves like a CHAR column: ``unpacked'' means the number is stored as a string, using one character for each digit of the value. The decimal point, and, for negative numbers, the `-' sign is not counted in M. If D is 0, values will have no decimal point or fractional part. The maximum range of DECIMAL values is the same as for DOUBLE, but the actual range for a given DECIMAL column may be constrained by the choice of M and D. Note that in MySQL 3.22 the M argument includes the sign and the decimal point.
NUMERIC(M,D) [ZEROFILL]
This is a synonym for DECIMAL.
DATE
A date. The supported range is '1000-01-01' to '9999-12-31'. MySQL displays DATE values in 'YYYY-MM-DD' format, but allows you to assign values to DATE columns using either strings or numbers.
DATETIME
A date and time combination. The supported range is '1000-01-01 00:00:00' to '9999-12-31 23:59:59'. MySQL displays DATETIME values in 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS' format, but allows you to assign values to DATETIME columns using either strings or numbers.
TIMESTAMP[(M)]
A timestamp. The range is '1970-01-01 00:00:00' to sometime in the year 2037. MySQL displays TIMESTAMP values in YYYYMMDDHHMMSS, YYMMDDHHMMSS, YYYYMMDD or YYMMDD format, depending on whether M is 14 (or missing), 12, 8 or 6, but allows you to assign values to TIMESTAMP columns using either strings or numbers. A TIMESTAMP column is useful for recording the date and time of an INSERT or UPDATE operation because it is automatically set to the date and time of the most recent operation if you don't give it a value yourself. You can also set it to the current date and time by assigning it a NULL value. See section 7.2.6 Date and time types.
TIME
A time. The range is '-838:59:59' to '838:59:59'. MySQL displays TIME values in 'HH:MM:SS' format, but allows you to assign values to TIME columns using either strings or numbers.
YEAR[(2|4)]
A year in 2- or 4- digit formats (default is 4-digit). The allowable values are 1901 to 2155, and 0000 in the 4 year format and 1970-2069 if you use the 2 digit format (70-69). MySQL displays YEAR values in YYYY format, but allows you to assign values to YEAR columns using either strings or numbers. (The YEAR type is new in MySQL 3.22.)
CHAR(M) [BINARY]
A fixed-length string that is always right-padded with spaces to the specified length when stored. The range of M is 1 to 255 characters. Trailing spaces are removed when the value is retrieved. CHAR values are sorted and compared in case-insensitive fashion according to the default character set unless the BINARY keyword is given. NATIONAL CHAR (short form NCHAR) is the ANSI SQL way to define that a CHAR column should use the default CHARACTER set. This is default in MySQL. CHAR is a shorthand for CHARACTER.
[NATIONAL] VARCHAR(M) [BINARY]
A variable-length string. Note: Trailing spaces are removed when the value is stored (this differs from the ANSI SQL specification). The range of M is 1 to 255 characters. VARCHAR values are sorted and compared in case-insensitive fashion unless the BINARY keyword is given. See section 7.6.1 Silent column specification changes. VARCHAR is a shorthand for CHARACTER VARYING.
TINYBLOB
TINYTEXT
A BLOB or TEXT column with a maximum length of 255 (2^8 - 1) characters. See section 7.6.1 Silent column specification changes.
BLOB
TEXT
A BLOB or TEXT column with a maximum length of 65535 (2^16 - 1) characters. See section 7.6.1 Silent column specification changes.
MEDIUMBLOB
MEDIUMTEXT
A BLOB or TEXT column with a maximum length of 16777215 (2^24 - 1) characters. See section 7.6.1 Silent column specification changes.
LONGBLOB
LONGTEXT
A BLOB or TEXT column with a maximum length of 4294967295 (2^32 - 1) characters. See section 7.6.1 Silent column specification changes.
ENUM('value1','value2',...)
An enumeration. A string object that can have only one value, chosen from the list of values 'value1', 'value2', ..., or NULL. An ENUM can have a maximum of 65535 distinct values.
SET('value1','value2',...)
A set. A string object that can have zero or more values, each of which must be chosen from the list of values 'value1', 'value2', ... A SET can have a maximum of 64 members.

7.2.1 Column type storage requirements

The storage requirements for each of the column types supported by MySQL are listed below by category.

7.2.2 Numeric types

Column type Storage required
TINYINT 1 byte
SMALLINT 2 bytes
MEDIUMINT 3 bytes
INT 4 bytes
INTEGER 4 bytes
BIGINT 8 bytes
FLOAT(4) 4 bytes
FLOAT(8) 8 bytes
FLOAT 4 bytes
DOUBLE 8 bytes
DOUBLE PRECISION 8 bytes
REAL 8 bytes
DECIMAL(M,D) M bytes (D+2, if M < D)
NUMERIC(M,D) M bytes (D+2, if M < D)

7.2.3 Date and time types

Column type Storage required
DATE 3 bytes
DATETIME 8 bytes
TIMESTAMP 4 bytes
TIME 3 bytes
YEAR 1 byte

7.2.4 String types

Column type Storage required
CHAR(M) M bytes, 1 <= M <= 255
VARCHAR(M) L+1 bytes, where L <= M and 1 <= M <= 255
TINYBLOB, TINYTEXT L+1 bytes, where L < 2^8
BLOB, TEXT L+2 bytes, where L < 2^16
MEDIUMBLOB, MEDIUMTEXT L+3 bytes, where L < 2^24
LONGBLOB, LONGTEXT L+4 bytes, where L < 2^32
ENUM('value1','value2',...) 1 or 2 bytes, depending on the number of enumeration values (65535 values maximum)
SET('value1','value2',...) 1, 2, 3, 4 or 8 bytes, depending on the number of set members (64 members maximum)

VARCHAR and the BLOB and TEXT types are variable-length types, for which the storage requirements depend on the actual length of column values (represented by L in the preceding table), rather than on the type's maximum possible size. For example, a VARCHAR(10) column can hold a string with a maximum length of 10 characters. The actual storage required is the length of the string (L), plus 1 byte to record the length of the string. For the string 'abcd', L is 4 and the storage requirement is 5 bytes.

The BLOB and TEXT types require 1, 2, 3 or 4 bytes to record the length of the column value, depending on the maximum possible length of the type.

If a table includes any variable-length column types, the record format will also be variable-length. Note that when a table is created, MySQL may under certain conditions change a column from a variable-length type to a fixed-length type, or vice-versa. See section 7.6.1 Silent column specification changes.

The size of an ENUM object is determined by the number of different enumeration values. 1 byte is used for enumerations with up to 255 possible values. 2 bytes are used for enumerations with up to 65535 values.

The size of a SET object is determined by the number of different set members. If the set size is N, the object occupies (N+7)/8 bytes, rounded up to 1, 2, 3, 4 or 8 bytes. A SET can have a maximum of 64 members.

7.2.5 Numeric types

MySQL supports all of the ANSI/ISO SQL92 numeric types. These types include the exact numeric data types (NUMERIC, DECIMAL, INTEGER, and SMALLINT), as well as the approximate numeric data types (FLOAT, REAL, and DOUBLE PRECISION). The keyword INT is a synonym for INTEGER, and the keyword DEC is a synonym for DECIMAL.

The NUMERIC and DECIMAL types are implemented as the same type by MySQL, as permitted by the SQL92 standard. They are used for values for which it is important to preserve exact precision, for example with monetary data. When declaring a column of one of these types the precision and scale can be (and usually is) specified; for example:

    salary DECIMAL(9,2)

In this example, 9 (precision) represents the number of significant decimal digits which will be stored for values, and 2 (scale) represents the number of digits which will be stored following the decimal point. In this case, therefore, the range of values which can be stored in the salary column is from -9999999.99 to 9999999.99. In ANSI/ISO SQL92, the syntax DECIMAL(p) is equivalent to DECIMAL(p,0). Similarly, the syntax DECIMAL is equivalent to DECIMAL(p,0), where the implementation is allowed to decide the value of p. MySQL does not currently support either of these variant forms of the DECIMAL/NUMERIC data types. This is not generally a serious problem, as the principal benefits of these types derive from the ability to control both precision and scale explicitly.

DECIMAL and NUMERIC values are stored as strings, rather than as binary floating point numbers, in order to preserve the decimal precision of those values. One character is used for each digit of the value, the decimal point (if scale > 0) and the `-' sign (for negative numbers). If scale is 0, DECIMAL and NUMERIC values contain no decimal point or fractional part.

The maximum range of DECIMAL and NUMERIC values is the same as for DOUBLE, but the actual range for a given DECIMAL or NUMERIC column can be constrained by the precision or scale for a given column. When such a column is assigned a value with more digits following the decimal point than are allowed by the specified scale, the value is rounded to that scale. When a DECIMAL or NUMERIC column is assigned a value whose magnitude exceeds the range implied by the specified (or defaulted) precision and scale, MySQL stores the value representing the corresponding end point of that range.

As an extension to the ANSI/ISO SQL92 standard, MySQL also supports the integral types TINYINT, MEDIUMINT, and BIGINT as listed in the tables above. Another extension is supported by MySQL for optionally specifying the display width of an integral value in parentheses following the base keyword for the type (for example, INT(4)). This optional width specification is used to left-pad the display of values whose width is less than the width specified for the column, but does not constrain the range of values which can be stored in the column, nor the number of digits which will be displayed for values whose width exceeds that specified for the column. When used in conjunction with the optional extension attribute ZEROFILL the default padding of spaces is replaced with zeroes. For example, for a column declared as INT(5) ZEROFILL, a value of 4 is retrieved as 00004. Note that if you store larger values than the display width in an integral column, you may experience problems when MySQL generates temporary tables for some complicated joins as in these case MySQL trust that the data did fit into the original column width.

All integral types can have an optional (non-standard) attribute UNSIGNED. Unsigned values can be used when you want to allow only positive numbers in a column and you need a little bigger numeric range for the column.

The FLOAT type is used to represent approximate numeric data types. The ANSI/ISO SQL92 standard allows an optional specification of the precision (but not the range of the exponent) in bits following the keyword FLOAT in parentheses. The MySQL implementation also supports this optional precision specification, but the specification is interpreted as representing bytes of storage for the entire floating-point value (including the mantissa, exponent, and sign), not bits of precision. When the keyword FLOAT is used for a column type without a precision specification, MySQL uses four bytes to store the values. A variant syntax is also supported, with two numbers given in parentheses following the FLOAT keyword. With this option, the first number continues to represent the storage requirements for the value in bytes, and the second number specifies the number of digits to be stored and displayed following the decimal point (as with DECIMAL and NUMERIC). When MySQL is asked to store a number for such a column with more decimal digits following the decimal point than specified for the column, the value is rounded to eliminate the extra digits when the value is stored.

The REAL and DOUBLE PRECISION types do not accept precision specifications. As an extension to the ANSI/ISO SQL92 standard, MySQL recognizes DOUBLE as a synonym for the DOUBLE PRECISION type. In contrast with the standard's requirement that the precision for REAL be smaller than that used for DOUBLE PRECISION, MySQL implements both as 8-byte double-precision floating point values. For maximum portability, code requiring storage of approximate numeric data values should use FLOAT or DOUBLE PRECISION with no specification of precision or number of decimal points.

When asked to store a value in a numeric column that is outside the column type's allowable range, MySQL clips the value to the appropriate endpoint of the range and stores the resulting value instead.

For example, the range of an INT column is -2147483648 to 2147483647. If you try to insert -9999999999 into an INT column, the value is clipped to the lower endpoint of the range, and -2147483648 is stored instead. Similarly, if you try to insert 9999999999, 2147483647 is stored instead.

If the INT column is UNSIGNED, the size of the column's range is the same but its endpoints shift up to 0 and 4294967295. If you try to store -9999999999 and 9999999999, the values stored in the column become 0 and 4294967296.

Conversions that occur due to clipping are reported as ``warnings'' for ALTER TABLE, LOAD DATA INFILE, UPDATE and multi-row INSERT statements.

<<<<<<< manual.texi ||||||| 1.19 The maximum display size (M) and number of decimals (D) are used for formatting and calculation of maximum column width.

MySQL will store any value that fits a column's storage type even if the value exceeds the display size. For example, an INT(4) column has a display size of 4. Suppose you insert a value which has more than 4 digits into the column, such as 12345. The display size is exceeded, but the allowable range of the INT type is not, so MySQL stores the actual value, 12345. When retrieving the value from the column, MySQL returns the actual value stored in the column. Note that if you store bigger values than the display width in a column, you may experience problems when MySQL generates temporary tables for some complicated joins as in these case MySQL trust that the data did fit into the original column width.

The DECIMAL type is considered a numeric type (as is its synonym, NUMERIC), but such values are stored as strings. One character is used for each digit of the value, the decimal point (if D > 0) and the `-' sign (for negative numbers). If D is 0, DECIMAL and NUMERIC values contain no decimal point or fractional part.

The maximum range of DECIMAL values is the same as for DOUBLE, but the actual range for a given DECIMAL column may be constrained by the choice of M and D. For example, a type specification such as DECIMAL(4,2) indicates a maximum length of four characters with two digits after the decimal point. Due to the way the DECIMAL type is stored, this specification results in an allowable range of -.99 to 9.99, much less than the range of a DOUBLE.

To avoid some rounding problems, MySQL always rounds everything that it stores in any floating-point column to the number of decimals indicated by the column specification. Suppose you have a column type of FLOAT(8,2). The number of decimals is 2, so a value such as 2.333 is rounded to two decimals and stored as 2.33.

======= The maximum display size (M) and number of decimals (D) are used for formatting and calculation of maximum column width.

MySQL will store any value that fits a column's storage type even if the value exceeds the display size. For example, an INT(4) column has a display size of 4. Suppose you insert a value which has more than 4 digits into the column, such as 12345. The display size is exceeded, but the allowable range of the INT type is not, so MySQL stores the actual value, 12345. When retrieving the value from the column, MySQL returns the actual value stored in the column. Note that if you store bigger values than the display width in a column, you may experience problems when MySQL generates temporary tables for some complicated joins as in these case MySQL trust that the data did fit into the original column width.

The DECIMAL type is considered a numeric type (as is its synonym, NUMERIC), but such values are stored as strings. One character is used for each digit of the value, the decimal point (if D > 0) and the `-' sign (for negative numbers). If D is 0, DECIMAL and NUMERIC values contain no decimal point or fractional part.

The maximum range of DECIMAL values is the same as for DOUBLE, but the actual range for a given DECIMAL column may be constrained by the choice of M and D. For example, a type specification such as DECIMAL(4,2) indicates a maximum length of six characters: An optional signe, two digits before the decimal point and two digits after the decimal point. Due to the way the DECIMAL type is stored, this specification results in an allowable range of -99.99 to 99.99, much less than the range of a DOUBLE.

To avoid some rounding problems, MySQL always rounds everything that it stores in any floating-point column to the number of decimals indicated by the column specification. Suppose you have a column type of FLOAT(8,2). The number of decimals is 2, so a value such as 2.333 is rounded to two decimals and stored as 2.33.

>>>>>>> /machine/tmp/T4a14064

7.2.6 Date and time types

The date and time types are DATETIME, DATE, TIMESTAMP, TIME and YEAR. Each of these has a range of legal values, as well as a ``zero'' value that is used when you specify an illegal value.

Here are some general considerations to keep in mind when working with date and time types:

7.2.6.1 Y2K issues and date types

MySQL itself is Y2K-safe (see section 1.6 Year 2000 compliance), but input values presented to MySQL may not be. Any input containing 2-digit year values is ambiguous, since the century is unknown. Such values must be interpreted into 4-digit form since MySQL stores years internally using four digits.

For DATETIME, DATE, TIMESTAMP and YEAR types, MySQL interprets dates with ambiguous year values using the following rules:

Remember that these rules provide only reasonable guesses as to what your data mean. If the heuristics used by MySQL don't produce the correct values, you should provide unambiguous input containing 4-digit year values.

7.2.6.2 The DATETIME, DATE and TIMESTAMP types

The DATETIME, DATE and TIMESTAMP types are related. This section describes their characteristics, how they are similar and how they differ.

The DATETIME type is used when you need values that contain both date and time information. MySQL retrieves and displays DATETIME values in 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS' format. The supported range is '1000-01-01 00:00:00' to '9999-12-31 23:59:59'. (``Supported'' means that although earlier values might work, there is no guarantee that they will.)

The DATE type is used when you need only a date value, without a time part. MySQL retrieves and displays DATE values in 'YYYY-MM-DD' format. The supported range is '1000-01-01' to '9999-12-31'.

The TIMESTAMP column type provides a type that you can use to automatically mark INSERT or UPDATE operations with the current date and time. If you have multiple TIMESTAMP columns, only the first one is updated automatically.

Automatic updating of the first TIMESTAMP column occurs under any of the following conditions:

TIMESTAMP columns other than the first may also be set to the current date and time. Just set the column to NULL, or to NOW().

You can set any TIMESTAMP column to a value different than the current date and time by setting it explicitly to the desired value. This is true even for the first TIMESTAMP column. You can use this property if, for example, you want a TIMESTAMP to be set to the current date and time when you create a row, but not to be changed whenever the row is updated later:

On the other hand, you may find it just as easy to use a DATETIME column that you initialize to NOW() when the row is created and leave alone for subsequent updates.

TIMESTAMP values may range from the beginning of 1970 to sometime in the year 2037, with a resolution of one second. Values are displayed as numbers.

The format in which MySQL retrieves and displays TIMESTAMP values depends on the display size, as illustrated by the table below. The `full' TIMESTAMP format is 14 digits, but TIMESTAMP columns may be created with shorter display sizes:

Column type Display format
TIMESTAMP(14) YYYYMMDDHHMMSS
TIMESTAMP(12) YYMMDDHHMMSS
TIMESTAMP(10) YYMMDDHHMM
TIMESTAMP(8) YYYYMMDD
TIMESTAMP(6) YYMMDD
TIMESTAMP(4) YYMM
TIMESTAMP(2) YY

All TIMESTAMP columns have the same storage size, regardless of display size. The most common display sizes are 6, 8, 12, and 14. You can specify an arbitrary display size at table creation time, but values of 0 or greater than 14 are coerced to 14. Odd-valued sizes in the range from 1 to 13 are coerced to the next higher even number.

You can specify DATETIME, DATE and TIMESTAMP values using any of a common set of formats:

Illegal DATETIME, DATE or TIMESTAMP values are converted to the ``zero'' value of the appropriate type ('0000-00-00 00:00:00', '0000-00-00' or 00000000000000).

For values specified as strings that include date part delimiters, it is not necessary to specify two digits for month or day values that are less than 10. '1979-6-9' is the same as '1979-06-09'. Similarly, for values specified as strings that include time part delimiters, it is not necessary to specify two digits for hour, month or second values that are less than 10. '1979-10-30 1:2:3' is the same as '1979-10-30 01:02:03'.

Values specified as numbers should be 6, 8, 12 or 14 digits long. If the number is 8 or 14 digits long, it is assumed to be in YYYYMMDD or YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format and that the year is given by the first 4 digits. If the number is 6 or 12 digits long, it is assumed to be in YYMMDD or YYMMDDHHMMSS format and that the year is given by the first 2 digits. Numbers that are not one of these lengths are interpreted as though padded with leading zeros to the closest length.

Values specified as non-delimited strings are interpreted using their length as given. If the string is 8 or 14 characters long, the year is assumed to be given by the first 4 characters. Otherwise the year is assumed to be given by the first 2 characters. The string is interpreted from left to right to find year, month, day, hour, minute and second values, for as many parts as are present in the string. This means you should not use strings that have fewer than 6 characters. For example, if you specify '9903', thinking that will represent March, 1999, you will find that MySQL inserts a ``zero'' date into your table. This is because the year and month values are 99 and 03, but the day part is missing (zero), so the value is not a legal date.

TIMESTAMP columns store legal values using the full precision with which the value was specified, regardless of the display size. This has several implications:

You can to some extent assign values of one date type to an object of a different date type. However, there may be some alteration of the value or loss of information:

Be aware of certain pitfalls when specifying date values:

7.2.6.3 The TIME type

MySQL retrieves and displays TIME values in 'HH:MM:SS' format (or 'HHH:MM:SS' format for large hours values). TIME values may range from '-838:59:59' to '838:59:59'. The reason the hours part may be so large is that the TIME type may be used not only to represent a time of day (which must be less than 24 hours), but also elapsed time or a time interval between two events (which may be much greater than 24 hours, or even negative).

You can specify TIME values in a variety of formats:

For TIME values specified as strings that include a time part delimiter, it is not necessary to specify two digits for hours, minutes or seconds values that are less than 10. '8:3:2' is the same as '08:03:02'.

Be careful about assigning ``short'' TIME values to a TIME column. MySQL interprets values using the assumption that the rightmost digits represent seconds. (MySQL interprets TIME values as elapsed time, rather than as time of day.) For example, you might think of '11:12', '1112' and 1112 as meaning '11:12:00' (12 minutes after 11 o'clock), but MySQL interprets them as '00:11:12' (11 minutes, 12 seconds). Similarly, '12' and 12 are interpreted as '00:00:12'.

Values that lie outside the TIME range but are otherwise legal are clipped to the appropriate endpoint of the range. For example, '-850:00:00' and '850:00:00' are converted to '-838:59:59' and '838:59:59'.

Illegal TIME values are converted to '00:00:00'. Note that since '00:00:00' is itself a legal TIME value, there is no way to tell, from a value of '00:00:00' stored in a table, whether the original value was specified as '00:00:00' or whether it was illegal.

7.2.6.4 The YEAR type

The YEAR type is a 1-byte type used for representing years.

MySQL retrieves and displays YEAR values in YYYY format. The range is 1901 to 2155.

You can specify YEAR values in a variety of formats:

Illegal YEAR values are converted to 0000.

7.2.7 String types

The string types are CHAR, VARCHAR, BLOB, TEXT, ENUM and SET.

7.2.7.1 The CHAR and VARCHAR types

The CHAR and VARCHAR types are similar, but differ in the way they are stored and retrieved.

The length of a CHAR column is fixed to the length that you declare when you create the table. The length can be any value between 1 and 255. (As of MySQL 3.23, the length of CHAR may be 0 to 255.) When CHAR values are stored, they are right-padded with spaces to the specified length. When CHAR values are retrieved, trailing spaces are removed.

Values in VARCHAR columns are variable-length strings. You can declare a VARCHAR column to be any length between 1 and 255, just as for CHAR columns. However, in contrast to CHAR, VARCHAR values are stored using only as many characters as are needed, plus one byte to record the length. Values are not padded; instead, trailing spaces are removed when values are stored. (This space removal differs from the ANSI SQL specification.)

If you assign a value to a CHAR or VARCHAR column that exceeds the column's maximum length, the value is truncated to fit.

The table below illustrates the differences between the two types of columns by showing the result of storing various string values into CHAR(4) and VARCHAR(4) columns:

Value CHAR(4) Storage required VARCHAR(4) Storage required
'' ' ' 4 bytes '' 1 byte
'ab' 'ab ' 4 bytes 'ab' 3 bytes
'abcd' 'abcd' 4 bytes 'abcd' 5 bytes
'abcdefgh' 'abcd' 4 bytes 'abcd' 5 bytes

The values retrieved from the CHAR(4) and VARCHAR(4) columns will be the same in each case, because trailing spaces are removed from CHAR columns upon retrieval.

Values in CHAR and VARCHAR columns are sorted and compared in case-insensitive fashion, unless the BINARY attribute was specified when the table was created. The BINARY attribute means that column values are sorted and compared in case-sensitive fashion according to the ASCII order of the machine where the MySQL server is running.

The BINARY attribute is ``sticky''. This means that if a column marked BINARY is used in an expression, the whole expression is compared as a BINARY value.

MySQL may silently change the type of a CHAR or VARCHAR column at table creation time. See section 7.6.1 Silent column specification changes.

7.2.7.2 The BLOB and TEXT types

A BLOB is a binary large object that can hold a variable amount of data. The four BLOB types TINYBLOB, BLOB, MEDIUMBLOB and LONGBLOB differ only in the maximum length of the values they can hold. See section 7.2.1 Column type storage requirements.

The four TEXT types TINYTEXT, TEXT, MEDIUMTEXT and LONGTEXT correspond to the four BLOB types and have the same maximum lengths and storage requirements. The only difference between BLOB and TEXT types is that sorting and comparison is performed in case-sensitive fashion for BLOB values and case-insensitive fashion for TEXT values. In other words, a TEXT is a case-insensitive BLOB.

If you assign a value to a BLOB or TEXT column that exceeds the column type's maximum length, the value is truncated to fit.

In most respects, you can regard a TEXT column as a VARCHAR column that can be as big as you like. Similarly, you can regard a BLOB column as a VARCHAR BINARY column. The differences are:

MyODBC defines BLOB values as LONGVARBINARY and TEXT values as LONGVARCHAR.

Because BLOB and TEXT values may be extremely long, you may run up against some constraints when using them:

Note that each BLOB or TEXT value is represented internally by a separately-allocated object. This is in contrast to all other column types, for which storage is allocated once per column when the table is opened.

7.2.7.3 The ENUM type

An ENUM is a string object whose value normally is chosen from a list of allowed values that are enumerated explicitly in the column specification at table creation time.

The value may also be the empty string ("") or NULL under certain circumstances:

Each enumeration value has an index:

For example, a column specified as ENUM("one", "two", "three") can have any of the values shown below. The index of each value is also shown:

Value Index
NULL NULL
"" 0
"one" 1
"two" 2
"three" 3

An enumeration can have a maximum of 65535 elements.

Lettercase is irrelevant when you assign values to an ENUM column. However, values retrieved from the column later have lettercase matching the values that were used to specify the allowable values at table creation time.

If you retrieve an ENUM in a numeric context, the column value's index is returned. If you store a number into an ENUM, the number is treated as an index, and the the value stored is the enumeration member with that index.

ENUM values are sorted according to the order in which the enumeration members were listed in the column specification. (In other words, ENUM values are sorted according to their index numbers.) For example, "a" sorts before "b" for ENUM("a", "b"), but "b" sorts before "a" for ENUM("b", "a"). The empty string sorts before non-empty strings, and NULL values sort before all other enumeration values.

If you want to get all possible values for an ENUM column, you should use: SHOW COLUMNS FROM table_name LIKE enum_column_name and parse the ENUM definition in the second column.

7.2.7.4 The SET type

A SET is a string object that can have zero or more values, each of which must be chosen from a list of allowed values specified when the table is created. SET column values that consist of multiple set members are specified with members separated by commas (`,'). A consequence of this is that SET member values cannot themselves contain commas.

For example, a column specified as SET("one", "two") NOT NULL can have any of these values:

""
"one"
"two"
"one,two"

A SET can have a maximum of 64 different members.

MySQL stores SET values numerically, with the low-order bit of the stored value corresponding to the first set member. If you retrieve a SET value in a numeric context, the value retrieved has bits set corresponding to the set members that make up the column value. If a number is stored into a SET column, the bits that are set in the binary representation of the number determine the set members in the column value. Suppose a column is specified as SET("a","b","c","d"). Then the members have the following bit values:

SET member Decimal value Binary value
a 1 0001
b 2 0010
c 4 0100
d 8 1000

If you assign a value of 9 to this column, that is 1001 in binary, so the first and fourth SET value members "a" and "d" are selected and the resulting value is "a,d".

For a value containing more than one SET element, it does not matter what order the elements are listed in when you insert the value. It also doesn't not matter how many times a given element is listed in the value. When the value is retrieved later, each element in the value will appear once, with elements listed according to the order in which they were specified at table creation time. For example, if a column is specified as SET("a","b","c","d"), then "a,d", "d,a" and "d,a,a,d,d" will all appear as "a,d" when retrieved.

SET values are sorted numerically. NULL values sort before non-NULL SET values.

Normally, you perform a SELECT on a SET column using the LIKE operator or the FIND_IN_SET() function:

mysql> SELECT * FROM tbl_name WHERE set_col LIKE '%value%';
mysql> SELECT * FROM tbl_name WHERE FIND_IN_SET('value',set_col)>0;

But the following will also work:

mysql> SELECT * FROM tbl_name WHERE set_col = 'val1,val2';
mysql> SELECT * FROM tbl_name WHERE set_col & 1;

The first of these statements looks for an exact match. The second looks for values containing the first set member.

If you want to get all possible values for an SET column, you should use: SHOW COLUMNS FROM table_name LIKE set_column_name and parse the SET definition in the second column.

7.2.8 Choosing the right type for a column

For the most efficient use of storage, try to use the most precise type in all cases. For example, if an integer column will be used for values in the range between 1 and 99999, MEDIUMINT UNSIGNED is the best type.

Accurate representation of monetary values is a common problem. In MySQL, you should use the DECIMAL type. This is stored as a string, so no loss of accuracy should occur. If accuracy is not too important, the DOUBLE type may also be good enough.

For high precision, you can always convert to a fixed-point type stored in a BIGINT. This allows you to do all calculations with integers and convert results back to floating-point values only when necessary.

See section 10.17 What are the different row formats? Or, when should VARCHAR/CHAR be used?.

7.2.9 Column indexes

All MySQL column types can be indexed. Use of indexes on the relevant columns is the best way to improve the performance of SELECT operations.

A table may have up to 16 indexes. The maximum index length is 256 bytes, although this may be changed when compiling MySQL.

For CHAR and VARCHAR columns, you can index a prefix of a column. This is much faster and requires less disk space than indexing the whole column. The syntax to use in the CREATE TABLE statement to index a column prefix looks like this:

KEY index_name (col_name(length))

The example below creates an index for the first 10 characters of the name column:

mysql> CREATE TABLE test (
           name CHAR(200) NOT NULL,
           KEY index_name (name(10)));

For BLOB and TEXT columns, you must index a prefix of the column, you cannot index the entire thing.

7.2.10 Multiple-column indexes

MySQL can create indexes on multiple columns. An index may consist of up to 15 columns. (On CHAR and VARCHAR columns you can also use a prefix of the column as a part of an index).

A multiple-column index can be considered a sorted array containing values that are created by concatenating the values of the indexed columns.

MySQL uses multiple-column indexes in such a way that queries are fast when you specify a known quantity for the first column of the index in a WHERE clause, even if you don't specify values for the other columns.

Suppose a table is created using the following specification:

mysql> CREATE TABLE test (
           id INT NOT NULL,
           last_name CHAR(30) NOT NULL,
           first_name CHAR(30) NOT NULL,
           PRIMARY KEY (id),
           INDEX name (last_name,first_name));

Then the index name is an index over last_name and first_name. The index will be used for queries that specify values in a known range for last_name, or for both last_name and first_name. Therefore, the name index will be used in the following queries:

mysql> SELECT * FROM test WHERE last_name="Widenius";

mysql> SELECT * FROM test WHERE last_name="Widenius"
                          AND first_name="Michael";

mysql> SELECT * FROM test WHERE last_name="Widenius"
                          AND (first_name="Michael" OR first_name="Monty");

mysql> SELECT * FROM test WHERE last_name="Widenius"
                          AND first_name >="M" AND first_name < "N";

However, the name index will NOT be used in the following queries:

mysql> SELECT * FROM test WHERE first_name="Michael";

mysql> SELECT * FROM test WHERE last_name="Widenius"
                          OR first_name="Michael";

For more information on the manner in which MySQL uses indexes to improve query performance, see section 10.4 How MySQL uses indexes.

7.2.11 Using column types from other database engines

To make it easier to use code written for SQL implementations from other vendors, MySQL maps column types as shown in the table below. These mappings make it easier to move table definitions from other database engines to MySQL:

Other vendor type MySQL type
BINARY(NUM) CHAR(NUM) BINARY
CHAR VARYING(NUM) VARCHAR(NUM)
FLOAT4 FLOAT
FLOAT8 DOUBLE
INT1 TINYINT
INT2 SMALLINT
INT3 MEDIUMINT
INT4 INT
INT8 BIGINT
LONG VARBINARY MEDIUMBLOB
LONG VARCHAR MEDIUMTEXT
MIDDLEINT MEDIUMINT
VARBINARY(NUM) VARCHAR(NUM) BINARY

Column type mapping occurs at table creation time. If you create a table with types used by other vendors and then issue a DESCRIBE tbl_name statement, MySQL reports the table structure using the equivalent MySQL types.

7.3 Functions for use in SELECT and WHERE clauses

A select_expression or where_definition in a SQL statement can consist of any expression using the functions described below.

An expression that contains NULL always produces a NULL value unless otherwise indicated in the documentation for the operators and functions involved in the expression.

Note: There must be no whitespace between a function name and the parenthesis following it. This helps the MySQL parser distinguish between function calls and references to tables or columns that happen to have the same name as a function. Spaces around arguments are permitted, though.

For the sake of brevity, examples display the output from the mysql program in abbreviated form. So this:

mysql> select MOD(29,9);
1 rows in set (0.00 sec)

+-----------+
| mod(29,9) |
+-----------+
|         2 |
+-----------+

Is displayed like this:

mysql> select MOD(29,9);
        -> 2

7.3.1 Grouping functions

( ... )
Parentheses. Use these to force the order of evaluation in an expression.
mysql> select 1+2*3;
        -> 7
mysql> select (1+2)*3;
        -> 9

7.3.2 Normal arithmetic operations

The usual arithmetic operators are available. Note that in the case of -, + and *, the result is calculated with BIGINT (64-bit) precision if both arguments are integers!

+
Addition
mysql> select 3+5;
        -> 8
-
Subtraction
mysql> select 3-5;
        -> -2
*
Multiplication
mysql> select 3*5;
        -> 15
mysql> select 18014398509481984*18014398509481984.0;
        -> 324518553658426726783156020576256.0
mysql> select 18014398509481984*18014398509481984;
        -> 0
The result of the last expression is incorrect because the result of the integer multiplication exceeds the 64-bit range of BIGINT calculations.
/
Division
mysql> select 3/5;
        -> 0.60
Division by zero produces a NULL result:
mysql> select 102/(1-1);
        -> NULL
A division will be calculated with BIGINT arithmetic only if performed in a context where its result is converted to an integer!

7.3.3 Bit functions

MySQL uses BIGINT (64-bit) arithmetic for bit operations, so these operators have a maximum range of 64 bits.

|
Bitwise OR
mysql> select 29 | 15;
        -> 31
&
Bitwise AND
mysql> select 29 & 15;
        -> 13
<<
Shifts a longlong (BIGINT) number to the left.
mysql> select 1 << 2
        -> 4
>>
Shifts a longlong (BIGINT) number to the right.
mysql> select 4 >> 2
        -> 1
~
Invert all bits.
mysql> select 5 & ~1
        -> 4
BIT_COUNT(N)
Returns the number of bits that are set in the argument N.
mysql> select BIT_COUNT(29);
        -> 4

7.3.4 Logical operations

All logical functions return 1 (TRUE) or 0 (FALSE).

NOT
!
Logical NOT. Returns 1 if the argument is 0, otherwise returns 0. Exception: NOT NULL returns NULL.
mysql> select NOT 1;
        -> 0
mysql> select NOT NULL;
        -> NULL
mysql> select ! (1+1);
        -> 0
mysql> select ! 1+1;
        -> 1
The last example returns 1 because the expression evaluates the same way as (!1)+1.
OR
||
Logical OR. Returns 1 if either argument is not 0 and not NULL.
mysql> select 1 || 0;
        -> 1
mysql> select 0 || 0;
        -> 0
mysql> select 1 || NULL;
        -> 1

AND
&&
Logical AND. Returns 0 if either argument is 0 or NULL, otherwise returns 1.
mysql> select 1 && NULL;
        -> 0
mysql> select 1 && 0;
        -> 0

7.3.5 Comparison operators

Comparison operations result in a value of 1 (TRUE), 0 (FALSE) or NULL. These functions work for both numbers and strings. Strings are automatically converted to numbers and numbers to strings as needed (as in Perl).

MySQL performs comparisons using the following rules:

By default, string comparisons are done in case-independent fashion using the current character set (ISO-8859-1 Latin1 by default, which also works excellently for English).

The examples below illustrate conversion of strings to numbers for comparison operations:

mysql> SELECT 1 > '6x';
         -> 0
mysql> SELECT 7 > '6x';
         -> 1
mysql> SELECT 0 > 'x6';
         -> 0
mysql> SELECT 0 = 'x6';
         -> 1
=
Equal
mysql> select 1 = 0;
        -> 0
mysql> select '0' = 0;
        -> 1
mysql> select '0.0' = 0;
        -> 1
mysql> select '0.01' = 0;
        -> 0
mysql> select '.01' = 0.01;
        -> 1
<>
!=
Not equal
mysql> select '.01' <> '0.01';
        -> 1
mysql> select .01 <> '0.01';
        -> 0
mysql> select 'zapp' <> 'zappp';
        -> 1
<=
Less than or equal
mysql> select 0.1 <= 2;
        -> 1
<
Less than
mysql> select 2 <= 2;
        -> 1
>=
Greater than or equal
mysql> select 2 >= 2;
        -> 1
>
Greater than
mysql> select 2 > 2;
        -> 0
<=>
Null safe equal
mysql> select 1 <=> 1, NULL <=> NULL, 1 <=> NULL;
        -> 1 1 0
IS NULL
IS NOT NULL
Test whether or not a value is or is not NULL
mysql> select 1 IS NULL, 0 IS NULL, NULL IS NULL:
        -> 0 0 1
mysql> select 1 IS NOT NULL, 0 IS NOT NULL, NULL IS NOT NULL;
        -> 1 1 0
expr BETWEEN min AND max
If expr is greater than or equal to min and expr is less than or equal to max, BETWEEN returns 1, otherwise it returns 0. This is equivalent to the expression (min <= expr AND expr <= max) if all the arguments are of the same type. The first argument (expr) determines how the comparison is performed. If expr is a case-insensitive string expression, a case-insensitive string comparison is done. If expr is a case-sensitive string expression, a case-sensitive string comparison is done. If expr is an integer expression, an integer comparison is done. Otherwise, a floating-point (real) comparison is done.
mysql> select 1 BETWEEN 2 AND 3;
        -> 0
mysql> select 'b' BETWEEN 'a' AND 'c';
        -> 1
mysql> select 2 BETWEEN 2 AND '3';
        -> 1
mysql> select 2 BETWEEN 2 AND 'x-3';
        -> 0
expr IN (value,...)
Returns 1 if expr is any of the values in the IN list, else returns 0. If all values are constants, then all values are evaluated according to the type of expr and sorted. The search for the item is then done using a binary search. This means IN is very quick if the IN value list consists entirely of constants. If expr is a case-sensitive string expression, the string comparison is performed in case-sensitive fashion.
mysql> select 2 IN (0,3,5,'wefwf');
        -> 0
mysql> select 'wefwf' IN (0,3,5,'wefwf');
        -> 1
expr NOT IN (value,...)
Same as NOT (expr IN (value,...)).
ISNULL(expr)
If expr is NULL, ISNULL() returns 1, otherwise it returns 0.
mysql> select ISNULL(1+1);
        -> 0
mysql> select ISNULL(1/0);
        -> 1
Note that a comparison of NULL values using = will always be false!
COALESCE(list)
Returns first non-NULL element in list.
mysql> select COALESCE(NULL,1);
        -> 1
mysql> select COALESCE(NULL,NULL,NULL);
        -> NULL
INTERVAL(N,N1,N2,N3,...)
Returns 0 if N < N1, 1 if N < N2 and so on. All arguments are treated as integers. It is required that N1 < N2 < N3 < ... < Nn for this function to work correctly. This is because a binary search is used (very fast).
mysql> select INTERVAL(23, 1, 15, 17, 30, 44, 200);
        -> 3
mysql> select INTERVAL(10, 1, 10, 100, 1000);
        -> 2
mysql> select INTERVAL(22, 23, 30, 44, 200);
        -> 0

7.3.6 String comparison functions

Normally, if any expression in a string comparison is case sensitive, the comparison is performed in case-sensitive fashion.

expr LIKE pat [ESCAPE 'escape-char']
Pattern matching using SQL simple regular expression comparison. Returns 1 (TRUE) or 0 (FALSE). With LIKE you can use the following two wildcard characters in the pattern:
% Matches any number of characters, even zero characters
_ Matches exactly one character
mysql> select 'David!' LIKE 'David_';
        -> 1
mysql> select 'David!' LIKE '%D%v%';
        -> 1
To test for literal instances of a wildcard character, precede the character with the escape character. If you don't specify the ESCAPE character, `\' is assumed:
\% Matches one % character
\_ Matches one _ character
mysql> select 'David!' LIKE 'David\_';
        -> 0
mysql> select 'David_' LIKE 'David\_';
        -> 1
To specify a different escape character, use the ESCAPE clause:
mysql> select 'David_' LIKE 'David|_' ESCAPE '|';
        -> 1
LIKE is allowed on numeric expressions! (This is a MySQL extension to the ANSI SQL LIKE.)
mysql> select 10 LIKE '1%';
        -> 1
Note: Because MySQL uses the C escape syntax in strings (e.g., `\n'), you must double any `\' that you use in your LIKE strings. For example, to search for `\n', specify it as `\\n'. To search for `\', specify it as `\\\\' (the backslashes are stripped once by the parser, and another time when the pattern match is done, leaving a single backslash to be matched).
expr NOT LIKE pat [ESCAPE 'escape-char']
Same as NOT (expr LIKE pat [ESCAPE 'escape-char']).
expr REGEXP pat
expr RLIKE pat
Performs a pattern match of a string expression expr against a pattern pat. The pattern can be an extended regular expression. See section H Description of MySQL regular expression syntax. Returns 1 if expr matches pat, otherwise returns 0. RLIKE is a synonym for REGEXP, provided for mSQL compatibility. Note: Because MySQL uses the C escape syntax in strings (e.g., `\n'), you must double any `\' that you use in your REGEXP strings. In MySQL 3.23.4 REGEXP is case insensitive for normal (not binary) strings.
mysql> select 'Monty!' REGEXP 'm%y%%';
        -> 0
mysql> select 'Monty!' REGEXP '.*';
        -> 1
mysql> select 'new*\n*line' REGEXP 'new\\*.\\*line';
        -> 1
mysql> select "a" REGEXP "A", "a" REGEXP BINARY "A";
        -> 1  0
REGEXP and RLIKE use the current character set (ISO-8859-1 Latin1 by default) when deciding the type of a character.
expr NOT REGEXP pat
expr NOT RLIKE pat
Same as NOT (expr REGEXP pat).
STRCMP(expr1,expr2)
STRCMP() returns 0 if the strings are the same, -1 if the first argument is smaller than the second according to the current sort order, and 1 otherwise.
mysql> select STRCMP('text', 'text2');
        -> -1
mysql> select STRCMP('text2', 'text');
        -> 1
mysql> select STRCMP('text', 'text');
        -> 0

7.3.7 Cast operators

BINARY
The BINARY operator casts the string following it to a binary string. This is an easy way to force a column comparison to be case sensitive even if the column isn't defined as BINARY or BLOB.
mysql> select "a" = "A";
        -> 1
mysql> select BINARY "a" = "A";
        -> 0
BINARY was introduced in MySQL 3.23.0

7.3.8 Control flow functions

IFNULL(expr1,expr2)
If expr1 is not NULL, IFNULL() returns expr1, else it returns expr2. IFNULL() returns a numeric or string value, depending on the context in which it is used.
mysql> select IFNULL(1,0);
        -> 1
mysql> select IFNULL(0,10);
        -> 0
mysql> select IFNULL(1/0,10);
        -> 10
mysql> select IFNULL(1/0,'yes');
        -> 'yes'
IF(expr1,expr2,expr3)
If expr1 is TRUE (expr1 <> 0 and expr1 <> NULL) then IF() returns expr2, else it returns expr3. IF() returns a numeric or string value, depending on the context in which it is used.
mysql> select IF(1>2,2,3);
        -> 3
mysql> select IF(1<2,'yes','no');
        -> 'yes'
mysql> select IF(strcmp('test','test1'),'yes','no');
        -> 'no'
expr1 is evaluated as an integer value, which means that if you are testing floating-point or string values, you should do so using a comparison operation.
mysql> select IF(0.1,1,0);
        -> 0
mysql> select IF(0.1<>0,1,0);
        -> 1
In the first case above, IF(0.1) returns 0 because 0.1 is converted to an integer value, resulting in a test of IF(0). This may not be what you expect. In the second case, the comparison tests the original floating-point value to see whether it is non-zero. The result of the comparison is used as an integer.
CASE value WHEN [compare-value] THEN result [WHEN [compare-value] THEN result ...] [ELSE result] END
CASE WHEN [condition] THEN result [WHEN [condition] THEN result ...] [ELSE result] END
The first version returns the result where value=compare-value. The second version returns the result for the first condition which is true. If there was no matching result value, then the result after ELSE is returned. If there is no ELSE part then NULL is returned.
mysql> SELECT CASE 1 WHEN 1 THEN "one" WHEN 2 THEN "two" ELSE "more" END;
       -> "one"
mysql> SELECT CASE WHEN 1>0 THEN "true" ELSE "false" END;
       -> "true"
mysql> SELECT CASE BINARY "B" when "a" then 1 when "b" then 2 END;
       -> NULL

7.3.9 Mathematical functions

All mathematical functions return NULL in case of an error.

-
Unary minus. Changes the sign of the argument.
mysql> select - 2;
        -> -2
Note that if this operator is used with a BIGINT, the return value is a BIGINT! This means that you should avoid using - on integers that may have the value of -2^63!
ABS(X)
Returns the absolute value of X.
mysql> select ABS(2);
        -> 2
mysql> select ABS(-32);
        -> 32
This function is safe to use with BIGINT values.
SIGN(X)
Returns the sign of the argument as -1, 0 or 1, depending on whether X is negative, zero, or positive.
mysql> select SIGN(-32);
        -> -1
mysql> select SIGN(0);
        -> 0
mysql> select SIGN(234);
        -> 1
MOD(N,M)
%
Modulo (like the % operator in C). Returns the remainder of N divided by M.
mysql> select MOD(234, 10);
        -> 4
mysql> select 253 % 7;
        -> 1
mysql> select MOD(29,9);
        -> 2
This function is safe to use with BIGINT values.
FLOOR(X)
Returns the largest integer value not greater than X.
mysql> select FLOOR(1.23);
        -> 1
mysql> select FLOOR(-1.23);
        -> -2
Note that the return value is converted to a BIGINT!
CEILING(X)
Returns the smallest integer value not less than X.
mysql> select CEILING(1.23);
        -> 2
mysql> select CEILING(-1.23);
        -> -1
Note that the return value is converted to a BIGINT!
ROUND(X)
Returns the argument X, rounded to an integer.
mysql> select ROUND(-1.23);
        -> -1
mysql> select ROUND(-1.58);
        -> -2
mysql> select ROUND(1.58);
        -> 2
Note that the return value is converted to a BIGINT!
ROUND(X,D)
Returns the argument X, rounded to a number with D decimals. If D is 0, the result will have no decimal point or fractional part.
mysql> select ROUND(1.298, 1);
        -> 1.3
mysql> select ROUND(1.298, 0);
        -> 1
Note that the return value is converted to a BIGINT!
EXP(X)
Returns the value of e (the base of natural logarithms) raised to the power of X.
mysql> select EXP(2);
        -> 7.389056
mysql> select EXP(-2);
        -> 0.135335
LOG(X)
Returns the natural logarithm of X.
mysql> select LOG(2);
        -> 0.693147
mysql> select LOG(-2);
        -> NULL
If you want the log of a number X to some arbitary base B, use the formula LOG(X)/LOG(B).
LOG10(X)
Returns the base-10 logarithm of X.
mysql> select LOG10(2);
        -> 0.301030
mysql> select LOG10(100);
        -> 2.000000
mysql> select LOG10(-100);
        -> NULL
POW(X,Y)
POWER(X,Y)
Returns the value of X raised to the power of Y.
mysql> select POW(2,2);
        -> 4.000000
mysql> select POW(2,-2);
        -> 0.250000
SQRT(X)
Returns the non-negative square root of X.
mysql> select SQRT(4);
        -> 2.000000
mysql> select SQRT(20);
        -> 4.472136
PI()
Returns the value of PI.
mysql> select PI();
        -> 3.141593
COS(X)
Returns the cosine of X, where X is given in radians.
mysql> select COS(PI());
        -> -1.000000
SIN(X)
Returns the sine of X, where X is given in radians.
mysql> select SIN(PI());
        -> 0.000000
TAN(X)
Returns the tangent of X, where X is given in radians.
mysql> select TAN(PI()+1);
        -> 1.557408
ACOS(X)
Returns the arc cosine of X, that is, the value whose cosine is X. Returns NULL if X is not in the range -1 to 1.
mysql> select ACOS(1);
        -> 0.000000
mysql> select ACOS(1.0001);
        -> NULL
mysql> select ACOS(0);
        -> 1.570796
ASIN(X)
Returns the arc sine of X, that is, the value whose sine is X. Returns NULL if X is not in the range -1 to 1.
mysql> select ASIN(0.2);
        -> 0.201358
mysql> select ASIN('foo');
        -> 0.000000
ATAN(X)
Returns the arc tangent of X, that is, the value whose tangent is X.
mysql> select ATAN(2);
        -> 1.107149
mysql> select ATAN(-2);
        -> -1.107149
ATAN2(X,Y)
Returns the arc tangent of the two variables X and Y. It is similar to calculating the arc tangent of Y / X, except that the signs of both arguments are used to determine the quadrant of the result.
mysql> select ATAN(-2,2);
        -> -0.785398
mysql> select ATAN(PI(),0);
        -> 1.570796
COT(X)
Returns the cotangent of X.
mysql> select COT(12);
        -> -1.57267341
mysql> select COT(0);
        -> NULL
RAND()
RAND(N)
Returns a random floating-point value in the range 0 to 1.0. If an integer argument N is specified, it is used as the seed value.
mysql> select RAND();
        -> 0.5925
mysql> select RAND(20);
        -> 0.1811
mysql> select RAND(20);
        -> 0.1811
mysql> select RAND();
        -> 0.2079
mysql> select RAND();
        -> 0.7888
You can't use a column with RAND() values in an ORDER BY clause, because ORDER BY would evaluate the column multiple times. In MySQL 3.23, you can however do: SELECT * FROM table_name ORDER BY RAND() This is useful to get a random sample of a set SELECT * FROM table1,table2 WHERE a=b AND c<d ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT 1000. Note that a RAND() in a WHERE clause will be re-evaluated every time the WHERE is executed.
LEAST(X,Y,...)
With two or more arguments, returns the smallest (minimum-valued) argument. The arguments are compared using the following rules:
mysql> select LEAST(2,0);
        -> 0
mysql> select LEAST(34.0,3.0,5.0,767.0);
        -> 3.0
mysql> select LEAST("B","A","C");
        -> "A"
In MySQL versions prior to 3.22.5, you can use MIN() instead of LEAST.
GREATEST(X,Y,...)
Returns the largest (maximum-valued) argument. The arguments are compared using the same rules as for LEAST.
mysql> select GREATEST(2,0);
        -> 2
mysql> select GREATEST(34.0,3.0,5.0,767.0);
        -> 767.0
mysql> select GREATEST("B","A","C");
        -> "C"
In MySQL versions prior to 3.22.5, you can use MAX() instead of GREATEST.
DEGREES(X)
Returns the argument X, converted from radians to degrees.
mysql> select DEGREES(PI());
        -> 180.000000
RADIANS(X)
Returns the argument X, converted from degrees to radians.
mysql> select RADIANS(90);
        -> 1.570796
TRUNCATE(X,D)
Returns the number X, truncated to D decimals. If D is 0, the result will have no decimal point or fractional part.
mysql> select TRUNCATE(1.223,1);
        -> 1.2
mysql> select TRUNCATE(1.999,1);
        -> 1.9
mysql> select TRUNCATE(1.999,0);
        -> 1

7.3.10 String functions

String-valued functions return NULL if the length of the result would be greater than the max_allowed_packet server parameter. See section 10.1 Tuning server parameters.

For functions that operate on string positions, the first position is numbered 1.

ASCII(str)
Returns the ASCII code value of the leftmost character of the string str. Returns 0 if str is the empty string. Returns NULL if str is NULL.
mysql> select ASCII('2');
        -> 50
mysql> select ASCII(2);
        -> 50
mysql> select ASCII('dx');
        -> 100
CONV(N,from_base,to_base)
Converts numbers between different number bases. Returns a string representation of the number N, converted from base from_base to base to_base. Returns NULL if any argument is NULL. The argument N is interpreted as an integer, but may be specified as an integer or a string. The minimum base is 2 and the maximum base is 36. If to_base is a negative number, N is regarded as a signed number. Otherwise, N is treated as unsigned. CONV works with 64-bit precision.
mysql> select CONV("a",16,2);
        -> '1010'
mysql> select CONV("6E",18,8);
        -> '172'
mysql> select CONV(-17,10,-18);
        -> '-H'
mysql> select CONV(10+"10"+'10'+0xa,10,10);
        -> '40'
BIN(N)
Returns a string representation of the binary value of N, where N is a longlong (BIGINT) number. This is equivalent to CONV(N,10,2). Returns NULL if N is NULL.
mysql> select BIN(12);
        -> '1100'
OCT(N)
Returns a string representation of the octal value of N, where N is a longlong number. This is equivalent to CONV(N,10,8). Returns NULL if N is NULL.
mysql> select OCT(12);
        -> '14'
HEX(N)
Returns a string representation of the hexadecimal value of N, where N is a longlong (BIGINT) number. This is equivalent to CONV(N,10,16). Returns NULL if N is NULL.
mysql> select HEX(255);
        -> 'FF'
CHAR(N,...)
CHAR() interprets the arguments as integers and returns a string consisting of the characters given by the ASCII code values of those integers. NULL values are skipped.
mysql> select CHAR(77,121,83,81,'76');
        -> 'MySQL'
mysql> select CHAR(77,77.3,'77.3');
        -> 'MMM'
CONCAT(str1,str2,...)
Returns the string that results from concatenating the arguments. Returns NULL if any argument is NULL. May have more than 2 arguments. A numeric argument is converted to the equivalent string form.
mysql> select CONCAT('My', 'S', 'QL');
        -> 'MySQL'
mysql> select CONCAT('My', NULL, 'QL');
        -> NULL
mysql> select CONCAT(14.3);
        -> '14.3'
LENGTH(str)
OCTET_LENGTH(str)
CHAR_LENGTH(str)
CHARACTER_LENGTH(str)
Returns the length of the string str.
mysql> select LENGTH('text');
        -> 4
mysql> select OCTET_LENGTH('text');
        -> 4
LOCATE(substr,str)
POSITION(substr IN str)
Returns the position of the first occurrence of substring substr in string str. Returns 0 if substr is not in str.
mysql> select LOCATE('bar', 'foobarbar');
        -> 4
mysql> select LOCATE('xbar', 'foobar');
        -> 0
LOCATE(substr,str,pos)
Returns the position of the first occurrence of substring substr in string str, starting at position pos. Returns 0 if substr is not in str.
mysql> select LOCATE('bar', 'foobarbar',5);
        -> 7
INSTR(str,substr)
Returns the position of the first occurrence of substring substr in string str. This is the same as the two-argument form of LOCATE(), except that the arguments are swapped.
mysql> select INSTR('foobarbar', 'bar');
        -> 4
mysql> select INSTR('xbar', 'foobar');
        -> 0
LPAD(str,len,padstr)
Returns the string str, left-padded with the string padstr until str is len characters long.
mysql> select LPAD('hi',4,'??');
        -> '??hi'
RPAD(str,len,padstr)
Returns the string str, right-padded with the string padstr until str is len characters long.
mysql> select RPAD('hi',5,'?');
        -> 'hi???'
LEFT(str,len)
Returns the leftmost len characters from the string str.
mysql> select LEFT('foobarbar', 5);
        -> 'fooba'
RIGHT(str,len)
Returns the rightmost len characters from the string str.
mysql> select RIGHT('foobarbar', 4);
        -> 'rbar'
SUBSTRING(str,pos,len)
SUBSTRING(str FROM pos FOR len)
MID(str,pos,len)
Returns a substring len characters long from string str, starting at position pos. The variant form that uses FROM is ANSI SQL92 syntax.
mysql> select SUBSTRING('Quadratically',5,6);
        -> 'ratica'
SUBSTRING(str,pos)
SUBSTRING(str FROM pos)
Returns a substring from string str starting at position pos.
mysql> select SUBSTRING('Quadratically',5);
        -> 'ratically'
mysql> select SUBSTRING('foobarbar' FROM 4);
        -> 'barbar'
SUBSTRING_INDEX(str,delim,count)
Returns the substring from string str after count occurrences of the delimiter delim. If count is positive, everything to the left of the final delimiter (counting from the left) is returned. If count is negative, everything to the right of the final delimiter (counting from the right) is returned.
mysql> select SUBSTRING_INDEX('www.mysql.com', '.', 2);
        -> 'www.mysql'
mysql> select SUBSTRING_INDEX('www.mysql.com', '.', -2);
        -> 'mysql.com'
LTRIM(str)
Returns the string str with leading space characters removed.
mysql> select LTRIM('  barbar');
        -> 'barbar'
RTRIM(str)
Returns the string str with trailing space characters removed.
mysql> select RTRIM('barbar   ');
        -> 'barbar'
TRIM([[BOTH | LEADING | TRAILING] [remstr] FROM] str)
Returns the string str with all remstr prefixes and/or suffixes removed. If none of the specifiers BOTH, LEADING or TRAILING are given, BOTH is assumed. If remstr is not specified, spaces are removed.
mysql> select TRIM('  bar   ');
        -> 'bar'
mysql> select TRIM(LEADING 'x' FROM 'xxxbarxxx');
        -> 'barxxx'
mysql> select TRIM(BOTH 'x' FROM 'xxxbarxxx');
        -> 'bar'
mysql> select TRIM(TRAILING 'xyz' FROM 'barxxyz');
        -> 'barx'
SOUNDEX(str)
Returns a soundex string from str. Two strings that sound ``about the same'' should have identical soundex strings. A ``standard'' soundex string is 4 characters long, but the SOUNDEX() function returns an arbitrarily long string. You can use SUBSTRING() on the result to get a ``standard'' soundex string. All non-alphanumeric characters are ignored in the given string. All international alpha characters outside the A-Z range are treated as vowels.
mysql> select SOUNDEX('Hello');
        -> 'H400'
mysql> select SOUNDEX('Quadratically');
        -> 'Q36324'
SPACE(N)
Returns a string consisting of N space characters.
mysql> select SPACE(6);
        -> '      '
REPLACE(str,from_str,to_str)
Returns the string str with all all occurrences of the string from_str replaced by the string to_str.
mysql> select REPLACE('www.mysql.com', 'w', 'Ww');
        -> 'WwWwWw.mysql.com'
REPEAT(str,count)
Returns a string consisting of the string str repeated count times. If count <= 0, returns an empty string. Returns NULL if str or count are NULL.
mysql> select REPEAT('MySQL', 3);
        -> 'MySQLMySQLMySQL'
REVERSE(str)
Returns the string str with the order of the characters reversed.
mysql> select REVERSE('abc');
        -> 'cba'
INSERT(str,pos,len,newstr)
Returns the string str, with the substring beginning at position pos and len characters long replaced by the string newstr.
mysql> select INSERT('Quadratic', 3, 4, 'What');
        -> 'QuWhattic'
ELT(N,str1,str2,str3,...)
Returns str1 if N = 1, str2 if N = 2, and so on. Returns NULL if N is less than 1 or greater than the number of arguments. ELT() is the complement of FIELD().
mysql> select ELT(1, 'ej', 'Heja', 'hej', 'foo');
        -> 'ej'
mysql> select ELT(4, 'ej', 'Heja', 'hej', 'foo');
        -> 'foo'
FIELD(str,str1,str2,str3,...)
Returns the index of str in the str1, str2, str3, ... list. Returns 0 if str is not found. FIELD() is the complement of ELT().
mysql> select FIELD('ej', 'Hej', 'ej', 'Heja', 'hej', 'foo');
        -> 2
mysql> select FIELD('fo', 'Hej', 'ej', 'Heja', 'hej', 'foo');
        -> 0
FIND_IN_SET(str,strlist)
Returns a value 1 to N if the string str is in the list strlist consisting of N substrings. A string list is a string composed of substrings separated by `,' characters. If the first argument is a constant string and the second is a column of type SET, the FIND_IN_SET() function is optimized to use bit arithmetic! Returns 0 if str is not in strlist or if strlist is the empty string. Returns NULL if either argument is NULL. This function will not work properly if the first argument contains a `,'.
mysql> SELECT FIND_IN_SET('b','a,b,c,d');
        -> 2
MAKE_SET(bits,str1,str2,...)
Returns a set (a string containing substrings separated by `,' characters) consisting of the strings that have the corresponding bit in bits set. str1 corresponds to bit 0, str2 to bit 1, etc. NULL strings in str1, str2, ... are not appended to the result.
mysql> SELECT MAKE_SET(1,'a','b','c');
        -> 'a'
mysql> SELECT MAKE_SET(1 | 4,'hello','nice','world');
        -> 'hello,world'
mysql> SELECT MAKE_SET(0,'a','b','c');
        -> ''
EXPORT_SET(bits,on,off,[separator,[number_of_bits]])
Returns a string where for every bit set in 'bit', you get a 'on' string and for every reset bit you get an 'off' string. Each string is separated with 'separator' (default ',') and only 'number_of_bits' (default 64) of 'bits' is used.
mysql> select EXPORT_SET(5,'Y','N',',',4)
        -> Y,N,Y,N 
LCASE(str)
LOWER(str)
Returns the string str with all characters changed to lowercase according to the current character set mapping (the default is ISO-8859-1 Latin1).
mysql> select LCASE('QUADRATICALLY');
        -> 'quadratically'
UCASE(str)
UPPER(str)
Returns the string str with all characters changed to uppercase according to the current character set mapping (the default is ISO-8859-1 Latin1).
mysql> select UCASE('Hej');
        -> 'HEJ'
LOAD_FILE(file_name)
Reads the file and returns the file contents as a string. The file must be on the server, you must specify the full pathname to the file, and you must have the file privilege. The file must be readable by all and be smaller than max_allowed_packet. If the file doesn't exist or can't be read due to one of the above reasons, the function returns NULL.
mysql> UPDATE table_name
           SET blob_column=LOAD_FILE("/tmp/picture")
           WHERE id=1;

MySQL automatically converts numbers to strings as necessary, and vice versa:

mysql> SELECT 1+"1";
        -> 2
mysql> SELECT CONCAT(2,' test');
        -> '2 test'

If you want to convert a number to a string explicitly, pass it as the argument to CONCAT().

If a string function is given a binary string as an argument, the resulting string is also a binary string. A number converted to a string is treated as a binary string. This only affects comparisons.

7.3.11 Date and time functions

See section 7.2.6 Date and time types for a description of the range of values each type has, and the valid formats in which date and time values may be specified.

Here is an example that uses date functions. The query below selects all records with a date_col value from within the last 30 days:

mysql> SELECT something FROM table
           WHERE TO_DAYS(NOW()) - TO_DAYS(date_col) <= 30;
DAYOFWEEK(date)
Returns the weekday index for date (1 = Sunday, 2 = Monday, ... 7 = Saturday). These index values correspond to the ODBC standard.
mysql> select DAYOFWEEK('1998-02-03');
        -> 3
WEEKDAY(date)
Returns the weekday index for date (0 = Monday, 1 = Tuesday, ... 6 = Sunday).
mysql> select WEEKDAY('1997-10-04 22:23:00');
        -> 5
mysql> select WEEKDAY('1997-11-05');
        -> 2
DAYOFMONTH(date)
Returns the day of the month for date, in the range 1 to 31.
mysql> select DAYOFMONTH('1998-02-03');
        -> 3
DAYOFYEAR(date)
Returns the day of the year for date, in the range 1 to 366.
mysql> select DAYOFYEAR('1998-02-03');
        -> 34
MONTH(date)
Returns the month for date, in the range 1 to 12.
mysql> select MONTH('1998-02-03');
        -> 2
DAYNAME(date)
Returns the name of the weekday for date.
mysql> select DAYNAME("1998-02-05");
        -> 'Thursday'
MONTHNAME(date)
Returns the name of the month for date.
mysql> select MONTHNAME("1998-02-05");
        -> 'February'
QUARTER(date)
Returns the quarter of the year for date, in the range 1 to 4.
mysql> select QUARTER('98-04-01');
        -> 2
WEEK(date)
WEEK(date,first)
With a single argument, returns the week for date, in the range 0 to 52, for locations where Sunday is the first day of the week. The two-argument form of WEEK() allows you to specify whether the week starts on Sunday or Monday. The week starts on Sunday if the second argument is 0, on Monday if the second argument is 1.
mysql> select WEEK('1998-02-20');
        -> 7
mysql> select WEEK('1998-02-20',0);
        -> 7
mysql> select WEEK('1998-02-20',1);
        -> 8
YEAR(date)
Returns the year for date, in the range 1000 to 9999.
mysql> select YEAR('98-02-03');
        -> 1998
HOUR(time)
Returns the hour for time, in the range 0 to 23.
mysql> select HOUR('10:05:03');
        -> 10
MINUTE(time)
Returns the minute for time, in the range 0 to 59.
mysql> select MINUTE('98-02-03 10:05:03');
        -> 5
SECOND(time)
Returns the second for time, in the range 0 to 59.
mysql> select SECOND('10:05:03');
        -> 3
PERIOD_ADD(P,N)
Adds N months to period P (in the format YYMM or YYYYMM). Returns a value in the format YYYYMM. Note that the period argument P is not a date value.
mysql> select PERIOD_ADD(9801,2);
        -> 199803
PERIOD_DIFF(P1,P2)
Returns the number of months between periods P1 and P2. P1 and P2 should be in the format YYMM or YYYYMM. Note that the period arguments P1 and P2 are not date values.
mysql> select PERIOD_DIFF(9802,199703);
        -> 11
DATE_ADD(date,INTERVAL expr type)
DATE_SUB(date,INTERVAL expr type)
ADDDATE(date,INTERVAL expr type)
SUBDATE(date,INTERVAL expr type)
These functions perform date arithmetic. They are new for MySQL 3.22. ADDDATE() and SUBDATE() are synonyms for DATE_ADD() and DATE_SUB(). In MySQL 3.23, you can use + and - instead of DATE_ADD() and DATE_SUB(). (See example) date is a DATETIME or DATE value specifying the starting date. expr is an expression specifying the interval value to be added or substracted from the starting date. expr is a string; it may start with a `-' for negative intervals. type is a keyword indicating how the expression should be interpreted. The EXTRACT(type FROM date) function returns the 'type' interval from the date. The following table shows how the type and expr arguments are related:
type value Meaning Expected expr format
SECOND Seconds SECONDS
MINUTE Minutes MINUTES
HOUR Hours HOURS
DAY Days DAYS
MONTH Months MONTHS
YEAR Years YEARS
MINUTE_SECOND Minutes and seconds "MINUTES:SECONDS"
HOUR_MINUTE Hours and minutes "HOURS:MINUTES"
DAY_HOUR Days and hours "DAYS HOURS"
YEAR_MONTH Years and months "YEARS-MONTHS"
HOUR_SECOND Hours, minutes, "HOURS:MINUTES:SECONDS"
DAY_MINUTE Days, hours, minutes "DAYS HOURS:MINUTES"
DAY_SECOND Days, hours, minutes, seconds "DAYS HOURS:MINUTES:SECONDS"
MySQL allows any punctuation delimiter in the expr format. The ones shown in the table are the suggested delimiters. If the date argument is a DATE value and your calculations involve only YEAR, MONTH and DAY parts (that is, no time parts), the result is a DATE value. Otherwise the result is a DATETIME value.
mysql> SELECT "1997-12-31 23:59:59" + INTERVAL 1 SECOND;
        -> 1998-01-01 00:00:00
mysql> SELECT INTERVAL 1 DAY + "1997-12-31";
        -> 1998-01-01
mysql> SELECT "1998-01-01" - INTERVAL 1 SECOND;
       -> 1997-12-31 23:59:59 
mysql> SELECT DATE_ADD("1997-12-31 23:59:59",
                       INTERVAL 1 SECOND);
        -> 1998-01-01 00:00:00
mysql> SELECT DATE_ADD("1997-12-31 23:59:59",
                       INTERVAL 1 DAY);
        -> 1998-01-01 23:59:59
mysql> SELECT DATE_ADD("1997-12-31 23:59:59",
                       INTERVAL "1:1" MINUTE_SECOND);
        -> 1998-01-01 00:01:00
mysql> SELECT DATE_SUB("1998-01-01 00:00:00",
                       INTERVAL "1 1:1:1" DAY_SECOND);
        -> 1997-12-30 22:58:59
mysql> SELECT DATE_ADD("1998-01-01 00:00:00",
                       INTERVAL "-1 10" DAY_HOUR);
        -> 1997-12-30 14:00:00
mysql> SELECT DATE_SUB("1998-01-02", INTERVAL 31 DAY);
        -> 1997-12-02
mysql> SELECT EXTRACT(YEAR FROM "1999-07-02");
       -> 1999
mysql> SELECT EXTRACT(YEAR_MONTH FROM "1999-07-02 01:02:03");
       -> 199907
mysql> SELECT EXTRACT(DAY_MINUTE FROM "1999-07-02 01:02:03");
       -> 20102
If you specify an interval value that is too short (does not include all the interval parts that would be expected from the type keyword), MySQL assumes you have left out the leftmost parts of the interval value. For example, if you specify a type of DAY_SECOND, the value of expr is expected to have days, hours, minutes and seconds parts. If you specify a value like "1:10", MySQL assumes that the days and hours parts are missing and the value represents minutes and seconds. In other words, "1:10" DAY_SECOND is interpreted in such a way that it is equivalent to "1:10" MINUTE_SECOND. This is analogous to the way that MySQL interprets TIME values as representing elapsed time rather than as time of day. If you use incorrect dates, the result is NULL. If you add MONTH, YEAR_MONTH or YEAR and the resulting date has a day that is larger than the maximum day for the new month, the day is adjusted to the maximum days in the new month.
mysql> select DATE_ADD('1998-01-30', Interval 1 month);
        -> 1998-02-28
Note from the preceding example that the word INTERVAL and the type keyword are not case sensitive.
TO_DAYS(date)
Given a date date, returns a daynumber (the number of days since year 0).
mysql> select TO_DAYS(950501);
        -> 728779
mysql> select TO_DAYS('1997-10-07');
        -> 729669
TO_DAYS() is not intended for use with values that precede the advent of the Gregorian calendar (1582).
FROM_DAYS(N)
Given a daynumber N, returns a DATE value.
mysql> select FROM_DAYS(729669);
        -> '1997-10-07'
FROM_DAYS() is not intended for use with values that precede the advent of the Gregorian calendar (1582).
DATE_FORMAT(date,format)
Formats the date value according to the format string. The following specifiers may be used in the format string:
%M Month name (January..December)
%W Weekday name (Sunday..Saturday)
%D Day of the month with english suffix (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)
%Y Year, numeric, 4 digits
%y Year, numeric, 2 digits
%a Abbreviated weekday name (Sun..Sat)
%d Day of the month, numeric (00..31)
%e Day of the month, numeric (0..31)
%m Month, numeric (01..12)
%c Month, numeric (1..12)
%b Abbreviated month name (Jan..Dec)
%j Day of year (001..366)
%H Hour (00..23)
%k Hour (0..23)
%h Hour (01..12)
%I Hour (01..12)
%l Hour (1..12)
%i Minutes, numeric (00..59)
%r Time, 12-hour (hh:mm:ss [AP]M)
%T Time, 24-hour (hh:mm:ss)
%S Seconds (00..59)
%s Seconds (00..59)
%p AM or PM
%w Day of the week (0=Sunday..6=Saturday)
%U Week (0..52), where Sunday is the first day of the week
%u Week (0..52), where Monday is the first day of the week
%% A literal `%'.
All other characters are just copied to the result without interpretation.
mysql> select DATE_FORMAT('1997-10-04 22:23:00', '%W %M %Y');
        -> 'Saturday October 1997'
mysql> select DATE_FORMAT('1997-10-04 22:23:00', '%H:%i:%s');
        -> '22:23:00'
mysql> select DATE_FORMAT('1997-10-04 22:23:00',
                          '%D %y %a %d %m %b %j');
        -> '4th 97 Sat 04 10 Oct 277'
mysql> select DATE_FORMAT('1997-10-04 22:23:00',
                          '%H %k %I %r %T %S %w');
        -> '22 22 10 10:23:00 PM 22:23:00 00 6'
As of MySQL 3.23, the % is required before a format specifier characters. In earlier versions of MySQL, % was optional.
TIME_FORMAT(time,format)
This is used like the DATE_FORMAT() function above, but the format string may contain only those format specifiers that handle hours, minutes and seconds. Other specifiers produce a NULL value or 0.
CURDATE()
CURRENT_DATE
Returns today's date as a value in 'YYYY-MM-DD' or YYYYMMDD format, depending on whether the function is used in a string or numeric context.
mysql> select CURDATE();
        -> '1997-12-15'
mysql> select CURDATE() + 0;
        -> 19971215
CURTIME()
CURRENT_TIME
Returns the current time as a value in 'HH:MM:SS' or HHMMSS format, depending on whether the function is used in a string or numeric context.
mysql> select CURTIME();
        -> '23:50:26'
mysql> select CURTIME() + 0;
        -> 235026
NOW()
SYSDATE()
CURRENT_TIMESTAMP
Returns the current date and time as a value in 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS' or YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format, depending on whether the function is used in a string or numeric context.
mysql> select NOW();
        -> '1997-12-15 23:50:26'
mysql> select NOW() + 0;
        -> 19971215235026
UNIX_TIMESTAMP()
UNIX_TIMESTAMP(date)
If called with no argument, returns a Unix timestamp (seconds since '1970-01-01 00:00:00' GMT). If UNIX_TIMESTAMP() is called with a date argument, it returns the value of the argument as seconds since '1970-01-01 00:00:00' GMT. date may be a DATE string, a DATETIME string, a TIMESTAMP, or a number in the format YYMMDD or YYYYMMDD in local time.
mysql> select UNIX_TIMESTAMP();
        -> 882226357
mysql> select UNIX_TIMESTAMP('1997-10-04 22:23:00');
        -> 875996580
When UNIX_TIMESTAMP is used on a TIMESTAMP column, the function will receive the value directly, with no implicit ``string-to-unix-timestamp'' conversion.
FROM_UNIXTIME(unix_timestamp)
Returns a representation of the unix_timestamp argument as a value in 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS' or YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format, depending on whether the function is used in a string or numeric context.
mysql> select FROM_UNIXTIME(875996580);
        -> '1997-10-04 22:23:00'
mysql> select FROM_UNIXTIME(875996580) + 0;
        -> 19971004222300
FROM_UNIXTIME(unix_timestamp,format)
Returns a string representation of the Unix timestamp, formatted according to the format string. format may contain the same specifiers as those listed in the entry for the DATE_FORMAT() function.
mysql> select FROM_UNIXTIME(UNIX_TIMESTAMP(),
                            '%Y %D %M %h:%i:%s %x');
        -> '1997 23rd December 03:43:30 x'
SEC_TO_TIME(seconds)
Returns the seconds argument, converted to hours, minutes and seconds, as a value in 'HH:MM:SS' or HHMMSS format, depending on whether the function is used in a string or numeric context.
mysql> select SEC_TO_TIME(2378);
        -> '00:39:38'
mysql> select SEC_TO_TIME(2378) + 0;
        -> 3938
TIME_TO_SEC(time)
Returns the time argument, converted to seconds.
mysql> select TIME_TO_SEC('22:23:00');
        -> 80580
mysql> select TIME_TO_SEC('00:39:38');
        -> 2378

7.3.12 Miscellaneous functions

DATABASE()
Returns the current database name.
mysql> select DATABASE();
        -> 'test'
If there is no current database, DATABASE() returns the empty string.
USER()
SYSTEM_USER()
SESSION_USER()
Returns the current MySQL user name.
mysql> select USER();
        -> 'davida@localhost'
In MySQL 3.22.11 or later, this includes the client hostname as well as the username. You can extract just the username part like this (which works whether or not the value includes a hostname part):
mysql> select substring_index(USER(),"@",1);
        -> 'davida'
PASSWORD(str)
Calculates a password string from the plaintext password str. This is the function that is used for encrypting MySQL passwords for storage in the Password column of the user grant table.
mysql> select PASSWORD('badpwd');
        -> '7f84554057dd964b'
PASSWORD() encryption is non-reversible. PASSWORD() does not perform password encryption in the same way that Unix passwords are encrypted. You should not assume that if your Unix password and your MySQL password are the same, PASSWORD() will result in the same encrypted value as is stored in the Unix password file. See ENCRYPT().
ENCRYPT(str[,salt])
Encrypt str using the Unix crypt() system call. The salt argument should be a string with two characters. (As of MySQL 3.22.16, salt may be longer than two characters.)
mysql> select ENCRYPT("hello");
        -> 'VxuFAJXVARROc'
If crypt() is not available on your system, ENCRYPT() always returns NULL. ENCRYPT() ignores all but the first 8 characters of str, at least on some systems. This will be determined by the behavior of the underlying crypt() system call.
ENCODE(str,pass_str)
Encrypt str using pass_str as the password. To decrypt the result, use DECODE(). The results is a binary string. If you want to save it in a column, use a BLOB column type.
DECODE(crypt_str,pass_str)
Descrypts the encrypted string crypt_str using pass_str as the password. crypt_str should be a string returned from ENCODE().
MD5(string)
Calculates a MD5 checksum for the string. Value is returned as a 32 long hex number that may, for example, be used as a hash key.
mysql> select MD5("testing")
        -> 'ae2b1fca515949e5d54fb22b8ed95575'
This is a "RSA Data Security, Inc. MD5 Message-Digest Algorithm".
LAST_INSERT_ID([expr])
Returns the last automatically generated value that was inserted into an AUTO_INCREMENT column. See section 20.4.29 mysql_insert_id().
mysql> select LAST_INSERT_ID();
        -> 195
The last ID that was generated is maintained in the server on a per-connection basis. It will not be changed by another client. It will not even be changed if you update another AUTO_INCREMENT column with a non-magic value (that is, a value that is not NULL and not 0). If expr is given as an argument to LAST_INSERT_ID() in an UPDATE clause, then the value of the argument is returned as a LAST_INSERT_ID() value. This can be used to simulate sequences: First create the table:
mysql> create table sequence (id int not null);
mysql> insert into sequence values (0);
Then the table can be used to generate sequence numbers like this:
mysql> update sequence set id=LAST_INSERT_ID(id+1);
You can generate sequences without calling LAST_INSERT_ID(), but the utility of using the function this way is that the ID value is maintained in the server as the last automatically generated value. You can retrieve the new ID as you would read any normal AUTO_INCREMENT value in MySQL. For example, LAST_INSERT_ID() (without an argument) will return the new ID. The C API function mysql_insert_id() can also be used to get the value.
FORMAT(X,D)
Formats the number X to a format like '#,###,###.##', rounded to D decimals. If D is 0, the result will have no decimal point or fractional part.
mysql> select FORMAT(12332.123456, 4);
        -> '12,332.1235'
mysql> select FORMAT(12332.1,4);
        -> '12,332.1000'
mysql> select FORMAT(12332.2,0);
        -> '12,332'
VERSION()
Returns a string indicating the MySQL server version.
mysql> select VERSION();
        -> '3.22.19b-log'
GET_LOCK(str,timeout)
Tries to obtain a lock with a name given by the string str, with a timeout of timeout seconds. Returns 1 if the lock was obtained successfully, 0 if the attempt timed out, or NULL if an error occurred (such as running out of memory or the thread was killed with mysqladmin kill). A lock is released when you execute RELEASE_LOCK(), execute a new GET_LOCK() or the thread terminates. This function can be used to implement application locks or to simulate record locks. It blocks requests by other clients for locks with the same name; clients that agree on a given lock string name can use the string to perform cooperative advisory locking.
mysql> select GET_LOCK("lock1",10);
        -> 1
mysql> select GET_LOCK("lock2",10);
        -> 1
mysql> select RELEASE_LOCK("lock2");
        -> 1
mysql> select RELEASE_LOCK("lock1");
        -> NULL
Note that the second RELEASE_LOCK() call returns NULL because the lock "lock1" was automatically released by the second GET_LOCK() call.
RELEASE_LOCK(str)
Releases the lock named by the string str that was obtained with GET_LOCK(). Returns 1 if the lock was released, 0 if the lock wasn't locked by this thread (in which case the lock is not released) and NULL if the named lock didn't exist. The lock will not exist if it was never obtained by a call to GET_LOCK() or if it already has been released.
BENCHMARK(count,expr)
The BENCHMARK() function executes the expression expr repeatedly count times. It may be used to time how fast MySQL processes the expression. The result value is always 0. The intended use is in the mysql client, which reports query execution times.
mysql> select BENCHMARK(1000000,encode("hello","goodbye"));
+----------------------------------------------+
| BENCHMARK(1000000,encode("hello","goodbye")) |
+----------------------------------------------+
|                                            0 |
+----------------------------------------------+
1 row in set (4.74 sec)
The time reported is elapsed time on the client end, not CPU time on the server end. It may be advisable to execute BENCHMARK() several times, and interpret the result with regard to how heavily loaded the server machine is.

7.3.13 Functions for use with GROUP BY clauses

If you use a group function in a statement containing no GROUP BY clause, it is equivalent to grouping on all rows.

COUNT(expr)
Returns a count of the number of non-NULL values in the rows retrieved by a SELECT statement.
mysql> select student.student_name,COUNT(*)
           from student,course
           where student.student_id=course.student_id
           GROUP BY student_name;

COUNT(*) is somewhat different in that it returns a count of the number of rows retrieved, whether or not they contain NULL values. COUNT(*) is optimized to return very quickly if the SELECT retrieves from one table, no other columns are retrieved and there is no WHERE clause. For example:
mysql> select COUNT(*) from student;
COUNT(DISTINCT expr,[expr...])
Returns a count of the number of different values.
mysql> select COUNT(DISTINCT results) from student;
In MySQL you can get the number of distinct expressions combinations by giving a list of expressions. In ANSI SQL you would have to do a concatenation of all expressions inside CODE(DISTINCT ..).
AVG(expr)
Returns the average value of expr.
mysql> select student_name, AVG(test_score)
           from student
           GROUP BY student_name;
MIN(expr)
MAX(expr)
Returns the minimum or maximum value of expr. MIN() and MAX() may take a string argument; in such cases they return the minimum or maximum string value.
mysql> select student_name, MIN(test_score), MAX(test_score)
           from student
           GROUP BY student_name;
SUM(expr)
Returns the sum of expr. Note that if the return set has no rows, it returns NULL!
STD(expr)
STDDEV(expr)
Returns the standard deviation of expr. This is an extension to ANSI SQL. The STDDEV() form of this function is provided for Oracle compatability.
BIT_OR(expr)
Returns the bitwise OR of all bits in expr. The calculation is performed with 64-bit (BIGINT precision.
BIT_AND(expr)
Returns the bitwise AND of all bits in expr. The calculation is performed with 64-bit (BIGINT precision.

MySQL has extended the use of GROUP BY. You can use columns or calculations in the SELECT expressions which don't appear in the GROUP BY part. This stands for any possible value for this group. You can use this to get better performance by avoiding sorting and grouping on unnecessary items. For example, you don't need to group on customer.name in the following query:

mysql> select order.custid,customer.name,max(payments)
       from order,customer
       where order.custid = customer.custid
       GROUP BY order.custid;

In ANSI SQL, you would have to add customer.name to the GROUP BY clause. In MySQL, the name is redundant.

Don't use this feature if the columns you omit from the GROUP BY part aren't unique in the group!

In some cases, you can use MIN() and MAX() to obtain a specific column value even if it isn't unique. The following gives the value of column from the row containing the smallest value in the sort column:

substr(MIN(concat(sort,space(6-length(sort)),column),7,length(column)))

Note that if you are using MySQL 3.22 (or earlier) or if you are trying to follow ANSI SQL, you can't use expressions in GROUP BY or ORDER BY clauses. You can work around this limitation by using an alias for the expression:

mysql> SELECT id,FLOOR(value/100) AS val FROM tbl_name
           GROUP BY id,val ORDER BY val;

In MySQL 3.23 you can do:

mysql> SELECT id,FLOOR(value/100) FROM tbl_name ORDER BY RAND();

7.4 CREATE DATABASE syntax

CREATE DATABASE db_name

CREATE DATABASE creates a database with the given name. Rules for allowable database names are given in section 7.1.5 Database, table, index, column and alias names. An error occurs if the database already exists.

Databases in MySQL are implemented as directories containing files that correspond to tables in the database. Since there are no tables in a database when it is initially created, the CREATE DATABASE statement only creates a directory under the MySQL data directory.

You can also create databases with mysqladmin. See section 12.1 Overview of the different MySQL programs.

7.5 DROP DATABASE syntax

DROP DATABASE [IF EXISTS] db_name

DROP DATABASE drops all tables in the database and deletes the database. Be VERY careful with this command!

DROP DATABASE returns the number of files that were removed from the database directory. Normally, this is three times the number of tables, since each table corresponds to a `.ISD' file, a `.ISM' file and a `.frm' file.

In MySQL 3.22 or later, you can use the keywords IF EXISTS to prevent an error from occurring if the database doesn't exist.

You can also drop databases with mysqladmin. See section 12.1 Overview of the different MySQL programs.

7.6 CREATE TABLE syntax

CREATE [TEMPORARY] TABLE [IF NOT EXISTS] tbl_name [(create_definition,...)]
[table_options] [select_statement]

create_definition:
  col_name type [NOT NULL | NULL] [DEFAULT default_value] [AUTO_INCREMENT]
            [PRIMARY KEY] [reference_definition]
  or    PRIMARY KEY (index_col_name,...)
  or    KEY [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
  or    INDEX [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
  or    UNIQUE [INDEX] [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
  or    [CONSTRAINT symbol] FOREIGN KEY index_name (index_col_name,...)
            [reference_definition]
  or    CHECK (expr)

type:
        TINYINT[(length)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    SMALLINT[(length)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    MEDIUMINT[(length)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    INT[(length)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    INTEGER[(length)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    BIGINT[(length)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    REAL[(length,decimals)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    DOUBLE[(length,decimals)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    FLOAT[(length,decimals)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    DECIMAL(length,decimals) [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    NUMERIC(length,decimals) [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    CHAR(length) [BINARY]
  or    VARCHAR(length) [BINARY]
  or    DATE
  or    TIME
  or    TIMESTAMP
  or    DATETIME
  or    TINYBLOB
  or    BLOB
  or    MEDIUMBLOB
  or    LONGBLOB
  or    TINYTEXT
  or    TEXT
  or    MEDIUMTEXT
  or    LONGTEXT
  or    ENUM(value1,value2,value3,...)
  or    SET(value1,value2,value3,...)

index_col_name:
        col_name [(length)]

reference_definition:
        REFERENCES tbl_name [(index_col_name,...)]
                   [MATCH FULL | MATCH PARTIAL]
                   [ON DELETE reference_option]
                   [ON UPDATE reference_option]

reference_option:
        RESTRICT | CASCADE | SET NULL | NO ACTION | SET DEFAULT

table_options:
	TYPE = {ISAM | MYISAM | HEAP}
or	AUTO_INCREMENT = #
or	AVG_ROW_LENGTH = #
or	CHECKSUM = {0 | 1}
or	COMMENT = "string"
or	MAX_ROWS = #
or	MIN_ROWS = #
or	PACK_KEYS = {0 | 1}
or	PASSWORD = "string"
or	DELAY_KEY_WRITE = {0 | 1}

select_statement:
	[IGNORE | REPLACE] SELECT ...  (Some legal select statement)

CREATE TABLE creates a table with the given name in the current database. Rules for allowable table names are given in section 7.1.5 Database, table, index, column and alias names. An error occurs if there is no current database or if the table already exists.

In MySQL 3.22 or later, the table name can be specified as db_name.tbl_name. This works whether or not there is a current database.

In MySQL 3.23, you can use the TEMPORARY keyword when you create a table. A temporary table will automatically be deleted if a connection dies and the name is per connection. This means that two different connections can both use the same temporary table name without conflicting with each other or with an existing table of the same name. (The existing table is hidden until the temporary table is deleted).

In MySQL 3.23 or later, you can use the keywords IF NOT EXISTS so that an error does not occur if the table already exists. Note that there is no verification that the table structures are identical.

Each table tbl_name is represented by some files in the database directory. In the case of ISAM-type tables you will get:

File Purpose
tbl_name.frm Table definition (form) file
tbl_name.ISD Data file
tbl_name.ISM Index file

For more information on the properties of the various column types, see section 7.2 Column types.

7.6.1 Silent column specification changes

In some cases, MySQL silently changes a column specification from that given in a CREATE TABLE statement. (This may also occur with ALTER TABLE.)

If you want to see whether or not MySQL used a column type other than the one you specified, issue a DESCRIBE tbl_name statement after creating or altering your table.

Certain other column type changes may occur if you compress a table using pack_isam. See section 10.17 What are the different row formats? Or, when should VARCHAR/CHAR be used?.

7.7 ALTER TABLE syntax

ALTER [IGNORE] TABLE tbl_name alter_spec [, alter_spec ...]

alter_specification:
        ADD [COLUMN] create_definition [FIRST | AFTER column_name ]
  or    ADD INDEX [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
  or    ADD PRIMARY KEY (index_col_name,...)
  or    ADD UNIQUE [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
  or    ALTER [COLUMN] col_name {SET DEFAULT literal | DROP DEFAULT}
  or    CHANGE [COLUMN] old_col_name create_definition
  or    MODIFY [COLUMN] create_definition
  or    DROP [COLUMN] col_name
  or    DROP PRIMARY KEY
  or    DROP INDEX index_name
  or    RENAME [AS] new_tbl_name
  or    table_options

ALTER TABLE allows you to change the structure of an existing table. For example, you can add or delete columns, create or destroy indexes, change the type of existing columns, or rename columns or the table itself. You can also change the comment for the table and type of the table. See section 7.6 CREATE TABLE syntax.

If you use ALTER TABLE to change a column specification but DESCRIBE tbl_name indicates that your column was not changed, it is possible that MySQL ignored your modification for one of the reasons described in section 7.6.1 Silent column specification changes. For example, if you try to change a VARCHAR column to CHAR, MySQL will still use VARCHAR if the table contains other variable-length columns.

ALTER TABLE works by making a temporary copy of the original table. The alteration is performed on the copy, then the original table is deleted and the new one is renamed. This is done in such a way that all updates are automatically redirected to the new table without any failed updates. While ALTER TABLE is executing, the original table is readable by other clients. Updates and writes to the table are stalled until the new table is ready.

Here is an example that shows some of the uses of ALTER TABLE. We begin with a table t1 that is created as shown below:

mysql> CREATE TABLE t1 (a INTEGER,b CHAR(10));

To rename the table from t1 to t2:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t1 RENAME t2;

To change column a from INTEGER to TINYINT NOT NULL (leaving the name the same), and to change column b from CHAR(10) to CHAR(20) as well as renaming it from b to c:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t2 MODIFY a TINYINT NOT NULL, CHANGE b c CHAR(20);

To add a new TIMESTAMP column named d:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t2 ADD d TIMESTAMP;

To add an index on column d, and make column a the primary key:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t2 ADD INDEX (d), ADD PRIMARY KEY (a);

To remove column c:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t2 DROP COLUMN c;

To add a new AUTO_INCREMENT integer column named c:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t2 ADD c INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
           ADD INDEX (c);

Note that we indexed c, because AUTO_INCREMENT columns must be indexed, and also that we declare c as NOT NULL, because indexed columns cannot be NULL.

When you add an AUTO_INCREMENT column, column values are filled in with sequence numbers for you automatically.

7.8 OPTIMIZE TABLE syntax

OPTIMIZE TABLE tbl_name

OPTIMZE TABLE should be used if you have deleted a large part of a table or if you have made many changes to a table with variable-length rows (tables that have VARCHAR, BLOB or TEXT columns). Deleted records are maintained in a linked list and subsequent INSERT operations reuse old record positions. You can use OPTIMIZE TABLE to reclaim the unused space.

OPTIMIZE TABLE works by making a temporary copy of the original table. The old table is copied to the new table (without the unused rows), then the original table is deleted and the new one is renamed. This is done in such a way that all updates are automatically redirected to the new table without any failed updates. While OPTIMIZE TABLE is executing, the original table is readable by other clients. Updates and writes to the table are stalled until the new table is ready.

7.9 DROP TABLE syntax

DROP TABLE [IF EXISTS] tbl_name [, tbl_name,...]

DROP TABLE removes one or more tables. All table data and the table definition are removed, so be careful with this command!

In MySQL 3.22 or later, you can use the keywords IF EXISTS to prevent an error from occurring for tables that don't exist.

7.10 DELETE syntax

DELETE [LOW_PRIORITY] FROM tbl_name
    [WHERE where_definition] [LIMIT rows]

DELETE deletes rows from tbl_name that satisfy the condition given by where_definition, and returns the number of records deleted.

If you issue a DELETE with no WHERE clause, all rows are deleted. MySQL does this by recreating the table as an empty table, which is much faster than deleting each row. In this case, DELETE returns zero as the number of affected records. (MySQL can't return the number of rows that were actually deleted, since the recreate is done without opening the data files. As long as the table definition file `tbl_name.frm' is valid, the table can be recreated this way, even if the data or index files have become corrupted.).

If you really want to know how many records are deleted when you are deleting all rows, and are willing to suffer a speed penalty, you can use a DELETE statement of this form:

mysql> DELETE FROM tbl_name WHERE 1>0;

Note that this is MUCH slower than DELETE FROM tbl_name with no WHERE clause, because it deletes rows one at a time.

If you specify the keyword LOW_PRIORITY, execution of the DELETE is delayed until no other clients are reading from the table.

Deleted records are maintained in a linked list and subsequent INSERT operations reuse old record positions. To reclaim unused space and reduce file sizes, use the OPTIMIZE TABLE statement or the isamchk utility to reorganize tables. OPTIMIZE TABLE is easier, but isamchk is faster. See section 7.8 OPTIMIZE TABLE syntax, and section 13.4.3 Table optimization.

The MySQL-specific LIMIT rows option to DELETE tells the server the maximum number of rows to be deleted before control is returned to the client. This can be used to ensure that a specific DELETE command doesn't take too much time. You can simply repeat the DELETE command until the number of affected rows is less than the LIMIT value.

7.11 SELECT syntax

SELECT [STRAIGHT_JOIN] [SQL_SMALL_RESULT] [SQL_BIG_RESULT] [HIGH_PRIORITY]
       [DISTINCT | DISTINCTROW | ALL]
    select_expression,...
    [INTO OUTFILE 'file_name' export_options]
    [FROM table_references
        [WHERE where_definition]
        [GROUP BY col_name,...]
        [HAVING where_definition]
        [ORDER BY {unsigned_integer | col_name | formula} [ASC | DESC] ,...]
        [LIMIT [offset,] rows]
        [PROCEDURE procedure_name] ]

SELECT is used to retrieve rows selected from one or more tables. select_expression indicates the columns you want to retrieve. SELECT may also be used to retrieve rows computed without reference to any table. For example:

mysql> SELECT 1 + 1;
         -> 2

All keywords used must be given in exactly the order shown above. For example, a HAVING clause must come after any GROUP BY clause and before any ORDER BY clause.

7.12 JOIN syntax

MySQL supports the following JOIN syntaxes for use in SELECT statements:

table_reference, table_reference
table_reference [CROSS] JOIN table_reference
table_reference INNER JOIN table_reference
table_reference STRAIGHT_JOIN table_reference
table_reference LEFT [OUTER] JOIN table_reference ON conditional_expr
table_reference LEFT [OUTER] JOIN table_reference USING (column_list)
table_reference NATURAL LEFT [OUTER] JOIN table_reference
{ oj table_reference LEFT OUTER JOIN table_reference ON conditional_expr }

The last LEFT OUTER JOIN syntax shown above exists only for compatibility with ODBC.

Some examples:

mysql> select * from table1,table2 where table1.id=table2.id;
mysql> select * from table1 LEFT JOIN table2 ON table1.id=table2.id;
mysql> select * from table1 LEFT JOIN table2 USING (id);
mysql> select * from table1 LEFT JOIN table2 ON table1.id=table2.id
           LEFT JOIN table3 ON table2.id=table3.id;

See section 10.6 How MySQL optimizes LEFT JOIN.

7.13 INSERT syntax

    INSERT [LOW_PRIORITY | DELAYED] [IGNORE]
        [INTO] tbl_name [(col_name,...)]
        VALUES (expression,...),(...),...
or  INSERT [LOW_PRIORITY | DELAYED] [IGNORE]
        [INTO] tbl_name [(col_name,...)]
        SELECT ...
or  INSERT [LOW_PRIORITY | DELAYED] [IGNORE]
        [INTO] tbl_name
        SET col_name=expression, col_name=expression, ...

INSERT inserts new rows into an existing table. The INSERT ... VALUES form of the statement inserts rows based on explicitly-specified values. The INSERT ... SELECT form inserts rows selected from another table or tables. The INSERT ... VALUES form with multiple value lists is supported in MySQL 3.22.5 or later. The col_name=expression syntax is supported in MySQL 3.22.10 or later.

tbl_name is the table into which rows should be inserted. The column name list or the SET clause indicates which columns the statement specifies values for.

If you use INSERT ... SELECT or a INSERT ... VALUES statement with multiple value lists, you can use the C API function mysql_info() to get information about the query. The format of the information string is shown below:

Records: 100 Duplicates: 0 Warnings: 0

Duplicates indicates the number of rows that couldn't be inserted because they would duplicate some existing unique index value. Warnings indicates the number of attempts to insert column values that were problematic in some way. Warnings can occur under any of the following conditions:

The DELAYED option for the INSERT statement is a MySQL-specific option that is very useful if you have clients that can't wait for the INSERT to complete. This is a common problem when you use MySQL for logging and you also periodically run SELECT statements that take a long time to complete. DELAYED was introduced in MySQL 3.22.15. It is a MySQL extension to ANSI SQL92.

When you use INSERT DELAYED, the client will get an ok at once and the row will be inserted when the table is not in use by any other thread.

Another major benefit of using INSERT DELAYED is that inserts from many clients are bundled together and written in one block. This is much faster than doing many separate inserts.

Note that currently the queued rows are only stored in memory until they are inserted into the table. This means that if you kill mysqld the hard way (kill -9) or if mysqld dies unexpectedly, any queued rows that weren't written to disk are lost!

The following describes in detail what happens when you use the DELAYED option to INSERT or REPLACE. In this description, the ``thread'' is the thread that received an INSERT DELAYED command and ``handler'' is the thread that handles all INSERT DELAYED statements for a particular table.

Note that INSERT DELAYED is slower than a normal INSERT if the table is not in use. There is also the additional overhead for the server to handle a separate thread for each table on which you use INSERT DELAYED. This means that you should only use INSERT DELAYED when you are really sure you need it!

7.14 REPLACE syntax

    REPLACE [LOW_PRIORITY | DELAYED]
        [INTO] tbl_name [(col_name,...)]
        VALUES (expression,...)
or  REPLACE [LOW_PRIORITY | DELAYED]
        [INTO] tbl_name [(col_name,...)]
        SELECT ...
or  REPLACE [LOW_PRIORITY | DELAYED]
        [INTO] tbl_name
        SET col_name=expression, col_name=expression,...

REPLACE works exactly like INSERT, except that if an old record in the table has the same value as a new record on a unique index, the old record is deleted before the new record is inserted. See section 7.13 INSERT syntax.

7.15 LOAD DATA INFILE syntax

LOAD DATA [LOW_PRIORITY] [LOCAL] INFILE 'file_name.txt' [REPLACE | IGNORE]
    INTO TABLE tbl_name
    [FIELDS
        [TERMINATED BY '\t']
        [OPTIONALLY] ENCLOSED BY '']
        [ESCAPED BY '\\' ]]
    [LINES TERMINATED BY '\n']
    [IGNORE number LINES]
    [(col_name,...)]

The LOAD DATA INFILE statement reads rows from a text file into a table at a very high speed. If the LOCAL keyword is specified, the file is read from the client host. If LOCAL is not specified, the file must be located on the server. (LOCAL is available in MySQL 3.22.6 or later.)

For security reasons, when reading text files located on the server, the files must either reside in the database directory or be readable by all. Also, to use LOAD DATA INFILE on server files, you must have the file privilege on the server host. See section 6.5 Privileges provided by MySQL.

If you specify the keyword LOW_PRIORITY, execution of the LOAD DATA statement is delayed until no other clients are reading from the table.

Using LOCAL will be a bit slower than letting the server access the files directly, since the contents of the file must travel from the client host to the server host. On the other hand, you do not need the file privilege to load local files.

You can also load data files by using the mysqlimport utility; it operates by sending a LOAD DATA INFILE command to the server. The --local option causes mysqlimport to read data files from the client host. You can specify the --compress option to get better performance over slow networks if the client and server support the compressed protocol.

When locating files on the server host, the server uses the following rules:

Note that these rules mean a file given as `./myfile.txt' is read from the server's data directory, whereas a file given as `myfile.txt' is read from the database directory of the current database. Note also that for statements such as those below, the file is read from the database directory for db1, not db2:

mysql> USE db1;
mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE "./data.txt" INTO TABLE db2.my_table; 

The REPLACE and IGNORE keywords control handling of input records that duplicate existing records on unique key values. If you specify REPLACE, new rows replace existing rows that have the same unique key value. If you specify IGNORE, input rows that duplicate an existing row on a unique key value are skipped. If you don't specify either option, an error occurs when a duplicate key value is found, and the rest of the text file is ignored.

If you load data from a local file using the LOCAL keyword, the server has no way to stop transmission of the file in the middle of the operation, so the default bahavior is the same as if IGNORE is specified.

LOAD DATA INFILE is the complement of SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE. See section 7.11 SELECT syntax. To write data from a database to a file, use SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE. To read the file back into the database, use LOAD DATA INFILE. The syntax of the FIELDS and LINES clauses is the same for both commands. Both clauses are optional, but FIELDS must precede LINES if both are specified.

If you specify a FIELDS clause, each of its subclauses (TERMINATED BY, [OPTIONALLY] ENCLOSED BY and ESCAPED BY) is also optional, except that you must specify at least one of them.

If you don't specify a FIELDS clause, the defaults are the same as if you had written this:

FIELDS TERMINATED BY '\t' ENCLOSED BY '' ESCAPED BY '\\'

If you don't specify a LINES clause, the default is the same as if you had written this:

LINES TERMINATED BY '\n'

In other words, the defaults cause LOAD DATA INFILE to act as follows when reading input:

Conversely, the defaults cause SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE to act as follows when writing output:

Note that to write FIELDS ESCAPED BY '\\', you must specify two backslashes for the value to be read as a single backslash.

The IGNORE number LINES option can be used to ignore a header of column names at the start of the file:

mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE "/tmp/file_name" into table test IGNORE 1 LINES;

When you use SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE in tandem with LOAD DATA INFILE to write data from a database into a file and then read the file back into the database later, the field and line handling options for both commands must match. Otherwise, LOAD DATA INFILE will not interpret the contents of the file properly. Suppose you use SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE to write a file with fields delimited by commas:

mysql> SELECT * FROM table1 INTO OUTFILE 'data.txt'
           FIELDS TERMINATED BY ','
           FROM ...

To read the comma-delimited file back in, the correct statement would be:

mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE 'data.txt' INTO TABLE table2
           FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',';

If instead you tried to read in the file with the statement shown below, it wouldn't work because it instructs LOAD DATA INFILE to look for tabs between fields:

mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE 'data.txt' INTO TABLE table2
           FIELDS TERMINATED BY '\t';

The likely result is that each input line would be interpreted as a single field.

LOAD DATA INFILE can be used to read files obtained from external sources, too. For example, a file in dBASE format will have fields separated by commas and enclosed in double quotes. If lines in the file are terminated by newlines, the command shown below illustrates the field and line handling options you would use to load the file:

mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE 'data.txt' INTO TABLE tbl_name
           FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',' ENCLOSED BY '"'
           LINES TERMINATED BY '\n';

Any of the field or line handling options may specify an empty string (''). If not empty, the FIELDS [OPTIONALLY] ENCLOSED BY and FIELDS ESCAPED BY values must be a single character. The FIELDS TERMINATED BY and LINES TERMINATED BY values may be more than one character. For example, to write lines that are terminated by carriage return-linefeed pairs, or to read a file containing such lines, specify a LINES TERMINATED BY '\r\n' clause.

FIELDS [OPTIONALLY] ENCLOSED BY controls quoting of fields. For output (SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE), if you omit the word OPTIONALLY, all fields are enclosed by the ENCLOSED BY character. An example of such output (using a comma as the field delimiter) is shown below:

"1","a string","100.20"
"2","a string containing a , comma","102.20"
"3","a string containing a \" quote","102.20"
"4","a string containing a \", quote and comma","102.20"

If you specify OPTIONALLY, the ENCLOSED BY character is used only to enclose CHAR and VARCHAR fields:

1,"a string",100.20
2,"a string containing a , comma",102.20
3,"a string containing a \" quote",102.20
4,"a string containing a \", quote and comma",102.20

Note that occurrences of the ENCLOSED BY character within a field value are escaped by prefixing them with the ESCAPED BY character. Also note that if you specify an empty ESCAPED BY value, it is possible to generate output that cannot be read properly by LOAD DATA INFILE. For example, the output just shown above would appear as shown below if the escape character is empty. Observe that the second field in the fourth line contains a comma following the quote, which (erroneously) appears to terminate the field:

1,"a string",100.20
2,"a string containing a , comma",102.20
3,"a string containing a " quote",102.20
4,"a string containing a ", quote and comma",102.20

For input, the ENCLOSED BY character, if present, is stripped from the ends of field values. (This is true whether or not OPTIONALLY is specified; OPTIONALLY has no effect on input interpretation.) Occurrences of the ENCLOSED BY character preceded by the ESCAPED BY character are interpreted as part of the current field value. In addition, duplicated ENCLOSED BY characters occurring within fields are interpreted as single ENCLOSED BY characters if the field itself starts with that character. For example, if ENCLOSED BY '"' is specified, quotes are handled as shown below:

"The ""BIG"" boss"  -> The "BIG" boss
The "BIG" boss      -> The "BIG" boss
The ""BIG"" boss    -> The ""BIG"" boss

FIELDS ESCAPED BY controls how to write or read special characters. If the FIELDS ESCAPED BY character is not empty, it is used to prefix the following characters on output:

If the FIELDS ESCAPED BY character is empty, no characters are escaped. It is probably not a good idea to specify an empty escape character, particularly if field values in your data contain any of the characters in the list just given.

For input, if the FIELDS ESCAPED BY character is not empty, occurrences of that character are stripped and the following character is taken literally as part of a field value. The exceptions are an escaped `0' or `N' (e.g., \0 or \N if the escape character is `\'). These sequences are interpreted as ASCII 0 (a zero-valued byte) and NULL. See below for the rules on NULL handling.

For more information about `\'-escape syntax, see section 7.1 Literals: how to write strings and numbers.

In certain cases, field and line handling options interact:

Handling of NULL values varies, depending on the FIELDS and LINES options you use:

Some cases are not supported by LOAD DATA INFILE:

The following example loads all columns of the persondata table:

mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE 'persondata.txt' INTO TABLE persondata;

No field list is specified, so LOAD DATA INFILE expects input rows to contain a field for each table column. The default FIELDS and LINES values are used.

If you wish to load only some of a table's columns, specify a field list:

mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE 'persondata.txt'
           INTO TABLE persondata (col1,col2,...);

You must also specify a field list if the order of the fields in the input file differs from the order of the columns in the table. Otherwise, MySQL cannot tell how to match up input fields with table columns.

If a row has too few fields, the columns for which no input field is present are set to default values. Default value assignment is described in section 7.6 CREATE TABLE syntax.

An empty field value is interpreted differently than if the field value is missing:

TIMESTAMP columns are only set to the current date and time if there is a NULL value for the column, or (for the first TIMESTAMP column only) if the TIMESTAMP column is left out from the field list when a field list is specified.

If an input row has too many fields, the extra fields are ignored and the number of warnings is incremented.

LOAD DATA INFILE regards all input as strings, so you can't use numeric values for ENUM or SET columns the way you can with INSERT statements. All ENUM and SET values must be specified as strings!

If you are using the C API, you can get information about the query by calling the API function mysql_info() when the LOAD DATA INFILE query finishes. The format of the information string is shown below:

Records: 1  Deleted: 0  Skipped: 0  Warnings: 0

Warnings occur under the same circumstances as when values are inserted via the INSERT statement (see section 7.13 INSERT syntax), except that LOAD DATA INFILE also generates warnings when there are too few or too many fields in the input row. The warnings are not stored anywhere; the number of warnings can only be used as an indication if everything went well. If you get warnings and want to know exactly why you got them, one way to do this is to use SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE into another file and compare this to your original input file.

For more information about the efficiency of INSERT versus LOAD DATA INFILE and speeding up LOAD DATA INFILE, see section 10.13 How to arrange a table to be as fast/small as possible.

7.16 UPDATE syntax

UPDATE [LOW_PRIORITY] tbl_name SET col_name1=expr1,col_name2=expr2,...
    [WHERE where_definition] [LIMIT #]

UPDATE updates columns in existing table rows with new values. The SET clause indicates which columns to modify and the values they should be given. The WHERE clause, if given, specifies which rows should be updated. Otherwise all rows are updated.

If you specify the keyword LOW_PRIORITY, execution of the UPDATE is delayed until no other clients are reading from the table.

If you access a column from tbl_name in an expression, UPDATE uses the current value of the column. For example, the following statement sets the age column to one more than its current value:

mysql> UPDATE persondata SET age=age+1;

UPDATE assignments are evaluated from left to right. For example, the following statement doubles the age column, then increments it:

mysql> UPDATE persondata SET age=age*2, age=age+1;

If you set a column to the value it currently has, MySQL notices this and doesn't update it.

UPDATE returns the number of rows that were actually changed. In MySQL 3.22 or later, the C API function mysql_info() returns the number of rows that were matched and updated and the number of warnings that occurred during the UPDATE.

In MySQL 3.23 you can use LIMIT # to ensure that only a given number of rows are changed.

7.17 USE syntax

USE db_name

The USE db_name statement tells MySQL to use the db_name database as the default database for subsequent queries. The database remains current until the end of the session, or until another USE statement is issued:

mysql> USE db1;
mysql> SELECT count(*) FROM mytable;      # selects from db1.mytable
mysql> USE db2;
mysql> SELECT count(*) FROM mytable;      # selects from db2.mytable

Making a particular database current by means of the USE statement does not preclude you from accessing tables in other databases. The example below accesses the author table from the db1 database and the editor table from the db2 database:

mysql> USE db1;
mysql> SELECT author_name,editor_name FROM author,db2.editor
           WHERE author.editor_id = db2.editor.editor_id;

The USE statement is provided for Sybase compatibility.

7.18 FLUSH syntax (clearing caches)

FLUSH flush_option [,flush_option]

You should use the FLUSH command if you want to clear some of the internal caches MySQL uses. To execute FLUSH, you must have the reload privilege.

flush_option can be any of the following:

HOSTS Empties the host cache tables. You should flush the host tables if some of your hosts change IP number or if you get the error message Host ... is blocked. When more than max_connect_errors errors occur in a row for a given host while connection to the MySQL server, MySQL assumes something is wrong and blocks the host from further connection requests. Flushing the host tables allows the host to attempt to connect again. See section 18.2.3 Host '...' is blocked error.) You can start mysqld with -O max_connection_errors=999999999 to avoid this error message.
LOGS Closes and reopens the standard and update log files. If you have specified the update log file without an extension, the extension number of the new update log file will be incremented by one relative to the previous file.
PRIVILEGES Reloads the privileges from the grant tables in the mysql database.
TABLES Closes all open tables.
STATUS Resets most status variables to zero.

You can also access each of the commands shown above with the mysqladmin utility, using the flush-hosts, flush-logs, reload or flush-tables commands.

7.19 KILL syntax

KILL thread_id

Each connection to mysqld runs in a separate thread. You can see which threads are running with the SHOW PROCESSLIST command, and kill a thread with the KILL thread_id command.

If you have the process privilege, you can see and kill all threads. Otherwise, you can see and kill only your own threads.

You can also use the mysqladmin processlist and mysqladmin kill commands to examine and kill threads.

7.20 SHOW syntax (Get information about tables, columns,...)

   SHOW DATABASES [LIKE wild]
or SHOW TABLES [FROM db_name] [LIKE wild]
or SHOW COLUMNS FROM tbl_name [FROM db_name] [LIKE wild]
or SHOW INDEX FROM tbl_name [FROM db_name]
or SHOW STATUS
or SHOW VARIABLES [LIKE wild]
or SHOW PROCESSLIST
or SHOW TABLE STATUS [FROM db_name] [LIKE wild]
or SHOW GRANTS FOR user

SHOW provides information about databases, tables, columns or the server. If the LIKE wild part is used, the wild string can be a string that uses the SQL `%' and `_' wildcard characters.

You can use db_name.tbl_name as an alternative to the tbl_name FROM db_name syntax. These two statements are equivalent:

mysql> SHOW INDEX FROM mytable FROM mydb;
mysql> SHOW INDEX FROM mydb.mytable;

SHOW DATABASES lists the databases on the MySQL server host. You can also get this list using the mysqlshow command.

SHOW TABLES lists the tables in a given database. You can also get this list using the mysqlshow db_name command.

Note: If a user doesn't have any privileges for a table, the table will not show up in the output from SHOW TABLES or mysqlshow db_name.

SHOW COLUMNS lists the columns in a given table. If the column types are different than you expect them to be based on a CREATE TABLE statement, note that MySQL sometimes changes column types. See section 7.6.1 Silent column specification changes.

The DESCRIBE statement provides information similar to SHOW COLUMNS. See section 7.22 DESCRIBE syntax (Get information about columns).

SHOW TABLE STATUS (new in version 3.23) works likes SHOW STATUS, but provides a lot of information about each table. You can also get this list using the mysqlshow --status db_name command. The following columns are returned:

Column Meaning
Name Name of the table
Type Type of table (NISAM, MyISAM or HEAP)
Row_format The row storage format (Fixed, Dynamic, or Compressed)
Rows Number of rows
Avg_row_length Average row length
Data_length Length of the data file
Max_data_length Max length of the data file
Index_length Length of the index file
Data_free Number of allocated but not used bytes
Auto_increment Next autoincrement value
Create_time When the table was created
Update_time When the data file was last updated
Check_time When one last run a check on the table
Create_options Extra options used with CREATE TABLE
Comment The comment used when creating the table (or some information why MySQL couldn't access the table information).

SHOW FIELDS is a synonym for SHOW COLUMNS and SHOW KEYS is a synonym for SHOW INDEX. You can also list a table's columns or indexes with mysqlshow db_name tbl_name or mysqlshow -k db_name tbl_name.

SHOW INDEX returns the index information in a format that closely resembles the SQLStatistics call in ODBC. The following columns are returned:

Column Meaning
Table Name of the table
Non_unique 0 if the index can't contain duplicates.
Key_name Name of the index
Seq_in_index Column sequence number in index, starting with 1.
Column_name Column name.
Collation How the column is sorted in the index. In MySQL, this can have values A (Ascending) or NULL (Not sorted).
Cardinality Number of unique values in the index. This is updated by running isamchk -a.
Sub_part Number of indexed characters if the column is only partly indexed. NULL if the entire key is indexed.

SHOW STATUS provides server status information (like mysqladmin extended-status). The output resembles that shown below, though the format and numbers may differ somewhat:

+--------------------------+--------+
| Variable_name            | Value  |
+--------------------------+--------+
| Aborted_clients          | 0      |
| Aborted_connects         | 0      |
| Connections              | 17     |
| Created_tmp_tables       | 0      |
| Delayed_insert_threads   | 0      |
| Delayed_writes           | 0      |
| Delayed_errors           | 0      |
| Flush_commands           | 2      |
| Handler_delete           | 2      |
| Handler_read_first       | 0      |
| Handler_read_key         | 1      |
| Handler_read_next        | 0      |
| Handler_read_rnd         | 35     |
| Handler_update           | 0      |
| Handler_write            | 2      |
| Key_blocks_used          | 0      |
| Key_read_requests        | 0      |
| Key_reads                | 0      |
| Key_write_requests       | 0      |
| Key_writes               | 0      |
| Max_used_connections     | 1      |
| Not_flushed_key_blocks   | 0      |
| Not_flushed_delayed_rows | 0      |
| Open_tables              | 1      |
| Open_files               | 2      |
| Open_streams             | 0      |
| Opened_tables            | 11     |
| Questions                | 14     |
| Slow_queries             | 0      |
| Threads_connected        | 1      |
| Threads_running          | 1      |
| Uptime                   | 149111 |
+--------------------------+--------+

The status variables listed above have the following meaning:

Aborted_clients Number of connections that has been aborted because the client has died without closing the connection properly.
Aborted_connects Number of tries to connect to the MySQL server that has failed.
Connections Number of connection attempts to the MySQL server.
Created_tmp_tables Number of implicit temporary tables that has been created while executing statements.
Delayed_insert_threads Number of delayed insert handler threads in use.
Delayed_writes Number of rows written with INSERT DELAYED.
Delayed_errors Number of rows written with INSERT DELAYED for which some error occurred (probably duplicate key).
Flush_commands Number of executed FLUSH commands.
Handler_delete Number of requests to delete a row from a table.
Handler_read_first Number of requests to read the first row in a table.
Handler_read_key Number of requests to read a row based on a key.
Handler_read_next Number of requests to read next row in key order.
Handler_read_rnd Number of requests to read a row based on a fixed position.
Handler_update Number of requests to update a row in a table.
Handler_write Number of requests to insert a row in a table.
Key_blocks_used The number of used blocks in the key cache.
Key_read_requests The number of requests to read a key block from the cache.
Key_reads The number of physical reads of a key block from disk.
Key_write_requests The number of requests to write a key block to the cache.
Key_writes The number of physical writes of a key block to disk.
Max_used_connections The maximum number of connections that has been in use simultaneously.
Not_flushed_key_blocks Keys blocks in the key cache that has changed but hasn't yet been flushed to disk.
Not_flushed_delayed_rows Number of rows waiting to be written in INSERT DELAY queues.
Open_tables Number of tables that are open.
Open_files Number of files that are open.
Open_streams Number of streams that are open (used mainly for logging)
Opened_tables Number of tables that has been opened.
Questions Number of queries sent to the server.
Slow_queries Number of queries that has taken more than long_query_time
Threads_connected Number of currently open connections.
Threads_running Number of threads that are not sleeping.
Uptime How many seconds the server has been up.

Some comments about the above:

SHOW VARIABLES shows the values of the some of MySQL system variables. You can also get this information using the mysqladmin variables command. If the default values are unsuitable, you can set most of these variables using command-line options when mysqld starts up. The output resembles that shown below, though the format and numbers may differ somewhat:

+------------------------+--------------------------+
| Variable_name          | Value                    |
+------------------------+--------------------------+
| back_log               | 5                        |
| connect_timeout        | 5                        |
| basedir                | /my/monty/               |
| datadir                | /my/monty/data/          |
| delayed_insert_limit   | 100                      |
| delayed_insert_timeout | 300                      |
| delayed_queue_size     | 1000                     |
| join_buffer_size       | 131072                   |
| flush_time             | 0                        |
| key_buffer_size        | 1048540                  |
| language               | /my/monty/share/english/ |
| log                    | OFF                      |
| log_update             | OFF                      |
| long_query_time        | 10                       |
| low_priority_updates   | OFF                      |
| max_allowed_packet     | 1048576                  |
| max_connections        | 100                      |
| max_connect_errors     | 10                       |
| max_delayed_threads    | 20                       |
| max_heap_table_size    | 16777216                 |
| max_join_size          | 4294967295               |
| max_sort_length        | 1024                     |
| max_tmp_tables         | 32                       |
| net_buffer_length      | 16384                    |
| port                   | 3306                     |
| protocol-version       | 10                       |
| record_buffer          | 131072                   |
| skip_locking           | ON                       |
| socket                 | /tmp/mysql.sock          |
| sort_buffer            | 2097116                  |
| table_cache            | 64                       |
| thread_stack           | 131072                   |
| tmp_table_size         | 1048576                  |
| tmpdir                 | /machine/tmp/            |
| version                | 3.23.0-alpha-debug       |
| wait_timeout           | 28800                    |
+------------------------+--------------------------+

See section 10.1 Tuning server parameters.

SHOW PROCESSLIST shows you which threads are running. You can also get this information using the mysqladmin processlist command. If you have the process privilege, you can see all threads. Otherwise, you can see only your own threads. See section 7.19 KILL syntax.

SHOW GRANTS FOR user lists the grant commands that must be issued to duplicate the grants for a user.

mysql> SHOW GRANTS FOR root@localhost;
+---------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Grants for root@localhost                                           |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------+
| GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO 'root''localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------+

7.21 EXPLAIN syntax (Get information about a SELECT)

    EXPLAIN tbl_name
or  EXPLAIN SELECT select_options

EXPLAIN tbl_name is a synonym for DESCRIBE tbl_name or SHOW COLUMNS FROM tbl_name.

When you precede a SELECT statement with the keyword EXPLAIN, MySQL explains how it would process the SELECT, providing information about how tables are joined and in which order.

With the help of EXPLAIN, you can see when you must add indexes to tables to get a faster SELECT that uses indexes to find the records. You can also see if the optimizer joins the tables in an optimal order. To force the optimizer to use a specific join order for a SELECT statement, add a STRAIGHT_JOIN clause.

For non-simple joins, EXPLAIN returns a row of information for each table used in the SELECT statement. The tables are listed in the order they would be read. MySQL resolves all joins using a single-sweep multi-join method. This means that MySQL reads a row from the first table, then finds a matching row in the second table, then in the third table and so on. When all tables are processed, it outputs the selected columns and backtracks through the table list until a table is found for which there are more matching rows. The next row is read from this table and the process continues with the next table.

Output from EXPLAIN includes the following columns:

table
The table to which the row of output refers.
type
The join type. Information about the various types is given below.
possible_keys
The possible_keys column indicates which indexes MySQL could use to find the rows in the table. If this column is empty, there are no relevant indexes. In this case, you may be able to improve the performance of your query by examining the WHERE clause to see if it refers to some column or columns that would be suitable for indexing. If so, create an appropriate index and check the query with EXPLAIN again. To see what indexes a table has, use SHOW INDEX FROM tbl_name.
key
The key column indicates the key that MySQL actually decided to use. The key is NULL if no index was chosen.
key_len
The key_len column indicates the length of the key that MySQL decided to use. The length is NULL if the key is NULL.
ref
The ref column shows which columns or constants are used with the key to select rows from the table.
rows
The rows column indicates the number of rows MySQL must examine to execute the query.
Extra
If the Extra column includes the text Only index, this means that information is retrieved from the table using only information in the index tree. Normally, this is much faster than scanning the entire table. If the Extra column includes the text where used, it means that a WHERE clause will be used to restrict which rows will be matched against the next table or sent to the client.

The different join types are listed below, ordered from best to worst type:

system
The table has only one row (= system table). This is a special case of the const join type.
const
The table has at most one matching row, which will be read at the start of the query. Since there is only one row, values from the column in this row can be regarded as constants by the rest of the optimizer. const tables are very fast as they are read only once!
eq_ref
One row will be read from this table for each combination of rows from the previous tables. This the best possible join type, other than the const types. It is used when all parts of an index are used by the join and the index is UNIQUE or a PRIMARY KEY.
ref
All rows with matching index values will be read from this table for each combination of rows from the previous tables. ref is used if the join uses only a leftmost prefix of the key, or if the key is not UNIQUE or a PRIMARY KEY (in other words, if the join cannot select a single row based on the key value). If the key that is used matches only a few rows, this join type is good.
range
Only rows that are in a given range will be retrieved, using an index to select the rows. The ref column indicates which index is used.
index
This is the same as ALL, except that only the index tree is scanned. This is usually faster than ALL, as the index file is usually smaller than the data file.
ALL
A full table scan will be done for each combination of rows from the previous tables. This is normally not good if the table is the first table not marked const, and usually very bad in all other cases. You normally can avoid ALL by adding more indexes, so that the row can be retrieved based on constant values or column values from earlier tables.

You can get a good indication of how good a join is by multiplying all values in the rows column of the EXPLAIN output. This should tell you roughly how many rows MySQL must examine to execute the query. This number is also used when you restrict queries with the max_join_size variable. See section 10.1 Tuning server parameters.

The following example shows how a JOIN can be optimized progressively using the information provided by EXPLAIN.

Suppose you have the SELECT statement shown below, that you examine using EXPLAIN:

EXPLAIN SELECT tt.TicketNumber, tt.TimeIn,
            tt.ProjectReference, tt.EstimatedShipDate,
            tt.ActualShipDate, tt.ClientID,
            tt.ServiceCodes, tt.RepetitiveID,
            tt.CurrentProcess, tt.CurrentDPPerson,
            tt.RecordVolume, tt.DPPrinted, et.COUNTRY,
            et_1.COUNTRY, do.CUSTNAME
        FROM tt, et, et AS et_1, do
        WHERE tt.SubmitTime IS NULL
            AND tt.ActualPC = et.EMPLOYID
            AND tt.AssignedPC = et_1.EMPLOYID
            AND tt.ClientID = do.CUSTNMBR;

For this example, assume that:

Initially, before any optimizations have been performed, the EXPLAIN statement produces the following information:

table type possible_keys                key  key_len ref  rows  Extra
et    ALL  PRIMARY                      NULL NULL    NULL 74
do    ALL  PRIMARY                      NULL NULL    NULL 2135
et_1  ALL  PRIMARY                      NULL NULL    NULL 74
tt    ALL  AssignedPC,ClientID,ActualPC NULL NULL    NULL 3872
      range checked for each record (key map: 35)

Since type is ALL for each table, this output indicates that MySQL is doing a full join for all tables! This will take quite a long time, as the product of the number of rows in each table must be examined! For the case at hand, this is 74 * 2135 * 74 * 3872 = 45,268,558,720 rows. If the tables were bigger, you can only imagine how long it would take...

One problem here is that MySQL can't (yet) use indexes on columns efficiently if they are declared differently. In this context, VARCHAR and CHAR are the same unless they are declared as different lengths. Since tt.ActualPC is declared as CHAR(10) and et.EMPLOYID is declared as CHAR(15), there is a length mismatch.

To fix this disparity between column lengths, use ALTER TABLE to lengthen ActualPC from 10 characters to 15 characters:

mysql> ALTER TABLE tt MODIFY ActualPC VARCHAR(15);

Now tt.ActualPC and et.EMPLOYID are both VARCHAR(15). Executing the EXPLAIN statement again produces this result:

table type   possible_keys   key     key_len ref         rows    Extra
tt    ALL    AssignedPC,ClientID,ActualPC NULL NULL NULL 3872    where used
do    ALL    PRIMARY         NULL    NULL    NULL        2135
      range checked for each record (key map: 1)
et_1  ALL    PRIMARY         NULL    NULL    NULL        74
      range checked for each record (key map: 1)
et    eq_ref PRIMARY         PRIMARY 15      tt.ActualPC 1

This is not perfect, but is much better (the product of the rows values is now less by a factor of 74). This version is executed in a couple of seconds.

A second alteration can be made to eliminate the column length mismatches for the tt.AssignedPC = et_1.EMPLOYID and tt.ClientID = do.CUSTNMBR comparisons:

mysql> ALTER TABLE tt MODIFY AssignedPC VARCHAR(15),
                      MODIFY ClientID   VARCHAR(15);

Now EXPLAIN produces the output shown below:

table type   possible_keys   key     key_len ref            rows     Extra
et    ALL    PRIMARY         NULL    NULL    NULL           74
tt    ref    AssignedPC,ClientID,ActualPC ActualPC 15 et.EMPLOYID 52 where used
et_1  eq_ref PRIMARY         PRIMARY 15      tt.AssignedPC  1
do    eq_ref PRIMARY         PRIMARY 15      tt.ClientID    1

This is ``almost'' as good as it can get.

The remaining problem is that, by default, MySQL assumes that values in the tt.ActualPC column are evenly distributed, and that isn't the case for the tt table. Fortunately, it is easy to tell MySQL about this:

shell> isamchk --analyze PATH_TO_MYSQL_DATABASE/tt
shell> mysqladmin refresh

Now the join is ``perfect'', and EXPLAIN produces this result:

table type   possible_keys   key     key_len ref            rows    Extra
tt    ALL    AssignedPC,ClientID,ActualPC NULL NULL NULL    3872    where used
et    eq_ref PRIMARY         PRIMARY 15      tt.ActualPC    1
et_1  eq_ref PRIMARY         PRIMARY 15      tt.AssignedPC  1
do    eq_ref PRIMARY         PRIMARY 15      tt.ClientID    1

Note that the rows column in the output from EXPLAIN is an ``educated guess'' from the MySQL join optimizer; To optimize a query, you should check if the numbers are even close to the truth. If not, you may get better performance by using STRAIGHT_JOIN in your SELECT statement and trying to list the tables in a different order in the FROM clause.

7.22 DESCRIBE syntax (Get information about columns)

{DESCRIBE | DESC} tbl_name {col_name | wild}

DESCRIBE provides information about a table's columns. col_name may be a column name or a string containing the SQL `%' and `_' wildcard characters.

If the column types are different than you expect them to be based on a CREATE TABLE statement, note that MySQL sometimes changes column types. See section 7.6.1 Silent column specification changes.

This statement is provided for Oracle compatibility.

The SHOW statement provides similar information. See section 7.20 SHOW syntax (Get information about tables, columns,...).

7.23 LOCK TABLES/UNLOCK TABLES syntax

LOCK TABLES tbl_name [AS alias] {READ | [LOW_PRIORITY] WRITE}
            [, tbl_name {READ | [LOW_PRIORITY] WRITE} ...]
...
UNLOCK TABLES

LOCK TABLES locks tables for the current thread. UNLOCK TABLES releases any locks held by the current thread. All tables that are locked by the current thread are automatically unlocked when the thread issues another LOCK TABLES, or when the connection to the server is closed.

If a thread obtains a READ lock on a table, that thread (and all other threads) can only read from the table. If a thread obtains a WRITE lock on a table, then only the thread holding the lock can READ from or WRITE to the table. Other threads are blocked.

Each thread waits (without timing out) until it obtains all the locks it has requested.

WRITE locks normally have higher priority than READ locks, to ensure that updates are processed as soon as possible. This means that if one thread obtains a READ lock and then another thread requests a WRITE lock, subsequent READ lock requests will wait until the WRITE thread has gotten the lock and released it. You can use LOW_PRIORITY WRITE locks to allow other threads to obtain READ locks while the thread is waiting for the WRITE lock. You should only use LOW_PRIORITY WRITE locks if you are sure that there will eventually be a time when no threads will have a READ lock.

When you use LOCK TABLES, you must lock all tables that you are going to use! If you are using a table multiple times in a query (with aliases), you must get a lock for each alias! This policy ensures that table locking is deadlock free.

Note that you should NOT lock any tables that you are using with INSERT DELAYED. This is because that in this case the INSERT is done by a separate thread.

Normally, you don't have to lock tables, as all single UPDATE statements are atomic; no other thread can interfere with any other currently executing SQL statement. There are a few cases when you would like to lock tables anyway:

By using incremental updates (UPDATE customer SET value=value+new_value) or the LAST_INSERT_ID() function, you can avoid using LOCK TABLES in many cases.

You can also solve some cases by using the user-level lock functions GET_LOCK() and RELEASE_LOCK(). These locks are saved in a hash table in the server and implemented with pthread_mutex_lock() and pthread_mutex_unlock() for high speed. See section 7.3.12 Miscellaneous functions.

See section 10.11 How MySQL locks tables, for more information on locking policy.

7.24 SET OPTION syntax

SET [OPTION] SQL_VALUE_OPTION= value, ...

SET OPTION sets various options that affect the operation of the server or your client. Any option you set remains in effect until the current session ends, or until you set the option to a different value.

CHARACTER SET character_set_name | DEFAULT
This maps all strings from and to the client with the given mapping. Currently the only option for character_set_name is cp1251_koi8, but you can easily add new mappings by editing the `sql/convert.cc' file in the MySQL source distribution. The default mapping can be restored by using a character_set_name value of DEFAULT. Note that the syntax for setting the CHARACTER SET option differs from the syntax for setting the other options.
PASSWORD = PASSWORD('some password')
Set the password for the current user. Any non-anonymous user can change his own password!
PASSWORD FOR user = PASSWORD('some password')
Set the password for a specific user on the current server host. Only a user with access to the mysql database can do this. The user should be given in user@hostname format, where user and hostname are exactly as they are listed in the User and Host columns of the mysql.user table entry. For example, if you had an entry with User and Host fields of 'bob' and '%.loc.gov', you would write:
mysql> SET PASSWORD FOR bob@"%.loc.gov" = PASSWORD("newpass");

or

mysql> UPDATE mysql.user SET password=PASSWORD("newpass") where user="bob' and host="%.loc.gov";
SQL_AUTO_IS_NULL = 0 | 1
If set to 1 (default) then one can find the last inserted row for a table with an auto_increment row with the following construct: WHERE auto_increment_column IS NULL. This is used by some ODBC programs like Access.
SQL_BIG_TABLES = 0 | 1
If set to 1, all temporary tables are stored on disk rather than in memory. This will be a little slower, but you will not get the error The table tbl_name is full for big SELECT operations that require a large temporary table. The default value for a new connection is 0 (i.e., use in-memory temporary tables).
SQL_BIG_SELECTS = 0 | 1
If set to 0, MySQL will abort if a SELECT is attempted that probably will take a very long time. This is useful when an inadvisable WHERE statement has been issued. A big query is defined as a SELECT that probably will have to examine more than max_join_size rows. The default value for a new connection is 1 (which will allow all SELECT statements).
SQL_LOW_PRIORITY_UPDATES = 0 | 1
If set to 1, all INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE and and LOCK TABLE WRITE statements wait until there is no pending SELECT or LOCK TABLE READ on the affected table.
SQL_SELECT_LIMIT = value | DEFAULT
The maximum number of records to return from SELECT statements. If a SELECT has a LIMIT clause, the LIMIT takes precedence over the value of SQL_SELECT_LIMIT. The default value for a new connection is ``unlimited''. If you have changed the limit, the default value can be restored by using a SQL_SELECT_LIMIT value of DEFAULT.
SQL_LOG_OFF = 0 | 1
If set to 1, no logging will be done to the standard log for this client, if the client has the process privilege. This does not affect the update log!
SQL_LOG_UPDATE = 0 | 1
If set to 0, no logging will be done to the update log for the client, if the client has the process privilege. This does not affect the standard log!
TIMESTAMP = timestamp_value | DEFAULT
Set the time for this client. This is used to get the original timestamp if you use the update log to restore rows.
LAST_INSERT_ID = #
Set the value to be returned from LAST_INSERT_ID(). This is stored in the update log when you use LAST_INSERT_ID() in a command that updates a table.
INSERT_ID = #
Set the value to be used by the following INSERT command when inserting an AUTO_INCREMENT value. This is mainly used with the update log.

7.25 GRANT and REVOKE syntax

GRANT priv_type [(column_list)] [, priv_type [(column_list)] ...]
    ON {tbl_name | * | *.* | db_name.*}
    TO user_name [IDENTIFIED BY 'password']
        [, user_name [IDENTIFIED BY 'password'] ...]
    [WITH GRANT OPTION]

REVOKE priv_type [(column_list)] [, priv_type [(column_list)] ...]
    ON {tbl_name | * | *.* | db_name.*}
    FROM user_name [, user_name ...]

GRANT is implemented in MySQL 3.22.11 or later. For earlier MySQL versions, the GRANT statement does nothing.

The GRANT and REVOKE commands allow system administrators to grant and revoke rights to MySQL users at four privilege levels:

Global level
Global privileges apply to all databases on a given server. These privileges are stored in the mysql.user table.
Database level
Database privileges apply to all tables in a given database. These privileges are stored in the mysql.db and mysql.host tables.
Table level
Table privileges apply to all columns in a given table. These privileges are stored in the mysql.tables_priv table.
Column level
Column privileges apply to single columns in a given table. These privileges are stored in the mysql.columns_priv table.

For examples of how GRANT works, see section 6.11 Adding new user privileges to MySQL.

For the GRANT and REVOKE statements, priv_type may be specified as any of the following:

ALL PRIVILEGES      FILE                RELOAD
ALTER               INDEX               SELECT
CREATE              INSERT              SHUTDOWN
DELETE              PROCESS             UPDATE
DROP                REFERENCES          USAGE

ALL is a synonym for ALL PRIVILEGES. REFERENCES is not yet implemented. USAGE is currently a synonym for ``no privileges''. It can be used when you want to create a user that has no privileges.

To revoke the grant privilege from a user, use a priv_type value of GRANT OPTION:

REVOKE GRANT OPTION ON ... FROM ...;

The only priv_type values you can specify for a table are SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP, GRANT, INDEX and ALTER.

The only priv_type values you can specify for a column (that is, when you use a column_list clause) are SELECT, INSERT and UPDATE.

You can set global privileges by using ON *.* syntax. You can set database privileges by using ON db_name.* syntax. If you specify ON * and you have a current database, you will set the privileges for that database. (Warning: If you specify ON * and you don't have a current database, you will affect the global privileges!)

In order to accommodate granting rights to users from arbitrary hosts, MySQL supports specifying the user_name value in the form user@host. If you want to specify a user string containing special characters (such as `-'), or a host string containing special characters or wildcard characters (such as `%'), you can quote the user or host name (e.g., 'test-user'@'test-hostname').

You can specify wildcards in the hostname. For example, user@"%.loc.gov" applies to user for any host in the loc.gov domain, and user@"144.155.166.%" applies to user for any host in the 144.155.166 class C subnet.

The simple form user is a synonym for user@"%". Note: If you allow anonymous users to connect to the MySQL server (which is the default), you should also add all local users as user@localhost because otherwise the anonymous user entry for the local host in the mysql.user table will be used when the user tries to log into the MySQL server from the local machine! Anonymous users are defined by inserting entries with User='' into the mysql.user table. You can verify if this applies to you by executing this query:

mysql> SELECT Host,User FROM mysql.user WHERE User='';

For the moment, GRANT only supports host, table, database and column names up to 60 characters long. A user name can be up to 16 characters.

The privileges for a table or column are formed from the logical OR of the privileges at each of the four privilege levels. For example, if the mysql.user table specifies that a user has a global select privilege, this can't be denied by an entry at the database, table or column level.

The privileges for a column can be calculated as follows:

global privileges
OR (database privileges AND host privileges)
OR table privileges
OR column privileges

In most cases, you grant rights to a user at only one of the privilege levels, so life isn't normally as complicated as above. :) The details of the privilege-checking procedure are presented in section 6 The MySQL access privilege system.

If you grant privileges for a user/hostname combination that does not exist in the mysql.user table, an entry is added and remains there until deleted with a DELETE command. In other words, GRANT may create user table entries, but REVOKE will not remove them; you must do that explicitly using DELETE.

In MySQL 3.22.12 or later, if a new user is created or if you have global grant privileges, the user's password will be set to the password specified by the IDENTIFIED BY clause, if one is given. If the user already had a password, it is replaced by the new one.

Warning: If you create a new user but do not specify an IDENTIFIED BY clause, the user has no password. This is insecure.

Passwords can also be set with the SET PASSWORD command. See section 7.24 SET OPTION syntax.

If you grant privileges for a database, an entry in the mysql.db table is created if needed. When all privileges for the database have been removed with REVOKE, this entry is deleted.

If a user doesn't have any privileges on a table, the table is not displayed when the user requests a list of tables (e.g., with a SHOW TABLES statement).

The WITH GRANT OPTION clause gives the user the ability to give to other users any privileges the user has at the specified privilege level. You should be careful to whom you give the grant privilege, as two users with different privileges may be able to join privileges!

You cannot grant another user a privilege you don't have yourself; the grant privilege allows you to give away only those privileges you possess.

Be aware that when you grant a user the grant privilege at a particular privilege level, any privileges the user already possesses (or is given in the future!) at that level are also grantable by that user. Suppose you grant a user the insert privilege on a database. If you then grant the select privilege on the database and specify WITH GRANT OPTION, the user can give away not only the select privilege, but also insert. If you then grant the update privilege to the user on the database, the user can give away the insert, select and update.

You should not grant alter privileges to a normal user. If you do that, the user can try to subvert the privilege system by renaming tables!

Note that if you are using table or column privileges for even one user, the server examines table and column privileges for all users and this will slow down MySQL a bit.

When mysqld starts, all privileges are read into memory. Database, table and column privileges take effect at once and user-level privileges take effect the next time the user connects. Modifications to the grant tables that you perform using GRANT or REVOKE are noticed by the server immediately. If you modify the grant tables manually (using INSERT, UPDATE, etc.), you should execute a FLUSH PRIVILEGES statement or run mysqladmin flush-privileges to tell the server to reload the grant tables. See section 6.9 When privilege changes take effect.

The biggest differences between the ANSI SQL and MySQL versions of GRANT are:

7.26 CREATE INDEX syntax

CREATE [UNIQUE] INDEX index_name ON tbl_name (col_name[(length)],... )

The CREATE INDEX statement doesn't do anything in MySQL prior to version 3.22. In 3.22 or later, CREATE INDEX is mapped to an ALTER TABLE statement to create indexes. See section 7.7 ALTER TABLE syntax.

Normally, you create all indexes on a table at the time the table itself is created with CREATE TABLE. See section 7.6 CREATE TABLE syntax. CREATE INDEX allows you to add indexes to existing tables.

A column list of the form (col1,col2,...) creates a multiple-column index. Index values are formed by concatenating the values of the given columns.

For CHAR and VARCHAR columns, indexes can be created that use only part of a column, using col_name(length) syntax. (On BLOB and TEXT columns the length is required). The statement shown below creates an index using the first 10 characters of the name column:

mysql> CREATE INDEX part_of_name ON customer (name(10));

Since most names usually differ in the first 10 characters, this index should not be much slower than an index created from the entire name column. Also, using partial columns for indexes can make the index file much smaller, which could save a lot of disk space and might also speed up INSERT operations!

Note that you can only add a index on a column that can have NULL values or on a BLOB/TEXT column if you are useing MySQL version 3.23.2 or newer and are using the MyISAM table type.

For more information about how MySQL uses indexes, see section 10.4 How MySQL uses indexes.

7.27 DROP INDEX syntax

DROP INDEX index_name ON tbl_name

DROP INDEX drops the index named index_name from the table tbl_name. DROP INDEX doesn't do anything in MySQL prior to version 3.22. In 3.22 or later, DROP INDEX is mapped to an ALTER TABLE statement to drop the index. See section 7.7 ALTER TABLE syntax.

7.28 Comment syntax

The MySQL server supports the # to end of line, -- to end of line and /* in-line or multiple-line */ comment styles:

mysql> select 1+1;     # This comment continues to the end of line
mysql> select 1+1;     -- This comment continues to the end of line 
mysql> select 1 /* this is an in-line comment */ + 1;
mysql> select 1+
/*
this is a
multiple-line comment
*/
1;

Note that the -- comment style requires you to have at least one space after the --!

Although the server understands the comment syntax just described, there are some limitations on the way that the mysql client parses /* ... */ comments:

These limitations apply both when you run mysql interactively and when you put commands in a file and tell mysql to read its input from that file with mysql < some-file.

MySQL doesn't support the `--' ANSI SQL comment style. See section 5.3.7 `--' as the start of a comment.

7.29 CREATE FUNCTION/DROP FUNCTION syntax

CREATE [AGGREGATE] FUNCTION function_name RETURNS {STRING|REAL|INTEGER}
       SONAME shared_library_name

DROP FUNCTION function_name

A user-definable function (UDF) is a way to extend MySQL with a new function that works like native (built in) MySQL functions such as ABS() and CONCAT().

AGGREGATE is a new option for MySQL 3.23. An AGGREGATE function works exactly like a native MySQL GROUP function like SUM or COUNT().

CREATE FUNCTION saves the function's name, type and shared library name in the mysql.func system table. You must have the insert and delete privileges for the mysql database to create and drop functions.

All active functions are reloaded each time the server starts, unless you start mysqld with the --skip-grant-tables option. In this case, UDF initialization is skipped and UDFs are unavailable. (An active function is one that has been loaded with CREATE FUNCTION and not removed with DROP FUNCTION.)

For instructions on writing user-definable functions, see section 14 Adding new functions to MySQL. For the UDF mechanism to work, functions must be written in C or C++, your operating system must support dynamic loading and you must have compiled mysqld dynamically (not static).

7.30 Is MySQL picky about reserved words?

A common problem stems from trying to create a table with column names that use the names of datatypes or functions built into MySQL, such as TIMESTAMP or GROUP. You're allowed to do it (for example, ABS is an allowed column name), but whitespace is not allowed between a function name and the `(' when using functions whose names are also column names.

The following words are explicitly reserved in MySQL. Most of them are forbidden by ANSI SQL92 as column and/or table names (for example, group). A few are reserved because MySQL needs them and is (currently) using a yacc parser:

action add aggregate all
alter after and as
asc avg avg_row_length auto_increment
between bigint bit binary
blob bool both by
cascade case char character
change check checksum column
columns comment constraint create
cross current_date current_time current_timestamp
data database databases date
datetime day day_hour day_minute
day_second dayofmonth dayofweek dayofyear
dec decimal default delayed
delay_key_write delete desc describe
distinct distinctrow double drop
end else escape escaped
enclosed enum explain exists
fields file first float
float4 float8 flush foreign
from for full function
global grant grants group
having heap high_priority hour
hour_minute hour_second hosts identified
ignore in index infile
inner insert insert_id int
integer interval int1 int2
int3 int4 int8 into
if is isam join
key keys kill last_insert_id
leading left length like
lines limit load local
lock logs long longblob
longtext low_priority max max_rows
match mediumblob mediumtext mediumint
middleint min_rows minute minute_second
modify month monthname myisam
natural numeric no not
null on optimize option
optionally or order outer
outfile pack_keys partial password
precision primary procedure process
processlist privileges read real
references reload regexp rename
replace restrict returns revoke
rlike row rows second
select set show shutdown
smallint soname sql_big_tables sql_big_selects
sql_low_priority_updates sql_log_off sql_log_update sql_select_limit
sql_small_result sql_big_result sql_warnings straight_join
starting status string table
tables temporary terminated text
then time timestamp tinyblob
tinytext tinyint trailing to
type use using unique
unlock unsigned update usage
values varchar variables varying
varbinary with write when
where year year_month zerofill

The following symbols (from the table above) are disallowed by ANSI SQL but allowed by MySQL as column/table names. This is because some of these names are very natural names and a lot of people have already used them.


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