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SQL - Data Types
SQL recognizes 4 general types of data. As the database designer you will be selecting which type of data that can be placed in each table column. Before we look at each type of table column we will elaborate on specific data types and how they are handled in SQL.
• • • •
Character Strings - ('Words or numbers') Numbers - (3, 3.423, -17) Booleans - (True / False) Nulls - (empty fields)
SQL - NULL Values
A null value may be the most foreign to new programmers. Stating that a value has a null value indicates that nothing exists in that table field. When the table is created you may either allow a table to have a null value or may disallow null values for each table column.
CREATE TABLE weekly_payroll (employee_id VARCHAR(10) PRIMARY KEY, total_hours INT NULL, hourly_rate MONEY NOT NULL,);
SQL - Numeric Data
Dates, time stamps, integers, and money are all numeric data types. The advantage of working with numbers is that SQL has built in functions such as the AVG() or SUM() functions that will return the average or the sum of a numeric column.
rate_of_pay 27 26.66 28.40
SQL - Boolean Data
Boolean values are either yes/no (true/false) types of data. Others use a 1/0 (1 for yes 0 for no) approach. Either something is or something is not.
admin 1 1
SQL - Character Strings
Character strings are sentences, symbols, or a combination of both. Math functions can not be performed with character strings.
employee_id TS_0036 TS_0078 CL_1099
Dates and times should always be set to "NOT NULL" since time always exists. Character Strings are sometimes referred to as varchar(s).
SQL - Commands
SQL commands can be categorized into three distinct groups. Each type of command plays an essential role while working with your database. One analogy might be to think of each SQL Command as a possible tool in your tool shed. Certain duties require specific tools and the more tools you have in your shed, the greater the chances that you will have the exact tool you need for the appropriate job.
SQL - What is a Clause
Clauses were mentioned briefly in the SQL Queries lesson. To briefly recap, they are the commands issued during a query. SELECT, INSERT, ADD, DROP, CREATE, etc are all clauses that begin each SQL Query and execute some sort of action upon your database.
SQL - What is a Function
There are a number of functions built into SQL that can add column values for you, average column values, or even change lowercase to uppercase strings. These functions are used directly inside of your queries and are excellent tools for you to use.
Count() function SELECT COUNT(*) FROM table_one;
The query above will return a numeric value representing the number of rows that have been inserted into your database. We will be covering this function as well as many others as this tutorial continues.
SQL - What is an Operator
Operators are a means by which SQL can manipulate numbers and strings or test for equality. They come in four flavors including: Arithmatic, Range, Equality, and Logical. As your skills with SQL grow, you may want the language to start performing some basic arithmatic for you or perhaps you wish to select a range of rows with a numeric column value larger than 5. This becomes possible with operators.
SELECT * FROM table_one WHERE column_one > 5;
Operators are used in expressions or conditional statements. they show equality, inequality, or a combination of both. Mathematical operators are found in every computer language and may be familiar to you. SQL operators follow the same rules you may have learned in a math class or know from previous programming experience. Operators come in three flavors, mathematical, logical, or range operations. Mathematical operators add, subtract, multiply, divide, and compare equality of numbers and strings. There are two logical operators, AND / OR. Range operators include the infamous < and > symbols used to compare equality. Take note of the following tables for future reference.
SQL Arithmetic Operators:
Operator Example Result Definition + 7+7 = 14 Addition 7-7 =0 Subtraction * 7*7 = 49 Multiplication / 7/7 =1 Division % 7%7 =0 Modulus Modulus may be the only unfamiliar term on the chart. this term describes the result when one number is divided by another number resulting in a remainder. For example 4 % 3 would result with a value of 1 since 1 is left over after 4 is divided by 3.
SQL Range Operators:
Operator Example Defined Result < 7<4 7 less than 4? False > 7>4 greater than 4? True <= 7 <= 11 Is 7 less than or equal to 11? True >= 7 >= 11 Is 7 greater than or equal to 11? False
SQL Equality Operators:
Operator Example Defined Result = 5=5 Is 5 equal to 5? True <> 7 <> 2 Is 7 not equal to 2? True
SQL Logical Operators:
Operator Defined Example AND Associates two values using AND if (($x AND $y) == 5)... OR Associates two values using OR if (($x OR $y) == 5)...
SQL - Expressions
In the programming world an expression is a special statement that returns a value. SQL is no exception to this standard rule.
SQL - Expression Types
Expressions in SQL generally fall into one of four categories including: Boolean, Numeric, Character, and/or Date Expressions.
SELECT column_one FROM table_name;
The simplest form of an expression appears as column_one of our table. Select is our clause telling our database what we want to do, and column_one acts as the defined expression returning each row of that particular column. Expressions after the where clause might appear more familiar to programmers.
SELECT * FROM table_name WHERE column_one = 'some value';
The latter example returns rows of the specified column containing 'some value'. Using expressions like the one above gives you precise control over what results will be returned. More information on the where clause is available at SQL Where.
SQL - Boolean Expressions
A boolean expression in any programming language returns a true/false result. Returning to the previous example containing the where clause.
SELECT * FROM table_name WHERE column_one = 'some value';
The logic behind this query is that each row is being tested for 'some value' to appear in our column_one. Each time a match is found (testing true), that row is selected and returned for our viewing pleasure.
SQL - Numeric Expression
A numeric expression simply returns a numeric value. There are some built in functions that we will be examining in greater detail later on. Using one of the following functions is perhaps the easiest way to demonstrate the return of a number:
• • •
AVG() -- Returns the average of a stated column. COUNT() -- Returns a count of the number of rows of a given column. SUM() -- Returns the sum of a given column.
SELECT COUNT(*) FROM table_name;
Our expression above returns a numeric value representing the number of rows that have been inserted into your table thus far. Please be aware that the AVG(), COUNT(), and SUM() only return results for integer table columns. Using one of these functions with a varchar column will result in an error message.
SQL - Character Expressions
Character expressions are used to test for values of a string. Often these expressions will appear in a where clause as follows.
SELECT * FROM table_name WHERE column_one LIKE '%string';
Here we have used the percent(%) symbol to signify the start of our string. SQL tests our expression against column_one and returns all the rows and columns where column_one contains our string. This might come across easier if we use a live example. Say we have created a table with employee information. In this table we have set up a column a last_name column. The query above will come in handy if we were wanting to pull all the employees with a last_name that begins with a "T". Now if we plug in our hypothetical situation into our code, we should have something like the following.
SELECT * FROM employees WHERE last_name LIKE '%T';
Keep in mind that SQL is case sensitive, using a lowercase t would not yield results for a last_name that has been capitalized.
SQL - Date Expressions
Date expressions come in three flavors. These expressions are very straight forward, simply type in any of those listed below and SQL will return exactly what you have requested.
• • •
Current_Date -- Returns the current date. Current_Time -- Returns the current time. Current_Timestamp -- Returns the current timestamp.
These expressions can also be placed into your tables as column values for any given row with an insert statement. We will be looking more indepth at the insert clause, however here is a glimpse of what is to come.
INSERT INTO table_name(column_one,column_two,)
This statement inserts a new row into our imaginary table with the current date value for column one and the current timestamp value for columne_two.
SQL - Create
A database is nothing more than an empty shell, like a vacant warehouse. It offers no real functionality what so ever, other than holding a name. Tables are the next tier of our tree offering a wide scope of functionality. If you follow our warehouse example, a SQL table would be the physical shelving inside our vacant warehouse. Depending on the situation, your goods may require reorganization, reshelving, or removal. SQL tables can be manipulated in this same way or in any fashion the situation calls for.
SQL - Create Database
We first need to build our warehouse, or create our database. The create clause is straight forward. Here we have a one line script using the create clause to create a database we named business. The exact number of databases a SQL program can handles is entirely up to the manufacturer, visit your sites manufacturer if you would like to have specifics.
CREATE DATABASE business;
We will be using this database for the remainder of the tutorial.
SQL - Create Table
Our emtpy shell of a database will do nothing standing alone, next we create our tables to store and organize our data. We use the same create clause and follow the same syntax above. Tables, however, are fairly complex. In our script we must also include parameters for each table column as well as name each one. Naming your table columns can be as simple or complicated as desired. SQL programs are case sensitive, keep this in mind as you will be calling on our table columns by name a great deal as you enhance your SQL knowledge. Also, most programs do not support spaces in column names, you must use the underscore (_). Column types specify what type of data can be placed inside a table column ranging from numbers, paragraphs, or brief strings. For example, setting a column type to an int value means your database will ONLY accept an interger value for this column type.
Column Type int varchar text/blob Description Accepts integer values only Accepts any symbol, character, or number Accepts paragraph style data including line returns and page breaks Syntax tinyint, int varchar(char limit value) text, blob
Int, varchar, and text are the 3 most common types of columns. Text and int columns have 3 flavors tiny, medium, and large. Every SQL program has its unique sizes, but for this tutorial we will be using medium sized column fields for each exercise. Later on as your database exapands it becomes extremely important to not
overdue the size of your column fields. Using the correct size field will dramatically increase performance including query speeds. Now create the table.
CREATE TABLE employees ( id INT(3) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT, Lastname VARCHAR(50), Firstname VARCHAR(25), Title VARCHAR(10) DEFAULT 'crew' NULL );
Above is our table, the first column simply numbers each row that will be added to the table up to a maximum of 3 digits wide (999) automatically(auto_increment). Our second line is a varchar meaning it will hold numbers, digits, or symbols, which is perfect for short names of people. The last column has a specified default value of "crew" so that if we add a new crew member we can simply place a default value. We do not always have to specify a default value or state weather each column may have a NULL value, By default, most table columns will allow null values to be recorded but certain table columns will not allow a null value to be inserted. We recommend reading up on each column type available to you from your database manufacturer.
SQL - Primary Key
A primary key is a property given to a table column that distinguishes that record apart from each. For each record in the table the primary key acts like a driver's license number, only one number exists for each person. The same principle applys here. Any table can only be given one auto increment field and as such it is forced to be the primary key of the table. Therefore in our following examples we use the 'id' field as our primary key. The alter clause is used to add or drop primary keys and indexes. To change a primary key you must drop the first one, then add your desired primary as shown below. More about the alter clause later.
ALTER TABLE 'employees' DROP PRIMARY KEY, ADD PRIMARY KEY ('id');
SQL - Indexes
SQL automatically creates some indexes based on column types and attributes. An index can also be given to a table column to optimize speeds. When a query is executed searching for a specific column value, SQL will start at the top of the table and search each and every record until it finds matches. This becomes a performance issue when a table holds a vast amount of records. By adding an index to columns, SQL will no longer search the entire table, it will pinpoint your index columns and search those first. The downside to indexing is that it enlarges the disk space consumed by a table on your webserver. Use indexes when you notice a drop in your query speeds.
ALTER TABLE 'employees' ADD INDEX ('id'); or ALTER TABLE `employees` DROP INDEX `Lastname`;
The insert clause has one function; to insert data into a table. Insert populates each table column with a value. Rows are inserted one right after another into the coresponding column.
INSERT INTO employees (Lastname,Firstname,Title) VALUES(Johnson,David,crew);
Above we have a single line example of the insert syntax. Since our 'id' column is set up to auto increment, we can omit this field from our script. Our SQL program automatically begins counting starting with one, when the auto increment attribute is added to an interger field.
id Lastname Firstname Title 1 Johnson David crew
SQL - Insert defaults and nulls
We mentioned setting up default or null values for table columns. Simply placing the word default or null, in place of a value is the solution.
INSERT INTO employees (Lastname,Firstname,Title) VALUES('Hively','Jessica',DEFAULT); or INSERT INTO employees (Lastname,Firstname,Title) VALUES('Hively','Jessica',NULL);
SQL - Inserting multilpe values
Here's an example of how to insert more than one record at a time. Many web developers will use the single example above along with HTML forms to continually insert and update their SQL tables.
INSERT INTO employees VALUES (DEFAULT,'Hicks','Freddy','crew'), (DEFAULT,'Harris','Joel','crew'), (DEFAULT,'Davis','Julie','manager');
We use a default value for the id field so that it will continue to auto increment for each new record. Using this method you must have some value for each table column.
SQL - Insert into multiple tables
This concept isn't widely supported by open source database programs, however they do offer alternative methods to achieve the same goal. The idea is to insert similar record values into 2 or more tables with one statement. Using the example from above, we want to place Julie's information into our manager table as well as the general employee table.
INSERT ALL INTO employees (Lastname,Firstname,Title) VALUES('Davis','Julie','manager') INTO manager (training,salary) VALUES ('yadayada','22500');
SQL - Select
In SQL, queries begin with the select clause. A typical query statement needs only two parts, we select what from where. The what will represent columns of your table you wish to select and the where represents the table name of your data table. To avoid typing a list of every single column in your table, you can use the astric (*) to select all table columns from a table. However, query speeds are very important and always selecting every table column can dramatically decrease your SQL performance. As good practice, it is best to only select the table columns that you wish to use or display.
SELECT * FROM employees;
ID 1 2 9 10 11 Lastname Johnson Hively Hicks Harris Davis Firstname David Jessica Freddy Joel Julie Title crew crew crew crew manager
Our result should print every table column and every bit of data stored in each row thus far.
SELECT Lastname,Firstname FROM employees;
Johnson Hively Hicks Harris Davis
David Jessica Freddy Joel Julie
SQL - Select Multiple Tables
Multiple columns from different tables can also be selected. The syntax is relatively the same, the difference being when you choose that table column you wish to select, you must now name the table of the desired table column. The period is necessary to differentiate between the table name and the column name, other than that all the same query rules apply.
SELECT employees.Fisrtname, employees.Lastname, crew.experience FROM employees, crew;
SQL - Select Functions
We havn't mentioned anything about SQL Functions yet and we will eventually cover them in greater detail, for the moment we would like to introduce this concept of using a selection query with a function. For instance we can query our database program for the current_timestamp or retrieve the number of rows in our table using the COUNT() function.
This will return a server timestamp representing the date and time of when the query was executed, more on this toward the end of the tutorial.
SELECT COUNT(Lastname) FROM employees;
We will dive deeper into detail as the tutorial progresses, but be aware of this concept of selecting date by means of calling a function as it will prove more useful later on.
SQL - Order By
The order by statement allows for table column assortment. It allows for ascending or descending lists of your table column values permitting SQL to reorder your table rows for the purpose of viewing.
SELECT * FROM employees ORDER BY Lastname;
ID 11 10 9 2 1 Lastname Davis Harris Hicks Hively Johnson Firstname Julie Joel Freddy Jessica David Title manager crew crew crew crew
The above example resorts our rows of data alphabetically by lastname. Here is another example ordering by two different columns First we alphabatize our job titles and again we order by lastname.
SELECT * FROM employees ORDER BY Title,Lastname;
ID 10 9 2 1 11 Lastname Harris Hicks Hively Johnson Davis Firstname Joel Freddy Jessica David Julie Title crew crew crew crew manager
Hint: It is possible to order by a column you do not wish to display such as an ID field. Also notice at the bottom of each query display will be the number of rows affected by your query. This number will also be displayed anytime an insert, select, update, or delete statement is properly executed by your SQL program. Distinct is used to retrieve rows of your database that have unique values for a given column. For example say we have a table of employees and in this table of employees we have several job titles from janitors to CEOs. We would like to know just how many distinct job titles we have.
SELECT DISTINCT job_titles FROM employees;
Our statement will return the number of rows with a distinct value for our column (job_titles).
SQL - Distinct Multiple Columns
Using the distinct function with more than one column yields some substantial results. SQL will return the rows with distinct or unique combinations of those columns. Assume this same employee table has another column including the salary of each employee. With the use of the distinct function we can pull a list of unique job titles salaries.
SELECT DISTINCT job_titles, salary FROM employees;
SQL has returned all the rows with unique combinations of job titles and salaries. Any duplicate combinations of job titles and salaries will be ignored. For example if we had two CEOs in the table making the same salary each year, only one row would be returned but if we had two CEOs with different salaries, both rows would be returned.
SQL - Where
The where clause sets a conditional statement for your queries. Your server will query the database searching for rows that meet your specific where condition. A typical query will have the following syntax. A conditional statement has 2 parts, the left side is your table column and the right side is the condition to be met. Example:WHERE table_column(s) = condition.
SELECT * FROM employees WHERE Title = 'crew' ORDER BY Lastname;
ID 10 9 2 1 Lastname Harris Hicks Hively Johnson Firstname Joel Freddy Jessica David Title crew crew crew crew
All the known typical operators can be used in the conditional statements, for a complete list backtrack to SQL
SQL - Where multiple conditionals
SQL also supports multiple conditional statements within one script by using the AND or OR operators. Continuing the example from above we can select only those employees that worked 36 or more hours for the week, perhaps meaning they are full time employees.
SELECT employees.Lastname, employees.Firstname, employees.Title, payroll.Hours FROM employees,payroll WHERE employees.Lastname = payroll.Lastname AND payroll.Hours => '36' ORDER BY employees.Lastname;
As you can see, the where clause is a very powerful tool used to quickly pull rows from one table or many.
SQL - In
In is a special kind of operator for use in your where clauses. Recall that in a where expression only one value is allowed to be sent through the query. With the in operator one can send multiple values in the where clause.
SELECT * FROM table_name WHERE some_column IN('value1','value2','value3');
The rows returned will have one of the values listed (value1, value2, or value3) in brackets as the value for the specified column (column_one).
SQL - In Subqueries
To better understand the power of this function, let's use an example involving a subquery. Say we have a database with the following tables. employees logbook user_id last first user_id timestamp 0045 Davis Julie 0045 000000002345 0067 Smith John 0045 000000045666 0098 Hodgensen Bruce 0098 000000076444 Now above we have an employees table giving us a user_id along with a first and last name of employees we have working in the office. The second table might be a log type table that keeps track of who accessed the database and at what time. This a security check. A standard operating procedure if many people will be accessing the database. What we want to know is the last name and first name of those that accessed the database. To do this we may use a subquery like in the example below.
SELECT first,last FROM employees WHERE user_id IN (Select user_id FROM logbook);
The subquery highlighted in red selects all the values of user_id in the logbook and returns those to the previous in statement. The result is a complete listing of the names of the employees that have accessed the database and have been recorded inside the logbook table. The good news is that this feat was accomplished without having to know the user_ids of every employee in the office. This definatly adds some depth to your SQL knowledge thus far.
SQL - Between
Between is a special operator appearing in a where statement. It allows for the selection of a range of values between one value and another.
SELECT * FROM table_name WHERE column_one BETWEEN value1 AND value2;
Be aware that the values you specify will also return results. For example if we were looking for values between 5 and 10, all rows would be retrieved where our column value is 5,6,7,8,9, or 10.
SQL - In Between (Subqueries)
This next example requires that you are familiar with the previous lesson, SQL In. You may recall that the In operator allows the where clause to return more than one single value for a column. Below are two tables. The employee table only stores personal information about employees while the logbook records when and who accessed our database. employees logbook user_id last first user_id timestamp 0045 Davis Julie 0045 000000002345 0048 Thomas David 0045 000000045666 0067 Smith John 0048 000000055767 0098 Hodgensen Bruce 0098 000000076444 Say we were thinking ahead when issuing user_ids and coordinated each user_id number with a department. For example our data security department employees will be numbered 004X, where X represents any number 0-9 (So data security employees are numbered 0040-0049). Since we konw this information it will prove useful if we want to track down database users by department.
SELECT * FROM employees WHERE user_id IN (SELECT user_id FROM logbook WHERE user_id BETWEEN 0040 AND 0049);
SQL will now retrieve exactly what we need. A listing of all the data security employees (user_id 004X) that have accessed the database thus far. The alter clause changes a table by adding, removing, or modifying an existing table column. The following example adds a new column to our table.
ALTER TABLE employees ADD dob varchar(10);
id Lastname Firstname Title dob 1 Johnson David crew Now we will remove the same column from the table.
ALTER TABLE employees DROP dob;
id Lastname Firstname Title 1 Johnson David crew
SQL - Alter Columns
Alter is used again when changing attributes of the table cloumns. For instance if we wanted to change a table column name or change a column from a varchar to an interger type.
ALTER TABLE 'employees' CHANGE 'ID' 'id' TINYINT ( 3 ) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT;
Above we changed 'ID' to 'id' because SQL is case sensative and this will remove a potential bug issue. After we have selected a new name, we list the new attributes to be given to the altered column. The update clause updates column values of a table. Update requires a conditional statement to select the row to be updated.
UPDATE employees SET Lastname = 'Fletcher', Firstname = 'Ron' WHERE id = '11';
ID Lastname Firstname Title 11 Fletcher Ron manager Here we changed record 11, our manager, to a new manager.
SQL - Updating Multiple Rows
With the use of expressions and operators, update allows for the manipulation of several rows at once.
UPDATE employees SET Title = UPPER(Title);
ID 1 2 9 10 11 Lastname Johnson Hively Hicks Harris Davis Firstname David Jessica Freddy Joel Julie Title CREW CREW CREW CREW MANAGER
Using the UPPER expression we changed our Title field to all capital letters. Update also supports the use of subqueries.
SQL - Delete
Entire rows can be deleted from a table using the delte clause.
DELETE FROM employees WHERE id='4';
We could use the above code to delete an employee using their unique employee number that has been assigned by the auto_increment field.
SQL - Deleting Multiple Rows
Delete is not limited to one row at a time. We may use all of our known SQL operators as well as subqueries to delete any or all rows that apply to our conditional.
DELETE FROM employees WHERE id <= '999';
The above example would delete every row from our table since we had previously limited our "id" field when we set up the table. Predicates, expressions, subqueries, and operators can be used to delete any rows you would like to remove from your table.
SQL - Truncate
We can clear an entire table using a truncate statement. Truncate quickly clears all rows of a table without deleting the table itself. If you are following along, we don't recommend that you run this script because you will essentially undo all of your inserts and have only empty table field to show for it, but it is a handy statement to know and use when the time is right.
TRUNCATE TABLE employees;
SQL - Predicates
Predicates follow the where clause. Predicates allow the searching through database records to recover specific strings and ranges or characters. Rows will be returned if they match the predicate condition.
SQL - Like; Not Like
Like is a means of quering data in your database by keyword or keyletter means. After a where clause, use LIKE to match a character or a string. SQL retrieves all rows containing all or part of the string placed within the parameters. Generally, a percent sign (%) is used to define the start and ending or your string. Escape characters can be used for special situations.
SELECT * FROM employees WHERE Lastname LIKE '%H%';
ID 10 9 2 Lastname Harris Hicks Hively Firstname Joel Freddy Jessica Title crew crew crew
Our example will retrieve any and all rows with a capital letter H in the lastname field. Case sensitivity is important in this situation. On a contrary note, use the Not Like predicate to find all rows that do not match the string.
SELECT * FROM employees WHERE Lastname NOT LIKE '%H%';
ID Lastname Firstname Title 1 Johnson David crew 11 Davis Julie manager
SQL - Predicates Escaping Characters
Say you want to find a percent character(%) in your database, or all rows associated with one. SQL Server and Oracle, require an additional statement over MySQL. With Oracle and SQL Server, you must specify the character used to escape. Here's code example.
SELECT * FROM employees WHERE Lastname LIKE '%\%%' ESCAPE '\';
SELECT * FROM employees WHERE Lastname LIKE '%\%%'
MySQL has a built in default escape character the backslash (\). MySQL also supports the escape predicate allowing you to change your escape character exactly as it is done in the other programs.
SQL - Between
Between is a predicate to call a range of numeric values such as 1-20 or the like. Its syntax follows the same as above.
SELECT * FROM employees WHERE id BETWEEN 1 AND 4;
ID Lastname Firstname Title 1 Johnson David crew 2 Hively Jessica crew Between is essentially replacing your range operators. Always start your ranges with the lowest number first.
SQL - Limit
The limit predicate allows you to limit the number of rows selected.
SELECT * FROM employees LIMIT 2;
ID Lastname Firstname Title 1 Johnson David crew 2 Hively Jessica crew
SQL - Inner Join
The join clause combines columns of one table to that of another to create a single table. Join matches up a column with one table to a column in another table. A join query does not alter either table, but temporarily combines data from each table to be viewed as a single table. There are three types of join statements, inner, left, and right. We will be using our employees table from previous examples, and a new table to track sales of each employee called invoices. Our invoices table is set up with 3 fields, EmployeeID, Sale, and Price. If we were a business owner we now have a means to track what was sold, and by whom and we can bring this information together using an inner join clause. Inner Join: An inner join returns all rows that result in a match such as the example above.
SELECT employees.Lastname, employees.Firstname, invoices.Sale, invoices.Price FROM employees INNER JOIN invoices ON employees.id = invoices.EmployeeID
Lastname Johnson Hively Davis Davis Firstname David Jessica Julie Julie Sale HOT DOG LG SFT DRK CD SLD CD SLD Price 1.99 1.49 3.99 3.99
We haven't changed or updated any information in either of our tables but we were able to fashion together a new table using a conditional that matches one table column to another.
SQL - Left Join
A Left join returns all rows of the left of the conditional even if there is no right column to match.
SELECT employees.Lastname, employees.Firstname, invoices.Sale, invoices.Price FROM employees LEFT JOIN invoices ON employees.id = invoices.EmployeeID
Lastname Johnson Hively Hicks Harris Davis Davis Firstname David Jessica Freddy Joel Julie Julie Sale Price HOT DOG 1.99 LG SFT DRK 1.49
CD SLD CD SLD
This would be a great way to track sales per person per day if the invoice table had a date field as well.
SQL - Right Join
A right join will display rows on the right side of the conditional that may or may not have a match.
SELECT employees.Lastname, employees.Firstname, invoices.Sale, invoices.Price FROM employees RIGHT JOIN invoices ON employees.id = invoices.EmployeeID
Lastname Davis Davis Johnson Hively
Firstname Julie Julie David Jessica
Sale CD SLD CD SLD HOT DOG HOT DOG LG SFT DRK LG SFT DRK
Price 3.99 3.99 1.99 1.99 1.49 1.49
This would happen generally if perhaps nobody recieved credit for the sale or the sale was credited to the store by default.
SQL - Union
The union clause places two serarate queries together forming one table. A union works best when using two tables with similar columns because each cloumn must have the same data type. Say we had another table called employees2 with the names and information of employees from our second store. With 2 queries, we can combine the tables into a list of all employees.
SELECT * FROM employees UNION SELECT * FROM employees2;
ID 1 2 9 10 11 101 102 103 104 Lastname Johnson Hively Hicks Harris Davis Yazzow Anderson Carlson Maines Firstname David Jessica Freddy Joel Julie Jim Craig Kevin Brad Title crew crew crew crew manager crew crew crew crew
The result is a complete listing every employee from store 1 and 2. The next example shows a more practical means of using a union clause. Here we will select all of our employees from both tables, and join them with our invoices table to generate a complete list of sales from both stores on a given day.
SELECT employees.Lastname, employees.Firstname, invoices.Sale, invoices.Price FROM employees INNER JOIN invoices ON employees.id = invoices.EmployeeID UNION
SELECT employees2.Lastname, employees2.Firstname, invoices.Sale, invoices.Price FROM employees2 INNER JOIN invoices ON employees2.id = invoices.EmployeeID;
Lastname Johnson Hively Davis Yazzow Carlson Firstname David Jessica Julie Jim Kevin Sale HOT DOG LG SFT DRK CK SLD HOT DOG LG SFT DRK Price 1.99 1.49 3.99 1.99 1.49
Here we combined a join query with the union clause to create one table.
SQL - Union All
Union all selects all rows from each table and combines them into a single table. The difference between Union and Union all is that Union all will not eliminate duplicate rows, instead it just pulls all rows from all tables fitting your query specifics and combines them into a table.
SELECT * FROM employees UNION ALL SELECT * FROM employees2;
ID 1 2 9 10 11 101 102 103 11 104 Lastname Johnson Hively Hicks Harris Davis Yazzow Anderson Carlson Davis Maines Firstname David Jessica Freddy Joel Julie Jim Craig Kevin Julie Brad Title crew crew crew crew manager crew crew crew manager crew
SELECT employees.Lastname, employees.Firstname, invoices.Sale, invoices.Price FROM employees INNER JOIN invoices ON employees.id = invoices.EmployeeID UNION ALL SELECT employees2.Lastname, employees2.Firstname, invoices.Sale, invoices.Price FROM employees2 INNER JOIN invoices
ON employees2.id = invoices.EmployeeID;
Lastname Johnson Hively Davis 11 Yazzow Carlson 11 11 Firstname David Jessica Julie Davis Jim Kevin Davis Davis Sale HOT DOG LG SFT DRK CK SLD Julie HOT DOG LG SFT DRK Julie Julie Price 1.99 1.49 3.99 manager 1.99 1.49 manager manager
SQL - Subqueries
MySQL offers a very limited support for subqueries, however Oracle and DB2 fully support them. Subqueries are Select queries placed within an existing SQL statement. They may exist in any of the following types of SQL statements.
• • • • • •
Select Insert Update Delete Set Do
Subqueries are great for answering very specific questions regarding your data inside your database. For instance, as the employer you may notice employee number 101 had a great day yesterday with sales. Just given this information we can use a subquery to pull the employee lastname and first name from our database.
SELECT * FROM employees WHERE id = (SELECT EmployeeID FROM invoices WHERE EmployeeID='1');
id Lastname Firstname Title 11 Davis Julie MANAGER Here we have pulled our employee information from the employees table by only knowing the employee number from the invoices table.
SQL - Subquery Inserts
Subqueries can be used to pull old data from your database and insert it into new tables. For instance if we opened up a third store and we wanted to place the same manager over 3 stores we could do this by pulling the manager's information using a subquery and then inserting the records. Also note that this form of insert will insert all cases where the subquery is true, therefore several rows may or may not be inserted depending upon how your table is set up.
INSERT INTO employees3 (id,Lastname,Firstname,Title) (SELECT id,Lastname,Firstname,Title FROM employees WHERE Title='manager');
With complete mastery of a subqueries you can now see the power of the SQL language. The language is capable of nearly all things imaginable.
SQL - Dates
Unfortunately, every SQL platform has its own version of date functions, the few listed work in DB2, Oracle, and MySQL. Microsoft SQL Server users should skip to our SQL Datepart lesson.
SQL - Timestamp
A timestamp servers as the catch all for dates and times. Retrieving a timestamp is very simple and the result can be converted or manipulated in nearly every way imaginable.
Return a Timestamp:
2004-06-22 10:33:11.840 Keep in mind that each platform of SQL (DB2, Oracle, SQL Server, etc...) may return dates and times which are formatted differently.
SQL - Date Functions
As we just mentioned, it is possible to breakdown timestamps into their individual pieces using any of the following date functions.
Return a Month:
Return a Day:
22 There are many more functions available, including functions to extract milliseconds, names of the months, names of each week day, etc. Each SQL platform varies in the actual naming of date functions. Here's a few c\The following is a list of other date functions available to most platforms of SQL with the exception of MS's SQL Server.
SQL Function Code:
SELECT DATE(CURRENT_TIMESTAMP); - returns a date (2004-06-22) SELECT TIME(CURRENT_TIMESTAMP); - returns the time (10:33:11.840) SELECT DAYOFWEEK(CURRENT_TIMESTAMP); - returns a numeric value (1-7) SELECT DAYOFMONTH(CURRENT_TIMESTAMP); - returns a day of month (1-31) SELECT DAYOFYEAR(CURRENT_TIMESTAMP); - returns the day of the year (1-365) SELECT MONTHNAME(CURRENT_TIMESTAMP); - returns the month name (January - December SELECT DAYNAME(CURRENT_TIMESTAMP); - returns the name of the day (Sunday - Saturday) SELECT WEEK(CURRENT_TIMESTAMP); - returns number of the week (1-53)
Timestamps are often the easiest to work with, but we certainly are not limited to using only the current_timestamp as our parameter. We can send any date, time, or timestamp to the function which then returns our result.
Return a Month Name:
MONTHNAME('2004-11-27') November Date functions can also be performed on table columns similarly to numeric and mathematical functions such as SUM() or AVG().
SELECT DAYOFYEAR(column_name) FROM table_name WHERE name = 'Joe';
SQL will return a numeric result from 1 - 365 representing the day of the year that Joe's record was created/inserted.
We can expand this concept one step further with the use of a subquery. Say we have a table with a column named timestamp. In this table column are timestamps of when each record was entered and we would like to know what was the numeric day of the year that a record was entered.
SELECT DAYOFYEAR( (SELECT DATE(timestamp) FROM employees WHERE name = 'James Bond') );
Above you can see how it is possible to combine several date functions as well as a subquery to return very specific information about Mr. James Bond.
SQL - Inserting Date Data
Date data exists as numbers, strings, and timestamps. Built into most platforms are several date column types such as DATE or TIMESTAMP. By setting the default value to the current date or timestamp, the table column will automatically be filled with a current date/timestamp as each record is inserted. Here's the code to add a timestamp column to an existing table.
ALTER TABLE `orders` ADD `order_date` TIMESTAMP DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP NOT NULL;
Now each time an order is placed in our make believe business, a timestamp of that order is also recorded. A date or timestamp table column will only allow date data types to be inserted as values so be sure to convert any strings or numbers to dates and timestamps before trying to insert them.
Each platform has some sort of special date, time, or timestamp table column which will automatically post the current_dates/times/timestamps.
SQL - Case
In SQL case works with either the select or update clauses. It provides when-then-else functionality (WHEN this_happens THEN do_this) also known as conditional statements. employee_name Ted Terry Trish admin 0 0 1
As you can see, we have a list of a few employees and then an admin column with boolean (true/false) values for their administration rights (admin). A zero means they are not an admin a 1 mean they are.
SELECT employee_name CASE admin WHEN 1 THEN 'yes' ELSE 'no' END 'admin' FROM employees;
employee_name Ted Terry Trish admin no no yes
In short all we really did is replace 1's and 0's with the words 'yes' and 'no'.
SQL - Case (update)
Case functions additionally allow for the updating of records within your table. For example, we could update the prices of items in our online store, but more importantly we could update very specific records because of the conditional logic allowed by case. item goldfish guppy blow fish quantity 12 24 1 price 1.00 0.50 5.00
Let's say we wanted to have a sale to clean out some of our overstock. We'll go ahead and take 25% off of all our items that we currently have 20 or more of (>20). Then we'll take 10% off the items that we have 10-20 of (between 10 and 20) and everything else we will discount only 5%.
UPDATE inventory SET price = price * CASE WHEN quantity > 20 THEN 0.75 WHEN quantity BETWEEN 10 AND 20 THEN 0.90 ELSE 0.95 END;
item goldfish guppy blow fish quantity 12 24 1 price .9 0.375 4.75
What is Normalization?
Normalization is the process of efficiently organizing data in a database.
There are two goals of the normalization process: eliminating redundant data (for example, storing the same data in more than one table) and ensuring data dependencies make sense (only storing related data in a table). Both of these are worthy goals as they reduce the amount of space a database consumes and ensure that data is logically stored.
The Normal Forms
The database community has developed a series of guidelines for ensuring that databases are normalized. These are referred to as normal forms and are numbered from one (the lowest form of normalization, referred to as first normal form or 1NF) through five (fifth normal form or 5NF). In practical applications, you'll often see 1NF, 2NF, and 3NF along with the occasional 4NF. Fifth normal form is very rarely seen and won't be discussed in this article. Before we begin our discussion of the normal forms, it's important to point out that they are guidelines and guidelines only. Occasionally, it becomes necessary to stray from them to meet practical business requirements. However, when variations take place, it's extremely important to evaluate any possible ramifications they could have on your system and account for possible inconsistencies. That said, let's explore the normal forms.
First Normal Form (1NF)
First normal form (1NF) sets the very basic rules for an organized database:
Eliminate duplicative columns from the same table. Create separate tables for each group of related data and identify each row with a unique column or set of columns (the primary key).
Second Normal Form (2NF)
Second normal form (2NF) further addresses the concept of removing duplicative data:
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Meet all the requirements of the first normal form. Remove subsets of data that apply to multiple rows of a table and place them in separate tables. Create relationships between these new tables and their predecessors through the use of foreign keys.
Third Normal Form (3NF)
Third normal form (3NF) goes one large step further:
Meet all the requirements of the second normal form. Remove columns that are not dependent upon the primary key.
Fourth Normal Form (4NF)
Finally, fourth normal form (4NF) has one additional requirement:
Meet all the requirements of the third normal form. A relation is in 4NF if it has no multi-valued dependencies. Remember, these normalization guidelines are cumulative. For a database to be in 2NF, it must first fulfill all the criteria of a 1NF database.
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