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Статьи о SQL

Статьи о MySQL

Trudy Pelzer
Structure Means Subqueries: Nesting SELECTs in MySQL 4.1

Effective with MySQL version 4.1, there are two ways in which one can get data from multiple tables in a single query: with a join and with a subquery. For example, assume you have the following tables:

CREATE TABLE clients (
  clno INT,
  fname VARCHAR(15),
  lname VARCHAR(15),
  job VARCHAR(15),
  account_balance DECIMAL(7,2));

INSERT INTO clients VALUES 
  (10, 'sam','smith','auditor',5525.75), 
  (20,'james','jones','manager',8960.25);

CREATE TABLE firms (
  clno INT,
  company VARCHAR(15),
  city VARCHAR(15));

INSERT INTO firms VALUES
  (10,'abc co','leduc'),
  (20,'def ltd','nisku'),
  (30,'ghi inc','nisku');

The following query uses a join to get all available information for client number 10:

SELECT 
  fname, lname, city, job, company, account_balance
  FROM clients c, firms f
  WHERE c.clno = f.clno 
    AND c.clno = 10;

But it isn't always possible to use a join to get the information you may need. For example, suppose you need all available information on the client with the largest account balance. The following query, which may look as if it should return the required information, instead returns an error:

SELECT 
  fname, lname, city, job, company, account_balance
  FROM clients c, firms f
  WHERE c.clno = f.clno 
    AND c.account_balance = MAX(c.account_balance);

The reason for the error Ч invalid use of group function Ч is that the aggregate function, MAX, is disallowed in the WHERE clause as shown. This is where the second method of getting data from multiple tables in a single query Ч the subquery Ч comes to the rescue. In this article, I'll briefly describe the subquery functionality added to MySQL in version 4.1

Subqueries are SELECTs inside Parentheses

Simply put, a subquery is a SELECT statement that is written inside another SQL statement (which is often, but does not have to be, another SELECT). To distinguish the subquery (or inner query) from its enclosing query (or outer query), it must be enclosed within parentheses. Here is an example:

SELECT * FROM clients WHERE clno IN                -- outer query
   (SELECT clno FROM firms WHERE city = 'leduc');  -- inner query

This query will return all rows of the clients table which have the same clno value as the rows of the firms table having a city value equal to 'leduc'. To get the result, the DBMS first evaluates the inner query, to find the clno value for every row in the firms table where city is equal to 'leduc'. It then compares these clno values to the rows of the clients table, returning every row where the clno values match. Since there is only one row in firms which matches the subquery condition, the subquery example Ч in effect Ч is equivalent to this query:

SELECT * FROM clients WHERE clno = 10;

The subquery example can also, of course, be written as a join:

SELECT 
  c.clno, fname, lname, job, account_balance
  FROM clients c INNER JOIN firms f USING (clno)
  WHERE city = 'leduc';

However, as already noted, the same can not be said of this subquery (translation: which client has the highest clno value?):

SELECT fname, lname FROM clients WHERE clno = 
  (SELECT MAX(clno) FROM firms);

If the inner query returns an empty set, the result of a subquery may appear to be incorrect. For example, consider this query:

SELECT * FROM clients WHERE clno =
  (SELECT clno FROM firms WHERE city = 'gibbons');

If the inner query is run alone, it is clear that the result is zero rows: there are no rows in the firms table with a city equal to 'gibbons'. But "empty set" cannot be compared to the values of a column. The SQL Standard thus requires that the result of a subquery, which evaluates to zero rows, is NULL. And since nothing is equal to NULL, the query returns an "Empty set" message (i.e. zero rows).

It is common to say that the subquery is nested in the outer query. MySQL supports the nesting of subqueries within other subqueries, to a great depth.

Types of Subqueries

There are three types of subqueries, distinguished from one another by the result Ч how many rows and columns Ч they return.

  • If a subquery can return exactly one column and one row, it is known as a scalar subquery. A scalar subquery is legal everywhere that a regular scalar value (e.g. a column value or literal) is legal in an SQL statement. It is usually found in a WHERE clause, immediately after a comparison operator.

  • If a subquery can return multiple columns and exactly one row, it is known as a row subquery. A row subquery is a derivation of a scalar subquery and can thus be used anywhere that a scalar subquery can be used.

  • Finally, if a subquery can return multiple columns and multiple rows, it is known as a table subquery. A table subquery is legal everywhere that a table reference is legal in an SQL statement, including the FROM clause of a SELECT. It, too, is usually found in a WHERE clause, immediately after an IN or EXISTS predicate or a quantified comparison operator. (A quantified comparison operator is a comparison operator used with either the SOME, ALL, or ANY quantifiers.)

The difference between scalar and table subqueries can be subtle. Here's a problem that arises when a subquery is written as a scalar subquery, but the subquery result contains multiple rows. Assume our two tables have only these rows:

INSERT INTO clients VALUES 
  (10, 'sam','smith','auditor',5525.75);

INSERT INTO firms VALUES
  (10,'abc co','leduc'),(30,'ghi inc','nisku');

Since the firms table has two rows, this query:

SELECT * FROM clients WHERE clno <
  (SELECT clno FROM firms);

fails with:
"Subquery returns more than 1 row"

There are two solutions to this. The first is to change the query to include a table subquery quantified by ANY, to compare the outer query results with any subquery value:

SELECT * FROM clients WHERE clno < ANY 
  (SELECT clno FROM firms);

In this case, the comparison for the first client is false (10 < 10), but is true for the second client (10 < 30), and so the subquery result is "true" for clno 10. The rules for ANY are as follows:

  • ANY returns "true" if the comparison operator is "true" for at least one row returned by the subquery.
  • ANY returns "false" if the subquery returns zero rows or if the comparison operator is "false" for every row returned by the subquery.

SOME is a synonym for ANY; using IN is equivalent to using = ANY.

The second solution to the problem is to change the query to include a table subquery quantified by ALL, to compare the outer query results with every subquery value:

SELECT * FROM clients WHERE clno < ALL
  (SELECT clno FROM firms);

In this case, the comparison is once again false for the first client and true for the second client Ч but this time, the subquery result is "false" and so the query returns zero rows. The rules for ALL are:

  • ALL returns "true" if the subquery returns zero rows or if the comparison operator is "true" for every row returned by the subquery.
  • ALL returns "false" if the comparison operator is "false" for at least one row returned by the subquery.

Does the Subquery Return at least One Row?

Sometimes, the only information needed from a subquery is whether it returns any rows at all. The [NOT] EXISTS predicate tests for a non-empty set. EXISTS returns "true" if the subquery returns at least one row; otherwise, it returns "false". NOT EXISTS is the complement Ч it returns "true" if the subquery returns zero rows; otherwise, it returns "false". By tradition, a subquery following [NOT] EXISTS begins with SELECT *. In this case, the asterisk (*) is not a shorthand for "list of all columns", instead it stands for "some column" Ч and the result returned by each subquery is normally correlated with the result of the outer query to which it belongs. Here's an extremely trivial example, which returns all client values:

SELECT * FROM clients WHERE EXISTS
  (SELECT * FROM firms);

The WHERE clause in this example is "true" only because the firms table is not empty. But [NOT] EXISTS is usually used to form more complicated queries. Assume you have the following tables:

CREATE TABLE passengers (
   name VARCHAR(15), 
   compartment INT);

INSERT INTO passengers VALUES ('smith',20);
INSERT INTO passengers VALUES ('jones',25);

CREATE TABLE cars (
   compartment INT,
   class VARCHAR(10));

INSERT INTO cars VALUES (20,'first');

Here's an example of the classic FORALL question:

SELECT * FROM cars c1 WHERE NOT EXISTS 
  (SELECT * FROM passengers p1 WHERE NOT EXISTS 
    (SELECT * FROM cars c2
       WHERE c2.compartment = p1.compartment
         AND c2.compartment = c1.compartment));

This query is asking for the car in which all existing passengers are riding. To understand the result, consider that Smith is in car 20 and Jones in car 25 Ч but that the cars table doesn't contain a row for car 25. This means that there is one passenger Ч Jones Ч who is riding in a non-existent car. (Of course, in a properly set up database, this situation couldn't exist; one would define primary key/foreign key relationships between the two tables to ensure data integrity). The second NOT EXISTS subquery in the example, thus, is always "true" for passenger Jones.

In addition, of course, there is one passenger Ч Jones, again Ч who is not riding in car 20, and therefore the first NOT EXISTS subquery in the example is "false". And since there are no other cars to check, the result of the query is an empty set (zero rows) -- there are no cars in which every passenger is riding.

Other Uses of Subqueries

The SQL Standard, effective with SQL:1999, requires increased subquery support, which MySQL provides. The row subqueries alluded to earlier are an example. Thus, it is now possible to compare multiple columns at a time:

SELECT ROW ('smith', 'auditor') =
   (SELECT lname, job FROM clients WHERE clno = 10);

The subquery in this example returns a row containing the values 'smith' and 'auditor'. When these values are compared to the ROW values in the outer query, they are found to be equal and so the query returns 1 (true).

You can also put a subquery, rather than a simple table name, in the FROM clause of a query (those of you familiar with Oracle will recognize this usage as an inline view):

SELECT * FROM 
  (SELECT * FROM clients WHERE job LIKE 'a%') AS cl;

To get the result of this query, the MySQL server first evaluates the subquery and then associates the alias (cl, in this case) with the result set. It then evaluates the outer SELECT. In effect, the above example ends up being interpreted as:

SELECT * FROM cl;

with table cl being a temporary result set created with the subquery:

SELECT * FROM clients WHERE job LIKE 'a%';

When a subquery is placed in the FROM clause, the AS <alias> portion of the syntax is mandatory; the interim result table must be named because it is referenced by the containing query.

Data Changes with Subqueries

Subqueries have one other use: they can be used to change the data in the database. That is, you can put a subquery in a DELETE, INSERT, UPDATE, or REPLACE statement. Here is an example:

UPDATE clients SET account_balance =
  (SELECT SUM(amount) FROM accounts where clno=clients.clno);

This UPDATE changes the account_balance for each client to the sum of the amounts recorded for that client in the accounts table.

There is one caveat: It is not currently possible to modify a table and select from the same table in a subquery.

Summary

  • Subqueries are new to MySQL in version 4.1, which now supports scalar, row, and table subqueries.
  • The usual comparison operators Ч = <> < <= > >= Ч can be used with subqueries, as can the [NOT] IN and [NOT] EXISTS predicates.
  • Table subqueries can be compared using the quantifiers ANY/SOME or ALL.
  • Subqueries can be used to make data changes.

MySQL has added structure to SQL!

Источник: MySQL Developers Zone

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