In this chapter, you learned the basics of SQL, from table creation to manipulating records. The table creation command requires three important pieces of information: the table name, the field name, and the field definitions. Field definitions are important because a well-designed table will help speed along your database. MySQL has three different categories of data types: numeric, date and time, and string.
The INSERT command, used to add records to a table, names the table and columns you want to populate, and then defines the values. When placing values in the INSERT statement, strings must be enclosed with single or double quotes. The SELECT SQL command is used to retrieve records from specific tables. The * character enables you to easily select all fields for all records in a table, but you can also specify particular column names. If the result set is too long, the LIMIT clause provides a simple method for extracting slices of results if you indicate a starting position and the number of records to return. To order the results, use the ORDER BY clause to select the columns to sort. Sorts can be performed on integers, dates, and strings, in either ascending or descending order. The default order is ascending. Without specifying an order, results are displayed in the order they appear in the table.
You can pick and choose which records you want to return using WHERE clauses to test for the validity of conditions. Comparison or logical operators are used in WHERE clauses, and sometimes both types are used for compound statements. Selecting records from multiple tables within one statement is as advanced as it gets, as this type of statementcalled JOINrequires forethought and planning to produce correct results. Common types of JOIN are INNER JOIN, LEFT JOIN, and RIGHT JOIN, although MySQL supports many different kinds of JOIN.
The UPDATE and REPLACE commands are used to modify existing data in your MySQL tables. UPDATE is good for changing values in specific columns and for changing values in multiple records based on specific conditions. REPLACE is a variation of INSERT that deletes, and then reinserts a record with a matching primary key. Be very careful when using UPDATE to change values in a column because failure to add a condition will result in the given column being updated throughout all records in the table.
The DELETE command is a simple oneit simply removes whole records from tables. This also makes it very dangerous, so be sure you give DELETE privileges only to users who can handle the responsibility. You can specify conditions when using DELETE so that records are removed only if a particular expression in a WHERE clause is true. Also, you can delete smaller portions of the records in your table using a LIMIT clause. If you have an exceptionally large table, deleting portions is less resource-intensive than deleting each record in a huge table.
You were introduced to MySQL functions that perform actions on strings, dates, and times. If you have strings in MySQL you want to concatenate or for which you want to count characters, you can use functions such as CONCAT(), CONCAT_WS(), and LENGTH(). To pad or remove padding from strings, use RPAD(), LPAD(), TRIM(), LTRIM(), and RRIM() to get just the strings you want. You can also find the location of a string within another, or to return a part of a given string, using the LOCATE(), SUBSTRING(), LEFT(), and RIGHT() functions. Functions such as LCASE(), UCASE(), REPEAT(), and REPLACE() also return variations of the original strings. MySQL's built-in date and time functions can definitely take some of the load off your application by internally formatting dates and times and performing the date and time arithmetic. The formatting options used for the DATE_FORMAT() function provide a simple method to produce a custom display string from any sort of date field. The DATE_ADD() and DATE_SUB() functions and their numerous available interval types help you determine dates and times in the past or future. Additionally, functions such as DAY(), WEEK(), MONTH(), and YEAR() are useful for extracting parts of dates for use in WHERE or ORDER BY clauses.