MySQL Developer Training – Day 3 – First Half

During the first half of day 3, we finished up the material that will be present on the MySQL Developer I examination. I’ve included my notes below:

Day 3

Manipulating Table Structure

Creating Tables

You can create tables from existing tables by adding “SELECT” OR “LIKE” queries to your CREATE TABLE statement.

Some examples:

  • CREATE TABLE `myTable` SELECT * FROM `myExistingTable`;
    • This will create a duplicate of the data in the existing table, but will not copy additional properties of the table, indices, etc. It will copy the column names, data types, etc., though.
  • CREATE TABLE `myTable` SELECT * FROM `myExistingTable` WHERE Population > 2000000;
    • This will create a duplicate of the existing table (with the same caveats listed above), but will only populate it with specific data that is pulled from the SELECT query
  • CREATE TABLE `myTable` SELECT * FROM `myExistingTable` WHERE 0;
    • This will create a duplicate of the existing table without populating any data. Again, it will not copy additional properties, etc.
  • CREATE TABLE `myTable` SELECT `col1`, `col2` FROM `myExistingTable`;
    • This will create a new table using only the columns that are requested in the SELECT query and will populate the table
    • You can specify “table-wide” features in the CREATE TABLE statement (ENGINE, CHARSET, COLLATE, etc., but cannot specify column-specific information, like PRIMARY KEY, INDEX, etc.)
  • CREATE TABLE `myTable` LIKE `myExistingTable`;
    • This will create an exact duplicate of the structure of your existing table
    • Foreign key constraints are not copied with LIKE statements

Temporary Tables

You can create a temporary table for temporary use.

  • Temporary tables are only available during the current session. They will be removed from the server when your session is terminated for any reason (time-out, server shuts down, you close your connection, etc.)
  • Temporary tables are only visible to the current session
    • They do not show up in the SHOW TABLES statement
  • The name of a temporary table can be the same as the name of an existing table in your database
    • Doing so will cause you not to be able to access the original table while the temporary table exists

Altering Table Structures

  • You can add new columns to your table using the ADD statement
  • You can remove columns from your table using the DROP statement
    • ALTER TABLE EU_Countries DROP Id;
  • You can modify column properties
    • ALTER TABLE EU_Countries MODIFY NewPopulation BIGINT(12) NOT NULL;

You can perform multiple alterations at the same time, adding, dropping, modifying, etc. all in one statement.

If you have multiple operations to perform, you should make sure to consolidate them into a single ALTER statement, because each ALTER statement completely rebuilds the table.

During execution of an ALTER statement, a write-lock is enforced on the table, but users can still read the information.

You can also use the CHANGE clause instead of the MODIFY clause, but it has a different syntax:

Renaming Tables

You can rename a table with an ALTER TABLE statement, as well.


Or, you can simply use the RENAME TABLE statement:


Using the RENAME TABLE statement, you can rename multiple tables at once:

RENAME TABLE t1 TO t2, t2 TO t1, tmp TO t2;

Removing Tables

Using the DROP command, you can remove a table:


You can drop multiple tables at once

Foreign Keys

A foreign key is a column in a table that points/refers to a column in a parent table

  • Foreign keys should be indexed
  • InnoDB engine supports foreign key constraints, protecting the integrity of those foreign keys
    • In order to take advantage of the foreign key constraints, both the parent table and the child table must use the InnoDB engine
    • CREATE TABLE CountryParent
      (Code CHAR(3) NOT NULL,
      Name CHAR(52) NOT NULL,
      PRIMARY KEY (Code)
      ) ENGINE=InnoDB;CREATE TABLE CityChild (
      Name CHAR(35) NOT NULL,
      CountryCode CHAR(3) NOT NULL,
      FOREIGN KEY(CountryCode)
      REFERENCES CountryParent(Code)
      ) ENGINE = InnoDB;
    • Using ON UPDATE CASCADE will cause all of the child’s information to be updated automatically if the parent’s information is updated
    • Using ON DELETE CASCADE will cause all of the child’s information to be automatically removed if the parent’s information is removed
  • Both columns (the parent table’s column and the child table’s foreign key column) should have the same data type

Manipulating Table Data

Inserting information into tables

  • Using the INSERT statement, you can insert new rows into a table
    INSERT INTO table_name [(column_list)] VALUES (value_list);
  • You can insert multiple rows of information with a single INSERT statement:
    INSERT INTO table_name [(column_list)] VALUES (value_list1),(value_list2),(value_list3);
  • You can use a different syntax for the INSERT statement:
    INSERT INTO table_name SET column_name=’value‘, column_name=’value‘…;
  • You can also insert information from one table into another table:
    INSERT INTO table2 SELECT * FROM table1;
    INSERT INTO table2 [(column_list)] SELECT [(column_list)] FROM table1;
  • LAST_INSERT_ID() will retrieve the last auto_incremented id from the last insert that you performed
    • If you perform a multiple row insert, LAST_INSERT_ID() will return the first ID from your insert statement, rather than retrieving the highest value

Removing information from tables

  • Using the DELETE statement, you can remove existing rows from a table
  • DELETE FROM table_name [WHERE where_condition][ORDER BY…][LIMIT row_count];

Altering information in tables

  • Using the UPDATE statement, you can change the information in specific rows
  • UPDATE table_name SET column_name = column_value [WHERE…] [ORDER BY…] [LIMIT…];
  • You can use the REPLACE INTO command to perform updates and inserts at the same time if you name a PRIMARY KEY or UNIQUE element within your column list
    • If an item specified in your values already exists as a unique item in your table, that row will be deleted and a new one will be created with the new information you supply
      • It will not use any of the information that was in the previous version of the row. It will only insert the information you supply
    • If no match is found, it will insert a new row
  • INSERT with ON DUPLICATE KEY command

Emptying a table

TRUNCATE TABLE will efficiently empty out a table


What is a transaction?

  • When concurrent statements are needed
  • Mechanism for grouping multiple statements
    • groups multiple statements together that will all be executed together
  • All or none succeed
    • If an error occurs on any of the statements within your transaction, then the entire transaction will fail
  • Execute if all good
  • Cancel if error or incomplete

A good example of transactions is a bank transfer

  • In order to transfer funds from a checking account to a savings account, it needs to be handled as a single transaction:
    • First, you need to make sure that there are sufficient funds in the checking account
    • Next, you need to withdraw the money from the checking account
    • Finally, you need to add that money into the savings account
  • If any of those actions fail, you need to void the entire transaction

You can use the SHOW ENGINES command to see which database engines support transactions


  • Atomic
    • All statements execute successfully or are canceled as a unit
  • Consistent
    • Database that is in a consistent state when a transaction begins, is left in a consistent state by the transaction
    • If you subtract something from one area and add it to another area, you need to be sure that the total is still the same as it was before you started
  • Isolated
    • One transaction does not affect another
  • Durable
    • All changes made by transaction that complete successfully are recorded properly in database
    • Changes are not lost

Transaction Commands

    • Begins the transaction, meaning that any statements that fall between “START TRANSACTION” and “COMMIT” will be treated as a single transaction
    • START TRANSACTION temporarily suspends AUTOCOMMIT, meaning that nothing will be committed until you explicitly commit the information
    • Is only necessary if AUTOCOMMIT is turned on
    • Can be aliased as “BEGIN” or “BEGIN WORK”
    • Whenever you use “START TRANSACTION”, it implicitly commits any items that came before
    • Execute and finalize all of the statements in the transaction
    • Cancel all of the statements that are part of the transaction
    • AUTOCOMMIT is, by default, set to 1
    • If AUTOCOMMIT is turned on, each statement is treated as a transaction and will be automatically committed if the statement executes successfully
      • Statements that include multiple commands will be rolled back entirely if anything within that statement fails

Isolation Levels

  • Concurrent transactions can cause problems
  • Storage engines implement isolation levels
    • Controls level of visibility between transactions
    • May vary per database servers
  • Three common problems
    • “Dirty” read – seeing changes that have not been committed
    • Non-repeatable read
    • Phantom row – rows that have been added from another thread during your transaction
  • InnoDB implements four isolation levels
    • Read uncommitted
      • You can see changes from another thread’s transaction that have not yet been committed
    • Read committed
      • You cannot see changes that have not been committed, but after it’s been committed, you will see the change, even if you have read the row during your transaction
    • Repeatable read
      • You will not see changes from others’ transactions on any rows that you have read during your transaction
    • Serializable
      • Other transactions will not affect your transaction in any way. Rows selected by one transaction cannot be changed by other transactions until the original transaction has completed
  • Setting the isolation level
    • Use the –transaction-isolation option
  • MVCC – Multi-version concurrency control
    • A method of isolating sessions from each other during transactions

Locking Concepts

  • A locking mechanism prevents problems with concurrent data access
  • Locks are managed by the server
    • Allows access to one client and locks others out
  • InnoDB supports two types of locking
    • Lock in share mode – locks each row with a shared lock
      • Other people can still read the row(s), but no one (including yourself) can update anything within those rows until all locks are released
      • If you attempt to read a row by using a WHERE clause that includes something other than an index, then all rows in the table will be locked
    • For update – locks each row with an exclusive lock
      • Other people can still read the row, but only you have permission to update the row until you release the lock
      • SELECT counter_field FROM child_codes FOR UPDATE;
        UPDATE child_codes SET counter_field = counter_field + 1;

MySQL Developer Training – Day 2

I didn’t take any notes during the first day of class, as we really only went over a lot of introductory information. However, I started taking notes at the beginning of day two, and tried to be pretty thorough. I hope they help a bit.

Day 2

Data Type Overview

Three Major Categories:

  • Numeric
    • Integer
      • Tinyint
        • 1 byte
      • Smallint
        • 2 bytes
      • Mediumint
        • 3 bytes
      • Int
        • 4 bytes
      • Bigint
        • 8 bytes
        • Bigints are used for all internal mathematic operations within MySQL
    • Floating-point (approximate numbers)
      • Float (4 bytes)
      • Double (8 bytes)
      • Floats are generally inaccurate. For instance, inserting a value of “0.99” will actually create a value of 0.99000000953674
      • Floats will not be limited by the amount of digits you “set” when creating the column. The amount of digits you set is simply used for formatting
    • Fixed-point
      • Decimal
      • Fixed
      • Fixed-point digits will be limited by the amount of digits you “set” when creating the column. For instance, if you specify a column as DEC(4,2), it will not allow you to store the number 100. The largest value it can store is 99.99
    • BIT
      • Column width is the number of bits per value
  • Character/Binary (strings)
    • Binary elements are made up of characters, although you don’t generally manipulate the individual characters
    • CHAR – Stores a fixed number of character locations, no matter what value you give it.
      • Limited to a length of 255 characters
      • More efficient in MyISAM, because you are storing a set number of characters each time – also helps prevent fragmentation issues
    • VARCHAR – Stores a variable number of characters, up to the limit that you set when creating the table
      • If the strictness mode is turned on, it will throw an error when attempting to insert a string longer than your limit
      • If strictness mode is turned off, it will truncate the string before inserting it into the database
      • Limited to a maximum length of 65,555 characters
    • TINYTEXT – up to 255 characters
    • TEXT – up to 65,535 characters
    • MEDIUMTEXT – up to 16,777,215 characters
    • LONGTEXT – up to 4,294,967,295 characters
    • ENUM – enumarated values
      • You specify the possible values, which are treated as their numerical equivalents when evaluated
      • You can store up to 65,535 possible values for an enumerated column
      • Only one of the enumerated values can be selected in each row
    • SET – list of string values
      • You specify the possible values, as you do in ENUM
      • However, with SET, you can select multiple values for each row
      • The numerical values of a SET are stored as BIT switches rather than consecutive numbers
  • Temporal
    • TIME
      • HH:MM:SS
      • Is not necessarily an indication of time of day. This can accept times longer than 23:59:59, because it is simply an indication of amount of time
      • Can be negative or positive
      • ‘-838:59:59’ to ‘838:59:59’
    • YEAR
      • Two or four digits
      • Indicating a two-digit value will be interpreted in a range from 1970-2069
      • 1901-2155 (for year(4)), 1970-2069 (for year(2))
    • DATE
      • ‘YYYY-MM-DD’ – can only accept dates in this format
      • ‘1000-01-01’ TO ‘9999-12-31’
      • ‘YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS’ – can only accept datetimes in this format
      • Time in this data type is limited to time of day. Highest value is 23:59:59 and lowest value is 0
      • ‘1000-01-01 00:00:00 to ‘9999=12-31 23:59:59’
      • If given no value when creating or updating a timestamp column, it will automatically assign the current system date/time
      • No point in having more than one timestamp column, as they will all end up with the same value
      • ‘1970-01-01 00:00:00’ to mid-year 2037

You want to choose the most appropriate data type (whichever you will be using in that column the most)

Each table must have at least one column. The columns must have a name and a data type.

Precision and scale of numbers must be considered carefully when creating numeric data types

Numbers must be set up as either signed or unsigned. Signed numbers will use an equal amount of negative and positive values. In other words, a tinyint (1 byte) will range from -128 to 127 if set as signed. Unsigned will range from 0 to 255. If you will not be using negative values, you should set the column as unsigned.

To store a binary number in a column, you should specify it by beginning your value with “b”, then wrapping the value in single quotes. For example: INSERT INTO bits VALUES(b’0101′);

To store a hexidecimal number in a column, you should specify it by beginning your value with “x”.

Character Sets

A character set is a named encoded character

Each character is mapped to a specific number in a character set.

ASCII is the same as Latin1, which is close to the lower bit range of UTF-8

A character set is actually specified on a column-by-column basis within MySQL.

Character set controls sort order, based on the numerical equivalent of each character

Binary String Data Types

Binary strings are strings of characters that are intended to be interpreted as a whole, rather than by character

Binary Types

  • Binary
  • Variable Binary
  • Tinyblob
  • Blob
  • Mediumblob
  • Longblob

No character set or collation is associated with binary data

The Meaning of NULL

  • NULL can set data types to allow missing values
  • NULL can be an empty query result
  • Conceptually has several different meanings
    • no value
    • unknown value
    • missing value
    • out of range
    • not applicable
    • no column
  • Two categories
    • Unknown
    • Not applicable

Primary key columns cannot allow NULL

Unique columns can allow NULL

SQL Expressions

Numeric expressions

  • Literal Values
    • Exact-value
    • Approximate value
    • Numerical expressions with NULL usually return NULL
  • Expressions with NULL will return NULL
  • Results depend on literal values
  • SELECT 1.1 + 2.2 = 3.3, 1.1E0 + 2.2E0 = 3.3E0;
    • 1, 0 (true, false)

Mixing numbers with strings

  • MySQL is capable of converting strings into numerical values, but it uses extra resources
    • You can compare numbers with strings (1=’1′)
    • You can perform mathematical operations on numbers and strings (1+’1′, 1-‘1’, etc.)
    • You should avoid that if possible

Comparison Operations

  • x >=5 AND x<=10 is not necessarily the same as x BETWEEN 5 AND 10
    • The first expression will not necessarily be optimized when querying the database
    • The second expression will always be optimized
  • BETWEEN will include the indices (so it will return anything with 5 as the key and 10 as the key, and everything in between)
  • When using BETWEEN, you must put the lowest value first

Literal strings are quoted

  • You can generally use single or double quotes to wrap your literal strings
  • If ANSI_QUOTES is enabled through MySQL, then values must be wrapped by single quotes and references to columns, etc. must be wrapped by double quotes
  • If ANSI_QUOTES is enabled, wrapping values with double quotes will cause the query to fail

String comparisons

  • Depends on character set and collation
  • The default is set to be case-insensitive
  • Therefore, an expression like “Hello”=”hello” will evaluate as true
  • You can change the character encoding when establishing a connection
    • SET collation_connection = latin1_german2_ci;
    • To compare two strings that are not identical, but are equal (“Hello” vs. “hello” or “Dusseldorf” vs. “Dⁿsseldorf”), you can set the collation to latin1_bin (which will not convert binary information to characters when comparing) or latin1_general_cs (which will still consider accented characters to be the same as their unaccented equivalents, but will not consider lowercase characters to be equal to uppercase characters)
  • Using the “LIKE” operator
    • Percent character (%) – Any character(s) wildcard – the wildcard can match multiple characters
      • LIKE ‘w%ll’ will match “well”, “wall”, “whole lot of hell”
    • Underscore character (_) – Will only match a single character
      • LIKE ‘d_g’ will match ‘dog’, but will not match ‘dung’
  • You can use regular expressions to compare strings in MySQL
    • REGEXP
    • RLIKE

Temporal Operations

Functions can be invoked in MySQL expressions

Within MySQL, functions should be followed directly by an open parens. By default, no space is allowed between function name and parens

  • You can use an IF function

IF(1 > 0 , ‘YES’, ‘NO’);

SELECT name FROM country

ORDER BY IF(code=’USA’,1,2), name;

Will order by whether or not the name is equal to “USA” first, then will order by name

  • You can also use “CASE” statements
    CASE case_expr WHEN when_expr THEN result WHEN when_expr THEN result ELSE result ENDSELECT name FROM country
    ORDER BY CASE code
    WHEN Code = ‘USA’ THEN ‘United States’
    WHEN Continent = ‘Europe’ THEN ‘Europe’
    ELSE ‘Rest of the world’
    END AS Area,
    SUM(GNP), SUM(Population) FROM Country GROUP BY Area;

Numerical Functions

  • Mathematical operations (add, subtract, divide, etc.)
  • Common functions
    • TRUNCATE()
    • FLOOR() – Returns the greatest integer that is less than the given value
    • CEILING() – Returns the smallest integer that is greater than the given value
    • ROUND()
      • By default, this will round to the nearest integer
      • If you specify a second parameter, it will round to the nearest number with the specified number of decimal places. If you insert a negative number, it will round away from the decimal (in other words, ROUND(15.75,-1) will round to 20 – the nearest 10)
    • RAND() – Returns a random number

String Functions

    • LENGTH returns the number of bytes in a character string
    • CHAR_LENGTH returns the number of characters in a character string
  • ELT() – Allows you to select an item from a list
    • ELT(column_value,’1st’,’2nd’,’3rd’…)
    • If column_value is equal to 1, then the function will return “1st”, if column_value is equal to 2, then the function will return “2nd”, etc.
    • ELT is 1-based, not 0-based
    • CONCAT() will simply combine all of the given arguments with no separators
      • If NULL is returned by any of the given arguments, then the entire CONCAT string will return NULL
    • CONCAT_WS() will combine all of the given arguments with a separator, which is specified as the first argument in the function
      • This function will simply skip NULL elements and not insert a separator for NULL elements
      • To concatenate a group of elements that may contain NULL anywhere, you can use CONCAT_WS(”,your_values), using a blank separator
  • STRCOMP (string compare) – compare two strings to see if they are equal, less than or equal to
    • Will return -1 if the first one is less than the second
    • Will return 0 if they are equal
    • Will return 1 if the first one is greater than the second

Temporal Functions

  • NOW() – Returns the current MySQL timestamp from the system clock
  • GET_FORMAT() – Shows us how dates and times are generally formatted in a specific region of the world

NULL-Related Functions

    • ISNULL returns 0 if something is not null and 1 if it is
    • IFNULL accepts two parameters. The first parameter is the item that will be evaluated and the second item is the string that will be returned if the first returns as null
    • SELECT IFNULL(Continent,’Grand Total’) ContinentName, SUM(Population) FROM Country
      GROUP BY Continent WITH ROLLUP;

MySQL Comments

  • You can use a hash character to create a comment that will end at the end of the line
  • You can use C-style comments to comment multiple lines of code
  • Within MySQL, you can set up conditional comments that will show up as comments in all other SQL DBMAs, but will be executed within MySQL
    • /*! This is not a comment to MySQL, but is in all other SQL DBMAs */
    • /*!50002 This comment will only be executed by MySQL version 5.0002 */


Using “INFORMATION_SCHEMA”, you can gather various metadata information about your database. Some of the information you can select is:

| COLUMN_NAME          | 
| TABLE_CATALOG        | 
| TABLE_SCHEMA         | 
| TABLE_NAME           | 
| CHECK_OPTION         | 
| IS_UPDATABLE         | 
| DEFINER              | 
| SECURITY_TYPE        | 

You can also use SHOW and DESCRIBE commands to show specific information from the database.

From the command prompt (outside of the MySQL client), you can call a program called “mysqlshow” to show you the information in your MySQL installation.

C:\Documents and Settings\Student>mysqlshow -u root -p 
Enter password: **** 
|     Databases      | 
| information_schema | 
| mysql              | 
| test               | 
| test2              | 
| world              | 

C:\Documents and Settings\Student>mysqlshow -u root -p world 
Enter password: **** 
Database: world 
|     Tables      | 
| city            | 
| country         | 
| countrylanguage | 
| students        | 

Database Design and Information

A database is simply a directory within the filesystem

Schema is considered a synonym of database in MySQL

Two ways to approach database design:

  1. You need to convert something else (another kind of database, a spreadsheet, etc.)
  2. You are creating the database from scratch

Four basic relational types:

  1. one pointing to one (1->1)
  2. one pointing to many (1->M)
  3. many pointing to one (M->1)
  4. many pointing to many (M->M)

Within a database, you can only structurally manage a M->1 relationship (1->1 is a subset of that)

If you have a M->M relationship, then you should set up an intermediary table to relate between the two tables


First Normal Form (1NF) – contains no repeating groups within rows

Second Normal Form (2NF) – normalize at the first level and every non-key (supporting) value is dependent on the primary key value

Third Normal Form (3NF) – normalized at the first and second level, dependent solely on the primary key and no other non-key (supporting) value

Identifier Syntax

  • Alias
  • Database
  • Column
  • Index

May be quoted or unquoted

Can use any alphanumeric characters, including $ and _. Anything using any characters other than that must be quoted.

You can access tables from other databases on the same server by qualifying the tablename:

SELECT * FROM world.Country;

Building Tables

General syntax for creating a table:

  • CREATE TABLE <table> (
    <column_name> <column type> [<column options>],
    [<column_name> <column_type> [<column_options>],…,]
    [<index list>]
    )[<table options>];
  • CREATE TABLE CountryLanguage (
    CountryCode CHAR(3) NOT NULL,
    Language CHAR(30) NOT NULL,
    Percentage FLOAT(3,1) NOT NULL,
    PRIMARY KEY(CountryCode, Language)
    ) ENGINE = MyISAM COMMENT=’Lists Language Spoken’;
  • Several options available
    • ENGINE
  • Cannot create an auto_increment column that is not indexed