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My SQL Interview Questions and Answers


MySQL - Running MySQL in ANSI Mode
If you start mysqld with the --ansi option, the following behavior of MySQL changes:

|| is string concatenation instead of OR.
You can have any number of spaces between a function name and the `('. This forces all function names to be treated as reserved words.
`"' will be an identifier quote character (like the MySQL ``' quote character) and not a string quote character. REAL will be a synonym for FLOAT instead of a synonym of DOUBLE.
5.3 MySQL Differences Compared to ANSI SQL92
We try to make MySQL follow the ANSI SQL standard and the ODBC SQL standard, but in some cases MySQL does some things differently:

-- is only a comment if followed by a white space.
For VARCHAR columns, trailing spaces are removed when the value is stored.
In some cases, CHAR columns are silently changed to VARCHAR columns.
Privileges for a table are not automatically revoked when you delete a table. You must explicitly issue a REVOKE to revoke privileges for a table.
NULL AND FALSE will evaluate to NULL and not to FALSE. This is because we don't think it's good to have to evaluate a lot of extra conditions in this case.

MySQL - Functionality Missing from MySQL
The following functionality is missing in the current version of MySQL. For a prioritized list indicating when new extensions may be added to MySQL, you should consult the online MySQL TODO list. That is the latest version of the TODO list in this manual.

MySQL - Sub-selects
The following will not yet work in MySQL:

SELECT * FROM table1 WHERE id IN (SELECT id FROM table2);
SELECT * FROM table1 WHERE id NOT IN (SELECT id FROM table2);
SELECT * FROM table1 WHERE NOT EXISTS (SELECT id FROM table2 where table1.id=table2.id);


However, in many cases you can rewrite the query without a sub-select:


SELECT table1.* FROM table1,table2 WHERE table1.id=table2.id;
SELECT table1.* FROM table1 LEFT JOIN table2 ON table1.id=table2.id where table2.id IS NULL

For more complicated subqueries you can often create temporary tables to hold the subquery. In some cases, however this option will not work. The most frequently encountered of these cases arises with DELETE statements, for which standard SQL does not support joins (except in sub-selects). For this situation there are two options available until subqueries are supported by MySQL.

The first option is to use a procedural programming language (such as Perl or PHP) to submit a SELECT query to obtain the primary keys for the records to be deleted, and then use these values to construct the DELETE statement (DELETE FROM ... WHERE ... IN (key1, key2, ...)).

The second option is to use interactive SQL to contruct a set of DELETE statements automatically, using the MySQL extension CONCAT() (in lieu of the standard || operator). For example:

SELECT CONCAT('DELETE FROM tab1 WHERE pkid = ', tab1.pkid, ';')
FROM tab1, tab2
WHERE tab1.col1 = tab2.col2;

You can place this query in a script file and redirect input from it to the mysql command-line interpreter, piping its output back to a second instance of the interpreter:

prompt> mysql --skip-column-names mydb > myscript.sql | mysql mydb

MySQL only supports INSERT ... SELECT ... and REPLACE ... SELECT ... Independent sub-selects will probably be available in Version 4.0. You can now use the function IN() in other contexts, however.

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