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MySQL Using Join


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One of the great characteristics of SQL (Structured Query Language) is the fact that one can develop access and modify data across various tables. There are several benefits to this, including greater ease of manipulation, increased speed of access, and reduced data redundancy. In MySQL (as well as many other SQL languages), this is accomplished via the join command.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

So what does a join do, anyway? In short, a join command unites some or all of the data from two or more tables into one comprehensive structure. If this capability was not available, then the administrator would be forced to create ever-expanding, all-encompassing tables that would result in the reduction of overall efficiency and speed of data access and manipulation, even eventually possibly causing the database structure to fail entirely.

The joining capability allows the administrator to create small, compact relational tables that can greatly influence database performance. This is especially useful among larger organizations, given the fact that they have the opportunity to divide their database into several departmental sections, allowing each department to effectively manage their relevant data. The alternative to this would be to force one administrator to manage all departmental sections, something that probably does not bode well both in terms of overall organization and efficiency.

For sake of illustration, let's assume a computer manufacturer is in need of a database in which it can efficiently mine data. This data will be divided into various compact tables, each specifying data relative to a certain concept, such as orders, clients and products. After the tables are created, various examples with be illustrated, showing how this manufacturer can use joins to make the most of the database.


Using Joins at Command Prompt:

Suppose we have two tables tcount_tbl and tutorials_tbl in TUTORIALS. A complete listing is given below:


Example:

Try out following examples:

root@host# mysql -u root -p password;
Enter password:*******
mysql> use TUTORIALS;
Database changed
mysql> SELECT * FROM tcount_tbl;
+-----------------+----------------+
| tutorial_author | tutorial_count |
+-----------------+----------------+
| mahran          |             20 |
| mahnaz          |           NULL |
| Jen             |           NULL |
| Gill            |             20 |
| John Poul       |              1 |
| Sanjay          |              1 |
+-----------------+----------------+
6 rows in set (0.01 sec)
mysql> SELECT * from tutorials_tbl;
+-------------+----------------+-----------------+-----------------+
| tutorial_id | tutorial_title | tutorial_author | submission_date |
+-------------+----------------+-----------------+-----------------+
|           1 | Learn PHP      | John Poul       | 2007-05-24      |
|           2 | Learn MySQL    | Abdul S         | 2007-05-24      |
|           3 | JAVA Tutorial  | Sanjay          | 2007-05-06      |
+-------------+----------------+-----------------+-----------------+
3 rows in set (0.00 sec)
mysql>

Now we can write a SQL query to join these two tables. This query will select all the authors from table tutorials_tbl and will pickup corresponding number of tutorials fromtcount_tbl.

mysql> SELECT a.tutorial_id, a.tutorial_author, b.tutorial_count
    -> FROM tutorials_tbl a, tcount_tbl b
    -> WHERE a.tutorial_author = b.tutorial_author;
+-------------+-----------------+----------------+
| tutorial_id | tutorial_author | tutorial_count |
+-------------+-----------------+----------------+
|           1 | John Poul       |              1 |
|           3 | Sanjay          |              1 |
+-------------+-----------------+----------------+
2 rows in set (0.01 sec)
mysql>

Using Joins in PHP Script:

You can use any of the above mentioned SQL query in PHP script. You only need to pass SQL query into PHP function mysql_query() and then you will fetch results in usual way.


Example:

Try out following example:

<?php
$dbhost = 'localhost:3036';
$dbuser = 'root';
$dbpass = 'rootpassword';
$conn = mysql_connect($dbhost, $dbuser, $dbpass);
if(! $conn )
{
  die('Could not connect: ' . mysql_error());
}
$sql = 'SELECT a.tutorial_id, a.tutorial_author, b.tutorial_count
        FROM tutorials_tbl a, tcount_tbl b
        WHERE a.tutorial_author = b.tutorial_author';

mysql_select_db('TUTORIALS');
$retval = mysql_query( $sql, $conn );
if(! $retval )
{
  die('Could not get data: ' . mysql_error());
}
while($row = mysql_fetch_array($retval, MYSQL_ASSOC))
{
    echo "Author:{$row['tutorial_author']}  <br> ".
         "Count: {$row['tutorial_count']} <br> ".
         "Tutorial ID: {$row['tutorial_id']} <br> ".
         "--------------------------------<br>";
} 
echo "Fetched data successfully\n";
mysql_close($conn);
?>

MySQL LEFT JOIN:

A MySQL left join is different from a simple join. A MySQL LEFT JOIN gives extra consideration to the table that is on the left.

If I do a LEFT JOIN, I get all records that match in the same way and IN ADDITION I get an extra record for each unmatched record in the left table of the join - thus ensuring (in my example) that every AUTHOR gets a mention:


Example:

Try out following example to understand LEFT JOIN:

root@host# mysql -u root -p password;
Enter password:*******
mysql> use TUTORIALS;
Database changed
mysql> SELECT a.tutorial_id, a.tutorial_author, b.tutorial_count
    -> FROM tutorials_tbl a LEFT JOIN tcount_tbl b
    -> ON a.tutorial_author = b.tutorial_author;
+-------------+-----------------+----------------+
| tutorial_id | tutorial_author | tutorial_count |
+-------------+-----------------+----------------+
|           1 | John Poul       |              1 |
|           2 | Abdul S         |           NULL |
|           3 | Sanjay          |              1 |
+-------------+-----------------+----------------+
3 rows in set (0.02 sec)

You would need to do more practice to become familiar with JOINS. This is a but complex concept in MySQL/SQL and will become more clear while doing real examples.



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Keywords: MySQL Using Join, Mysql Tutorial, Mysql tutorial pdf, history of mysql, basic mysql, syntax use in mysql, mysql software download, learn mysql, mysql insert, mysql delete, mysql data types, mysql administrator.

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