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Multi-row Merge in MySQL

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After I wrote the post for students on the multiple row MERGE statement for an upload through an external table in Oracle, I thought to check how it might be done with MySQL. More or less because I try to keep track of how things are done in several databases.

MySQL’s equivalent to a MERGE statement is an INSERT statement with an ON DUPLICATE KEY clause, which I blogged about a while back. You may also use the REPLACE INTO when you want to merge more than one row. At the time that I wrote this, I thought there wasn’t support for an INSERT ON DUPLICATE KEY clause statement with a subquery but I found that I was wrong. Fortunately, somebody posted a comment to remind me about this and now both solutions are here for anybody that would like them.

The workaround with a VALUES clause was to write a stored procedure with two cursor loops, explicitly pass the values from the cursor to local variables, and then put the local variables in the VALUES clause. I’ll post the other with a subquery soon. On parity, clearly Oracle’s MERGE statement (shown here) is far superior than MySQL’s approach.

Demonstration

Here are the steps to accomplish an import/upload with the INSERT statement and ON DUPLICATE KEY clause. In this example, you upload data from a flat file, or Comma Separated Value (CSV) file to a denormalized table (actually in unnormalized form). This type of file upload transfers information that doesn’t have surrogate key values. You have to create those in the scope of the transformation to the normalized tables.

Step #1 : Position your CSV file in the physical directory

After creating the virtual directory, copy the following contents into a file named kingdom_mysql_import.csv in the C:\Data\Download directory or folder. If you have Windows UAC enabled in Windows Vista or 7, you should disable it before performing this step.

Place the following in the kingdom_mysql_import.csv file. The trailing commas are meaningful in MySQL and avoid problems when reading CSV files.

Narnia, 77600,'Peter the Magnificent',12720320,12920609,
Narnia, 77600,'Edmund the Just',12720320,12920609,
Narnia, 77600,'Susan the Gentle',12720320,12920609,
Narnia, 77600,'Lucy the Valiant',12720320,12920609,
Narnia, 42100,'Peter the Magnificent',15310412,15310531,
Narnia, 42100,'Edmund the Just',15310412,15310531,
Narnia, 42100,'Susan the Gentle',15310412,15310531,
Narnia, 42100,'Lucy the Valiant',15310412,15310531,
Camelot, 15200,'King Arthur',06310310,06861212,
Camelot, 15200,'Sir Lionel',06310310,06861212,
Camelot, 15200,'Sir Bors',06310310,06351212,
Camelot, 15200,'Sir Bors',06400310,06861212,
Camelot, 15200,'Sir Galahad',06310310,06861212,
Camelot, 15200,'Sir Gawain',06310310,06861212,
Camelot, 15200,'Sir Tristram',06310310,06861212,
Camelot, 15200,'Sir Percival',06310310,06861212,
Camelot, 15200,'Sir Lancelot',06700930,06821212,

Step #2 : Connect as the student user

Disconnect and connect as the student user, or reconnect as the student user. The reconnect syntax that protects your password is:

mysql -ustudent -p

Connect to the sampledb database, like so:

mysql> USE sampledb;

Step #3 : Run the script that creates tables and sequences

Copy the following into a create_mysql_kingdom_upload.sql file within a directory of your choice. Then, run it as the student account.

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-- This enables dropping tables with foreign key dependencies.
-- It is specific to the InnoDB Engine.
SET FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS = 0; 
 
-- Conditionally drop objects.
SELECT 'KINGDOM' AS "Drop Table";
DROP TABLE IF EXISTS KINGDOM;
 
SELECT 'KNIGHT' AS "Drop Table";
DROP TABLE IF EXISTS KNIGHT;
 
SELECT 'KINGDOM_KNIGHT_IMPORT' AS "Drop Table";
DROP TABLE IF EXISTS KINGDOM_KNIGHT_IMPORT;
 
-- Create normalized kingdom table.
SELECT 'KINGDOM' AS "Create Table";
CREATE TABLE kingdom
( kingdom_id    INT UNSIGNED PRIMARY KEY AUTO_INCREMENT
, kingdom_name  VARCHAR(20)
, population    INT UNSIGNED) ENGINE=INNODB;
 
-- Create normalized knight table.
SELECT 'KNIGHT' AS "Create Table";
CREATE TABLE knight
( knight_id             INT UNSIGNED PRIMARY KEY AUTO_INCREMENT
, knight_name           VARCHAR(24)
, kingdom_allegiance_id INT UNSIGNED
, allegiance_start_date DATE
, allegiance_end_date   DATE
, CONSTRAINT fk_kingdom FOREIGN KEY (kingdom_allegiance_id)
  REFERENCES kingdom (kingdom_id)) ENGINE=INNODB;
 
-- Create external import table in memory only - disappears after rebooting the mysqld service.
SELECT 'KINGDOM_KNIGHT_IMPORT' AS "Create Table";
CREATE TABLE kingdom_knight_import
( kingdom_name          VARCHAR(20)
, population            INT UNSIGNED
, knight_name           VARCHAR(24)
, allegiance_start_date DATE
, allegiance_end_date   DATE) ENGINE=MEMORY;

Step #4 : Load the data into your target upload table

There a number of things that could go wrong but when you choose LOCAL there generally aren’t any problems. Run the following query from the student account while using the sampledb database, and check whether or not you can access the kingdom_import.csv file.

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LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE 'c:/Data/kingdom_mysql_import.csv'
INTO TABLE kingdom_knight_import
FIELDS TERMINATED BY ','
ENCLOSED BY '"'
ESCAPED BY '\\'
LINES TERMINATED BY '\r\n';

Step #5 : Create the upload procedure

Copy the following into a create_mysql_upload_procedure.sql file within a directory of your choice. You should note that unlike Oracle’s MERGE statement, this is done with the ON DUPLICATE KEY clause and requires actual values not a source query. This presents few options other than a stored routine, known as a stored procedure. As you can see from the code, there’s a great deal of complexity to the syntax and a much more verbose implementation than Oracle’s equivalent PL/SQL.

Then, run it as the student account. As you look at the structure to achieve this simple thing, the long standing complaint about PL/SQL being a verbose language comes to mind. Clearly, stored procedures are new to MySQL but they’re quite a bit more verbose than PL/SQL.

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-- Conditionally drop the procedure.
SELECT 'UPLOAD_KINGDOM' AS "Drop Procedure";
DROP PROCEDURE IF EXISTS upload_kingdom;
 
-- Reset the execution delimiter to create a stored program.
DELIMITER $$
 
-- The parentheses after the procedure name must be there or the MODIFIES SQL DATA raises an compile time exception.
CREATE PROCEDURE upload_kingdom() MODIFIES SQL DATA
 
BEGIN
 
  /* Declare local variables. */
  DECLARE lv_kingdom_id            INT UNSIGNED;
  DECLARE lv_kingdom_name          VARCHAR(20);
  DECLARE lv_population            INT UNSIGNED;
  DECLARE lv_knight_id             INT UNSIGNED;
  DECLARE lv_knight_name           VARCHAR(24);
  DECLARE lv_kingdom_allegiance_id INT UNSIGNED;
  DECLARE lv_allegiance_start_date DATE;
  DECLARE lv_allegiance_end_date   DATE;
 
  /* Declare a handler variables. */
  DECLARE duplicate_key INT DEFAULT 0;
  DECLARE foreign_key   INT DEFAULT 0;
  DECLARE fetched       INT DEFAULT 0;
 
  /* Cursors must come after variables and before event handlers. */
 
  /* Declare a SQL cursor with a left join on the natural key. */  
  DECLARE kingdom_cursor CURSOR FOR
    SELECT   DISTINCT
             k.kingdom_id
    ,        kki.kingdom_name
    ,        kki.population
    FROM     kingdom_knight_import kki LEFT JOIN kingdom k
    ON       kki.kingdom_name = k.kingdom_name
    AND      kki.population = k.population; 
 
  /* Declare a SQL cursor with a join on the natural key. */  
  DECLARE knight_cursor CURSOR FOR
    SELECT   kn.knight_id
    ,        kki.knight_name
    ,        k.kingdom_id
    ,        kki.allegiance_start_date AS start_date
    ,        kki.allegiance_end_date AS end_date
    FROM     kingdom_knight_import kki INNER JOIN kingdom k
    ON       kki.kingdom_name = k.kingdom_name
    AND      kki.population = k.population LEFT JOIN knight kn 
    ON       k.kingdom_id = kn.kingdom_allegiance_id
    AND      kki.knight_name = kn.knight_name
    AND      kki.allegiance_start_date = kn.allegiance_start_date
    AND      kki.allegiance_end_date = kn.allegiance_end_date; 
 
  /* Event handlers must always be last in the declaration section. */
 
  /* Declare a duplicate key handler */
  DECLARE CONTINUE HANDLER FOR 1062 SET duplicate_key = 1;
  DECLARE CONTINUE HANDLER FOR 1216 SET foreign_key = 1;
 
  /* Declare a not found record handler to close a cursor loop. */
  DECLARE CONTINUE HANDLER FOR NOT FOUND SET fetched = 1;
 
  /* ---------------------------------------------------------------------- */
 
  /* Start transaction context. */
  START TRANSACTION;
 
  /* Set savepoint. */  
  SAVEPOINT both_or_none;
 
  /* Open a local cursor. */  
  OPEN kingdom_cursor;
  cursor_kingdom: LOOP
 
    FETCH kingdom_cursor
    INTO  lv_kingdom_id
    ,     lv_kingdom_name
    ,     lv_population;
 
    /* Place the catch handler for no more rows found
       immediately after the fetch operation.          */
    IF fetched = 1 THEN LEAVE cursor_kingdom; END IF;
 
    INSERT INTO kingdom
    VALUES
    ( lv_kingdom_id
    , lv_kingdom_name
    , lv_population ) 
    ON DUPLICATE KEY
    UPDATE kingdom_name = lv_kingdom_name;
 
  END LOOP cursor_kingdom;
  CLOSE kingdom_cursor;
 
  /* Reset the continue handler to zero. */
  SET fetched = 0;  
 
  /* Open a local cursor. */  
  OPEN knight_cursor;
  cursor_knight: LOOP
 
    /* Fetch records until they're all read, and a NOT FOUND SET is returned. */  
    FETCH knight_cursor
    INTO  lv_knight_id
    ,     lv_knight_name
    ,     lv_kingdom_allegiance_id
    ,     lv_allegiance_start_date
    ,     lv_allegiance_end_date;
 
    /* Place the catch handler for no more rows found
       immediately after the fetch operation.          */
    IF fetched = 1 THEN LEAVE cursor_knight; END IF;
 
    INSERT INTO knight
    VALUES
    ( lv_knight_id
    , lv_knight_name
    , lv_kingdom_allegiance_id
    , lv_allegiance_start_date
    , lv_allegiance_end_date ) 
    ON DUPLICATE KEY
    UPDATE knight_name = lv_knight_name;
 
  END LOOP cursor_knight;
  CLOSE knight_cursor;
 
  /* Reset the continue handler to zero. */
  SET fetched = 0;  
 
  /* ---------------------------------------------------------------------- */
 
  /* This acts as an exception handling block. */  
  IF duplicate_key = 1 OR foreign_key = 1 THEN
 
    /* This undoes all DML statements to this point in the procedure. */
    ROLLBACK TO SAVEPOINT both_or_none;
 
  ELSE
 
    /* This commits the writes. */
    COMMIT;
 
  END IF;
 
END;
$$
 
-- Reset the delimiter to the default.
DELIMITER ;

Here’s the better option with an embedded query:

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-- Conditionally drop the procedure.
SELECT 'UPLOAD_KINGDOM' AS "Drop Procedure";
DROP PROCEDURE IF EXISTS upload_kingdom;
 
-- Reset the execution delimiter to create a stored program.
DELIMITER $$
 
-- The parentheses after the procedure name must be there or the MODIFIES SQL DATA raises an compile time exception.
CREATE PROCEDURE upload_kingdom() MODIFIES SQL DATA
 
BEGIN
 
  /* Declare a handler variables. */
  DECLARE duplicate_key INT DEFAULT 0;
  DECLARE foreign_key   INT DEFAULT 0;
 
  /* Declare a duplicate key handler */
  DECLARE CONTINUE HANDLER FOR 1062 SET duplicate_key = 1;
  DECLARE CONTINUE HANDLER FOR 1216 SET foreign_key = 1;
 
  /* ---------------------------------------------------------------------- */
 
  /* Start transaction context. */
  START TRANSACTION;
 
  /* Set savepoint. */  
  SAVEPOINT both_or_none;
 
  /* Using subqueries update the targets. */  
  INSERT INTO knight
  ( SELECT   kn.knight_id
    ,        kki.knight_name
    ,        k.kingdom_id
    ,        kki.allegiance_start_date AS start_date
    ,        kki.allegiance_end_date AS end_date
    FROM     kingdom_knight_import kki INNER JOIN kingdom k
    ON       kki.kingdom_name = k.kingdom_name
    AND      kki.population = k.population LEFT JOIN knight kn
    ON       k.kingdom_id = kn.kingdom_allegiance_id
    AND      kki.knight_name = kn.knight_name
    AND      kki.allegiance_start_date = kn.allegiance_start_date
    AND      kki.allegiance_end_date = kn.allegiance_end_date )
  ON DUPLICATE KEY
  UPDATE knight_id = kn.knight_id;
 
  INSERT INTO knight
  ( SELECT   kn.knight_id
    ,        kki.knight_name
    ,        k.kingdom_id
    ,        kki.allegiance_start_date AS start_date
    ,        kki.allegiance_end_date AS end_date
    FROM     kingdom_knight_import kki INNER JOIN kingdom k
    ON       kki.kingdom_name = k.kingdom_name
    AND      kki.population = k.population LEFT JOIN knight kn
    ON       k.kingdom_id = kn.kingdom_allegiance_id
    AND      kki.knight_name = kn.knight_name
    AND      kki.allegiance_start_date = kn.allegiance_start_date
    AND      kki.allegiance_end_date = kn.allegiance_end_date )
  ON DUPLICATE KEY
  UPDATE knight_id = kn.knight_id;
 
  /* ---------------------------------------------------------------------- */
 
  /* This acts as an exception handling block. */  
  IF duplicate_key = 1 OR foreign_key = 1 THEN
 
    /* This undoes all DML statements to this point in the procedure. */
    ROLLBACK TO SAVEPOINT both_or_none;
 
  ELSE
 
    /* This commits the writes. */
    COMMIT;
 
  END IF;
 
END;
$$
 
-- Reset the delimiter to the default.
DELIMITER ;

Step #6 : Run the upload procedure

You can run the file by calling the stored procedure built by the script. The procedure ensures that records are inserted or updated into their respective tables.

CALL upload_kingdom;

Step #7 : Test the results of the upload procedure

You can test whether or not it worked by running the following queries.

-- Check the kingdom table.
SELECT * FROM kingdom;
SELECT * FROM knight;

It should display the following information:

+------------+--------------+------------+
| kingdom_id | kingdom_name | population |
+------------+--------------+------------+
|          1 | Narnia       |      77600 |
|          2 | Narnia       |      42100 |
|          3 | Camelot      |      15200 |
+------------+--------------+------------+
 
+-----------+-------------------------+-----------------------+-----------------------+---------------------+
| knight_id | knight_name             | kingdom_allegiance_id | allegiance_start_date | allegiance_end_date |
+-----------+-------------------------+-----------------------+-----------------------+---------------------+
|         1 | 'Peter the Magnificent' |                     1 | 1272-03-20            | 1292-06-09          |
|         2 | 'Edmund the Just'       |                     1 | 1272-03-20            | 1292-06-09          |
|         3 | 'Susan the Gentle'      |                     1 | 1272-03-20            | 1292-06-09          |
|         4 | 'Lucy the Valiant'      |                     1 | 1272-03-20            | 1292-06-09          |
|         5 | 'Peter the Magnificent' |                     2 | 1531-04-12            | 1531-05-31          |
|         6 | 'Edmund the Just'       |                     2 | 1531-04-12            | 1531-05-31          |
|         7 | 'Susan the Gentle'      |                     2 | 1531-04-12            | 1531-05-31          |
|         8 | 'Lucy the Valiant'      |                     2 | 1531-04-12            | 1531-05-31          |
|         9 | 'King Arthur'           |                     3 | 0631-03-10            | 0686-12-12          |
|        10 | 'Sir Lionel'            |                     3 | 0631-03-10            | 0686-12-12          |
|        11 | 'Sir Bors'              |                     3 | 0631-03-10            | 0635-12-12          |
|        12 | 'Sir Bors'              |                     3 | 0640-03-10            | 0686-12-12          |
|        13 | 'Sir Galahad'           |                     3 | 0631-03-10            | 0686-12-12          |
|        14 | 'Sir Gawain'            |                     3 | 0631-03-10            | 0686-12-12          |
|        15 | 'Sir Tristram'          |                     3 | 0631-03-10            | 0686-12-12          |
|        16 | 'Sir Percival'          |                     3 | 0631-03-10            | 0686-12-12          |
|        17 | 'Sir Lancelot'          |                     3 | 0670-09-30            | 0682-12-12          |
+-----------+-------------------------+-----------------------+-----------------------+---------------------+

You can rerun the procedure to check that it doesn’t alter any information, then you could add a new knight to test the insertion portion.

Written by maclochlainn

February 24th, 2010 at 9:15 am

3 Responses to 'Multi-row Merge in MySQL'

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  1. [...] MySQL’s real equivalent to a MERGE statement [...]

  2. You wrote, “There‚Äôs also no support for that clause when you attempt to perform an INSERT statement with a subquery.” But that is incorrect. See http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/insert-select.html It’s been around in MySQL since forever.

    Michael

    27 Jun 11 at 8:21 pm

  3. Yes, I figured that out shortly after I wrote it. I just never got back to fix it. I’ve updated the post text and found a working copy of the other in a VM. It’s also posted now. Thanks! ;-)

    maclochlainn

    28 Jun 11 at 2:13 pm

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