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MySQL REPLACE INTO

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I overlooked MySQL’s real equivalent to a MERGE statement, which is the REPLACE INTO statement. A previous example uses the INSERT statement with the ON DUPLICATE KEY clause. The following demonstrates how to perform a left join from and exernal source. These related posts all started with this one.

Demonstration

Here are the steps to accomplish an import/upload with the REPLACE INTO statement. 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 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;
 
  /* Open a local cursor. */  
  REPLACE INTO kingdom
  (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);
 
   REPLACE 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);
 
  /* ---------------------------------------------------------------------- */
 
  /* 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

May 14th, 2010 at 12:46 am

Posted in MySQL,sql

7 Responses to 'MySQL REPLACE INTO'

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  1. [...] Follow this link: MySQL REPLACE INTO is equivalent to Oracle MERGE [...]

  2. [...] You may also use the REPLACE INTO when you want to merge more than one row. [...]

  3. [...] I’d recommend you import into a table without an auto incrementing column and then use the REPLACE INTO to set the surrogate key values of auto incremented [...]

  4. I recently wanted to replace a string within MySQL on the fly, but the field could contain 2 items. So I wrapped a REPLACE() within a REPLACE(), such as:

    REPLACE(REPLACE(field_name, “what we are looking for”, “replace first instance”), “something else we are looking for”, “replace second instance”)

    This is the syntax I used to detect a boolean value:

    REPLACE(REPLACE(field, 1, “Yes”), 0, “No”)

    Hope this helps!

    Walmley Web Design

    1 Feb 11 at 7:32 am

  5. I’m not sure how you formed this opinion. I’m also not sure why you commented on the REPLACE INTO post. The REPLACE function doesn’t work as you’ve described in MySQL. Here’s an example of it’s behavior.

    SELECT REPLACE('It is this, this is not that.','this','a fluke') AS "Statement";

    The function replaces all instances of the second parameter found in the first parameter with the third parameter, like:

    +-----------------------------------------------------------+
    | Statement                                                 |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------+
    | It is a fluke, a fluke is not that.                       |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------+

    maclochlainn

    1 Feb 11 at 11:17 pm

  6. [...] Follow this link: MySQL REPLACE INTO is equivalent to Oracle MERGE | MacLochlainns … [...]

  7. [...] KEY UPDATE statement (that only works with single row INSERT statements). I’ve recently added a post demonstrating the REPLACE INTO command syntax. You may also be interested in a newer blog post about importing external data inside a [...]

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