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in SQL by (6.1k points)

I am trying to execute the following query:

INSERT INTO table_listnames (name, address, tele)
VALUES ('Rupert', 'Somewhere', '022')
WHERE NOT EXISTS (
    SELECT name FROM table_listnames WHERE name='value'
);

But it is resulting in an error. Essentially, I don't want to insert a record if the 'name' field of the record already exists in another record - how to check if the new name is unique?

1 Answer

0 votes
by (12.7k points)

I'm not really suggesting that you do this, as the UNIQUE index, but you can actually do what you were attempting:

CREATE TABLE `table_listnames` (
  `id` int(11) NOT NULL auto_increment,
  `name` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
  `address` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
  `tele` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY  (`id`)
) ENGINE=InnoDB;

 Insert a record:

INSERT INTO table_listnames (name, address, tele)
SELECT * FROM (SELECT 'Rupert', 'Somewhere', '022') AS tmp
WHERE NOT EXISTS (
    SELECT name FROM table_listnames WHERE name = 'Rupert'
) LIMIT 1;

Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
Records: 1  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

SELECT * FROM `table_listnames`;

+----+--------+-----------+------+
| id | name   | address   | tele |
+----+--------+-----------+------+
|  1 | Rupert | Somewhere | 022  |
+----+--------+-----------+------+

Try to insert the same record again:

INSERT INTO table_listnames (name, address, tele)
SELECT * FROM (SELECT 'Rupert', 'Somewhere', '022') AS tmp
WHERE NOT EXISTS (
    SELECT name FROM table_listnames WHERE name = 'Rupert'
) LIMIT 1;

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
Records: 0  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

+----+--------+-----------+------+
| id | name   | address   | tele |
+----+--------+-----------+------+
|  1 | Rupert | Somewhere | 022  |
+----+--------+-----------+------+

Insert a different record:

INSERT INTO table_listnames (name, address, tele)
SELECT * FROM (SELECT 'John', 'Doe', '022') AS tmp
WHERE NOT EXISTS (
    SELECT name FROM table_listnames WHERE name = 'John'
) LIMIT 1;

Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
Records: 1  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

SELECT * FROM `table_listnames`;

+----+--------+-----------+------+
| id | name   | address   | tele |
+----+--------+-----------+------+
|  1 | Rupert | Somewhere | 022  |
|  2 | John   | Doe       | 022  |
+----+--------+-----------+------+

And so on...

Update:

To prevent #1060 - Duplicate column name error in case two values may equal, you have to name the columns of the inner SELECT:

INSERT INTO table_listnames (name, address, tele)

SELECT * FROM (SELECT 'Unknown' AS name, 'Unknown' AS address, '022' AS tele) AS tmp
WHERE NOT EXISTS (
    SELECT name FROM table_listnames WHERE name = 'Rupert'
) LIMIT 1;

Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
Records: 1  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

SELECT * FROM `table_listnames`;

+----+---------+-----------+------+
| id | name    | address   | tele |
+----+---------+-----------+------+
|  1 | Rupert  | Somewhere | 022  |
|  2 | John    | Doe       | 022  |
|  3 | Unknown | Unknown   | 022  |
+----+---------+-----------+------+

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