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MySQL: Insert record if not exists in table


Question

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 this returns an error. Basically 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?

2010/07/02
1
390
7/2/2010 9:43:19 AM

Accepted Answer

I'm not actually suggesting that you do this, as the UNIQUE index as suggested by Piskvor and others is a far better way to do it, 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 must 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  |
+----+---------+-----------+------+
2020/03/12
513
3/12/2020 8:31:46 AM


Worked :

INSERT INTO users (full_name, login, password) 
  SELECT 'Mahbub Tito','tito',SHA1('12345') FROM DUAL
WHERE NOT EXISTS 
  (SELECT login FROM users WHERE login='tito');
2013/05/08

MySQL provides a very cute solution :

REPLACE INTO `table` VALUES (5, 'John', 'Doe', SHA1('password'));

Very easy to use since you have declared a unique primary key (here with value 5).

2015/04/15

INSERT IGNORE INTO `mytable`
SET `field0` = '2',
`field1` = 12345,
`field2` = 12678;

Here the mysql query, that insert records if not exist and will ignore existing similar records.

----Untested----
2013/01/06

You can easily use the following way :

INSERT INTO ... ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE ...

By this way you can insert any new raw and if you have duplicate data, replace specific column ( best columns is timestamps ).
For example :

CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS Devices (
  id         INT(6)       NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
  unique_id  VARCHAR(100) NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY,
  created_at VARCHAR(100) NOT NULL,
  UNIQUE KEY unique_id (unique_id),
  UNIQUE KEY id (id)
)
  CHARACTER SET utf8
  COLLATE utf8_unicode_ci;

INSERT INTO Devices(unique_id, time) 
VALUES('$device_id', '$current_time') 
ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE time = '$current_time';
2018/08/13

If you really can't get a unique index on the table, you could try...

INSERT INTO table_listnames (name, address, tele)
    SELECT 'Rupert', 'Somewhere', '022'
        FROM some_other_table
        WHERE NOT EXISTS (SELECT name
                              FROM table_listnames
                              WHERE name='Rupert')
        LIMIT 1;
2010/07/02

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3164505
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