Query data from a single table

This document describes how to use SQL and various programming languages to query data from a single table in a database.

Before you begin

The following content will take the Bookshop application as an example to show how to query data from a single table in TiDB.

Before querying data, make sure that you have completed the following steps:

  1. Build a TiDB cluster (using TiDB Cloud or TiUP is recommended).
  2. Import table schema and sample data of the Bookshop application.
  3. Connect to TiDB.

Execute a simple query

In the database of the Bookshop application, the authors table stores the basic information of authors. You can use the SELECT ... FROM ... statement to query data from the database.

  • SQL
  • Java

Execute the following SQL statement in a MySQL client:

SELECT id, name FROM authors;

The output is as follows:

+------------+--------------------------+
| id         | name                     |
+------------+--------------------------+
|       6357 | Adelle Bosco             |
|     345397 | Chanelle Koepp           |
|     807584 | Clementina Ryan          |
|     839921 | Gage Huel                |
|     850070 | Ray Armstrong            |
|     850362 | Ford Waelchi             |
|     881210 | Jayme Gutkowski          |
|    1165261 | Allison Kuvalis          |
|    1282036 | Adela Funk               |
...
| 4294957408 | Lyla Nitzsche            |
+------------+--------------------------+
20000 rows in set (0.05 sec)

In Java, authors' basic information can be stored by declaring a class Author. You should choose appropriate Java data types according to the type and value range in the database. For example:

  • Use a variable of type Int to store data of type int.
  • Use a variable of type Long to store data of type bigint.
  • Use a variable of type Short to store data of type tinyint.
  • Use a variable of type String to store data of type varchar.
  • ...
public class Author {
    private Long id;
    private String name;
    private Short gender;
    private Short birthYear;
    private Short deathYear;

    public Author() {}

     // Skip the getters and setters.
}
public class AuthorDAO {

    // Omit initialization of instance variables...

    public List<Author> getAuthors() throws SQLException {
        List<Author> authors = new ArrayList<>();

        try (Connection conn = ds.getConnection()) {
            Statement stmt = conn.createStatement();
            ResultSet rs = stmt.executeQuery("SELECT id, name FROM authors");
            while (rs.next()) {
                Author author = new Author();
                author.setId( rs.getLong("id"));
                author.setName(rs.getString("name"));
                authors.add(author);
            }
        }
        return authors;
    }
}
  • After connecting to TiDB using the JDBC driver, you can create a Statement object with conn.createStatus().
  • Then call stmt.executeQuery("query_sql") to initiate a database query request to TiDB.
  • The query results will be stored in a ResultSet object. By traversing ResultSet, the returned results can be mapped to the Author object.

Filter results

You can use the WHERE statement to filter query results.

For example, the following command will query authors who were born in 1998 among all authors:

  • SQL
  • Java

Add filter conditions in the WHERE statement:

SELECT * FROM authors WHERE birth_year = 1998;

In Java, you can use the same SQL to handle data query requests with dynamic parameters.

This can be done by concatenating parameters into a SQL statement. However, this method will pose a potential SQL Injection risk to the security of the application.

To deal with such queries, use a prepared statement instead of a normal statement.

public List<Author> getAuthorsByBirthYear(Short birthYear) throws SQLException {
    List<Author> authors = new ArrayList<>();
    try (Connection conn = ds.getConnection()) {
        PreparedStatement stmt = conn.prepareStatement("""
        SELECT * FROM authors WHERE birth_year = ?;
        """);
        stmt.setShort(1, birthYear);
        ResultSet rs = stmt.executeQuery();
        while (rs.next()) {
            Author author = new Author();
            author.setId( rs.getLong("id"));
            author.setName(rs.getString("name"));
            authors.add(author);
        }
    }
    return authors;
}

Sort results

With the ORDER BY statement, you can sort query results.

For example, the following SQL statement is to get a list of the youngest authors by sorting the authors table in descending order (DESC) according to the birth_year column.

SELECT id, name, birth_year
FROM authors
ORDER BY birth_year DESC;

The result is as follows:

+-----------+------------------------+------------+
| id        | name                   | birth_year |
+-----------+------------------------+------------+
| 83420726  | Terrance Dach          | 2000       |
| 57938667  | Margarita Christiansen | 2000       |
| 77441404  | Otto Dibbert           | 2000       |
| 61338414  | Danial Cormier         | 2000       |
| 49680887  | Alivia Lemke           | 2000       |
| 45460101  | Itzel Cummings         | 2000       |
| 38009380  | Percy Hodkiewicz       | 2000       |
| 12943560  | Hulda Hackett          | 2000       |
| 1294029   | Stanford Herman        | 2000       |
| 111453184 | Jeffrey Brekke         | 2000       |
...
300000 rows in set (0.23 sec)

Limit the number of query results

You can use the LIMIT statement to limit the number of query results.

SELECT id, name, birth_year
FROM authors
ORDER BY birth_year DESC
LIMIT 10;

The result is as follows:

+-----------+------------------------+------------+
| id        | name                   | birth_year |
+-----------+------------------------+------------+
| 83420726  | Terrance Dach          | 2000       |
| 57938667  | Margarita Christiansen | 2000       |
| 77441404  | Otto Dibbert           | 2000       |
| 61338414  | Danial Cormier         | 2000       |
| 49680887  | Alivia Lemke           | 2000       |
| 45460101  | Itzel Cummings         | 2000       |
| 38009380  | Percy Hodkiewicz       | 2000       |
| 12943560  | Hulda Hackett          | 2000       |
| 1294029   | Stanford Herman        | 2000       |
| 111453184 | Jeffrey Brekke         | 2000       |
+-----------+------------------------+------------+
10 rows in set (0.11 sec)

With the LIMIT statement, the query time is significantly reduced from 0.23 sec to 0.11 sec in this example. For more information, see TopN and Limit.

Aggregate queries

To have a better understanding of the overall data situation, you can use the GROUP BY statement to aggregate query results.

For example, if you want to know which years there are more authors born, you can group the authors table by the birth_year column, and then count for each year:

SELECT birth_year, COUNT (DISTINCT id) AS author_count
FROM authors
GROUP BY birth_year
ORDER BY author_count DESC;

The result is as follows:

+------------+--------------+
| birth_year | author_count |
+------------+--------------+
|       1932 |          317 |
|       1947 |          290 |
|       1939 |          282 |
|       1935 |          289 |
|       1968 |          291 |
|       1962 |          261 |
|       1961 |          283 |
|       1986 |          289 |
|       1994 |          280 |
...
|       1972 |          306 |
+------------+--------------+
71 rows in set (0.00 sec)

In addition to the COUNT function, TiDB also supports other aggregate functions. For more information, see Aggregate (GROUP BY) Functions.

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