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Explanation of Retrieving Columns of Data from a Database Table by Ron Kurtus - Succeed in Using SQL. Key words: Structured Query Language, Access, MySQL, MS SQL Server, SELECT, wildcard, comma, Ron Kurtus, School for Champions. Copyright © Restrictions

Retrieving Columns of Data from a Database Table in SQL

by Ron Kurtus (3 February 2007)

You can use SQL to retrieve the columns of a database table with the SELECT statement. You can retrieve all columns, a single column, or several specific columns. It is then up to your programming language to display that data.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Retrieve all columns

You can query a database to retrieve all the elements in a database table by using the SELECT statement and wildcard (*) indicator.

SELECT *
FROM table_name;

Note: It is standard practice to add ";" at the end of your SQL query. Some databases require it and some don't.

Retrieve single column

The most common query from a database is to collect or retrieve all the elements in a specific column of the database table.

SELECT column_name
FROM table_name;

Retrieve several select columns

You can also retrieve data from several columns by separating the column names with a comma.

SELECT column_1, column_2, column_7
FROM table_name;

Note: Do not place a comma after the last item in the list, because it will result in an error message.

Summary

The SELECT statement is used to retrieve the columns of a database table. You can retrieve all columns, a single column, or several specific columns.


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