Combining requests, Union operator

The results of executing SQL queries can be combined. There is a UNION operator for this.

The general structure of a query with the operator UNION

SELECT table_fields FROM list_of_tables ...
SELECT table_fields FROM list_of_tables ... ;

UNION removes repetitions in the resulting table by default. There is an optional ALL parameter for repeat display.

  • Do not confuse query join operations with table join operations. To do this, use the JOIN operator.
  • Do not confuse query merge operations with subqueries. Subqueries are executed for linked tables.

Table joining with the UNION operator is performed for tables that are not related in any way, but with a similar structure.

In order for UNION to function correctly, it is essential that the resulting tables from each of the SQL queries contain the same number of columns with the same data types and in the same order.

There are two other operators whose behavior is very similar to UNION:

  • INTERSECT Combines two SELECT queries, but returns only the first SELECT records that have matches in the second SELECT element.
  • EXCEPT Combines two SELECT queries, but returns only the first SELECT records, which do not match in the second SELECT element.

Examples of using

For example, it is necessary to display the name of all goods and the names of all family members (very conditional task). Since the data types are the same, we can do this.

SELECT DISTINCT Goods.good_name AS name FROM Goods
SELECT DISTINCT FamilyMembers.member_name AS name FROM FamilyMembers;
apartment fee
phone fee
red caviar
black caviar
cough tablets
vacuum cleaner
fur coat
music school fee
english school fee
Headley Quincey
Flavia Quincey
Andie Quincey
Lela Quincey
Annie Quincey
Ernest Forrest
Constance Forrest
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