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Sql UNION

SQL UNION

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Introduction

The SQL UNION operator combines the results of two or more queries and makes a result set which includes fetched rows from the participating queries in the UNION.

Contents:

Basic rules for combining two or more queries using UNION

Basic rules for combining two or more queries using UNION :

1.) number of columns and order of columns of all queries must be same.

2.) the data types of the columns on involving table in each query must be same or compatible.

3.) Usually returned column names are taken from the first query.

By default the UNION behaves like UNION [DISTINCT] , i.e. eliminated the duplicate rows; however, using ALL keyword with UNION returns all rows, including duplicates.

Difference between SQL JOIN and UNION

1.) The columns of joining tables may be different in JOIN but in UNION the number of columns and order of columns of all queries must be same.

2.) The UNION puts rows from queries after each other( puts vertically ) but JOIN puts the column from queries after each other (puts horizontally), i.e. it makes a cartesian product.

Syntax

SELECT <column_list>t [INTO ]
[FROM ]  	[WHERE ]
[GROUP BY ]  	[HAVING ]
[UNION [ALL]
SELECT <column_list>
[FROM ]  	[WHERE ]
[GROUP BY ]  	[HAVING ]...]
[ORDER BY ]

The queries are all executed independently but their output is merged.

In the following example, no clause have been added with UNION, so, by default UNION is acting as UNION [DISTINCT] and only the unique rows are available in the result set.

Sample table : product

PROD_CODE  PROD_NAME       COM_NAME         LIFE
---------- --------------- ---------- ----------
PR001      T.V.            SONY                7
PR002      DVD PLAYER      LG                  9
PR003      IPOD            PHILIPS             9
PR004      SOUND SYSTEM    SONY                8
PR005      MOBILE          NOKIA               6

Sample table : purchase

    PUR_NO PROD_CODE  PROD_NAME       COM_NAME      PUR_QTY PUR_AMOUNT
---------- ---------- --------------- ---------- ---------- ----------
         2 PR001      T.V.            SONY               15     450000
         1 PR003      IPOD            PHILIPS            20      60000
         3 PR007      LAPTOP          H.P.                6     240000
         4 PR005      MOBILE          NOKIA             100     300000
         5 PR002      DVD PLAYER      LG                 10      30000
         6 PR006      SOUND SYSTEM    CREATIVE            8      40000
SELECT prod_code,prod_name
FROM product
UNION 
SELECT prod_code,prod_name
FROM purchase;

Output

PROD_CODE  PROD_NAME
---------- ---------------
PR001      T.V.
PR002      DVD PLAYER
PR003      IPOD
PR004      SOUND SYSTEM
PR005      MOBILE
PR006      SOUND SYSTEM
PR007      LAPTOP

Pictorial Representation

pictorial representation of Sql union

SQL UNION ALL

In the following example, the optional clause ALL have been added with UNION for which, all the rows from each query have been available in the result set. Here in the above output, the marking rows are non-unique but it has been displayed. If ignored ALL clause, the marking rows would have come once.

SELECT prod_code,prod_name,com_name
FROM product
UNION ALL
SELECT prod_code,prod_name,com_name
FROM purchase;

Output

Sql union all example

SQL UNION ALL using where

In the following example, the two queries have been set using two different criteria including WHERE clause. So all the retrieve rows (including duplicates) have displayed in the result set. Here in this example, the marking rows are identical, but it has been displayed for the ALL clause along with UNION. If ignored ALL clause the marking rows would have come once.

SELECT prod_code,prod_name,com_name
FROM product 
WHERE life>6
UNION ALL
SELECT prod_code,prod_name,com_name
FROM purchase 
WHERE pur_qty>10

Output

Sql union all using where clause example

SQL UNION a table to itself

In the following example, the two queries have been set using two different criteria for the same table. So all the retrieved rows ( including duplicates ) have displayed. Here in this example, the marking rows are identical, but it has been displayed for the ALL clause along with UNION.

SELECT prod_code,prod_name,com_name
FROM purchase 
WHERE pur_qty>6
UNION ALL
SELECT prod_code,prod_name,com_name
FROM purchase 
WHERE pur_amount>100000

Sql union a table with itself example

SQL UNION with different column names

In the following example, the two queries have been set using two different criteria and different columns. The different columns in two statements are 'life' and 'pur_qty'. But as the data type are same for both the columns so, result has displayed. Usually returned column names are taken from the first query.

SELECT prod_code,prod_name,life
FROM product
WHERE life>6
UNION
SELECT prod_code,prod_name,pur_qty
FROM purchase
WHERE pur_qty<20

Output

PROD_CODE  PROD_NAME             LIFE
---------- --------------- ----------
PR001      T.V.                     7
PR001      T.V.                    15
PR002      DVD PLAYER               9
PR002      DVD PLAYER              10
PR003      IPOD                     9
PR004      SOUND SYSTEM             8
PR006      SOUND SYSTEM             8
PR007      LAPTOP                   6

SQL UNION with Inner Join

In the following example, the union made by two queries. The queries are two inner join statement. In the first query, the join takes place between two tables where the prod_code of both tables are same and in the 2nd query the join take place between two tables where the prod_name of both tables are same.

SELECT product.prod_code,product.prod_name,
purchase.pur_qty, purchase.pur_amount  
FROM product
INNER JOIN purchase  
ON product.prod_code =purchase.prod_code
UNION
SELECT product.prod_code,product.prod_name,
purchase.pur_qty, purchase.pur_amount  
FROM product
INNER JOIN purchase  
ON product.prod_name =purchase.prod_name;

Output

PROD_CODE  PROD_NAME          PUR_QTY PUR_AMOUNT
---------- --------------- ---------- ----------
PR001      T.V.                    15     450000
PR002      DVD PLAYER              10      30000
PR003      IPOD                    20      60000
PR004      SOUND SYSTEM             8      40000
PR005      MOBILE                 100     300000

SQL: Union vs Union All

The basic difference between UNION and UNION ALL is, UNION removes duplicate records but UNION ALL does not. Let apply these two commands on two tables table1 and table2.

Rows in table1 :

   FIELD1
---------
        1
        4
        2
        3

Rows in table2 :

    FIELD1
----------
         2
         4
         2
         1  

UNION Example (Removes all duplicate records) :

SELECT field1
FROM table1
UNION
SELECT field1
FROM table2;
  

Output

    FIELD1
----------
         1
         2
         3
         4

UNION ALL Example :

SELECT field1
FROM table1
UNION ALL
SELECT field1
FROM table2;

Output

    FIELD1
----------
         1
         4
         2
         3
         2
         4
         2
         1

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