ericsicons ericsicons - 6 months ago 36
MySQL Question

MySQL query / clause execution order

what is the predefined order in which the clauses are executed in MySQL, is some of it decided at run time? is this order correct

FROM clause
WHERE clause
GROUP BY clause
HAVING clause
SELECT clause
ORDER BY clause


The actual execution of SQL statements is a bit tricky. However, the standard does specify the order of interpretation of elements in the query. This is basically in the order that you specify, although I think having and group by could come after select:

  • FROM clause
  • WHERE clause
  • SELECT clause
  • GROUP BY clause
  • HAVING clause
  • ORDER BY clause

This is important for understanding how queries are parsed. You cannot use a column alias defined in a select in the where clause, for instance, because the where is parsed before the select. On the other hand, such an alias can be in the order by clause.

As for actual execution, that is really left up to the optimizer. For instance:

. . .
group by a, b, c
order by NULL


. . .
group by a, b, c
order by a, b, c

both have the effect of the "order by" not being executed at all -- and so not executed after the group by (in the first case, the effect is to remove sorting from the group by and in the second the effect is to do nothing more than the group by already does).