WITH

MariaDB starting with 10.2.1

Common Table Expressions were introduced in MariaDB 10.2.1.

Syntax

WITH [RECURSIVE] table_reference AS  (
  SELECT ...
)
[CYCLE cycle_column_list RESTRICT]
SELECT ...

Description

The WITH keyword signifies a Common Table Expression (CTE). It allows you to refer to a subquery expression many times in a query, as if having a temporary table that only exists for the duration of a query.

There are two kinds of CTEs:

You can use table_reference as any normal table in the external SELECT part. You can also use WITH in subqueries, as well as with EXPLAIN and SELECT.

Poorly-formed recursive CTEs can in theory cause infinite loops. The max_recursive_iterations system variable limits the number of recursions.

CYCLE ... RESTRICT

MariaDB starting with 10.5.2

The CYCLE clause enables CTE cycle detection, avoiding excessive or infinite loops, MariaDB supports a relaxed, non-standard grammar.

The SQL Standard permits a CYCLE clause, as follows:

WITH RECURSIVE ... (
  ...
)
CYCLE <cycle column list> RESTRICT
SET <cycle mark column> TO <cycle mark value> DEFAULT <non-cycle mark value>
USING <path column>

where all clauses are mandatory.

MariaDB does not support this, but from 10.5.2 permits a non-standard relaxed grammar, as follows:

WITH RECURSIVE ... (
  ...
)
CYCLE <cycle column list> RESTRICT

With the use of CYCLE ... RESTRICT it makes no difference whether the CTE uses UNION ALL or UNION DISTINCT anymore. UNION ALL means "all rows, but without cycles", which is exactly what the CYCLE clause enables. And UNION DISTINCT means all rows should be different, which, again, is what will happen — as uniqueness is enforced over a subset of columns, complete rows will automatically all be different.

Examples

Below is an example with the WITH at the top level:

WITH t AS (SELECT a FROM t1 WHERE b >= 'c') 
  SELECT * FROM t2, t WHERE t2.c = t.a;

The example below uses WITH in a subquery:

SELECT t1.a, t1.b FROM t1, t2
  WHERE t1.a > t2.c 
     AND t2.c IN(WITH t AS (SELECT * FROM t1 WHERE t1.a < 5)
                SELECT t2.c FROM t2, t WHERE t2.c = t.a);

Below is an example of a Recursive CTE:

WITH RECURSIVE ancestors AS 
 ( SELECT * FROM folks
   WHERE name="Alex"
   UNION
   SELECT f.*
   FROM folks AS f, ancestors AS a
   WHERE f.id = a.father OR f.id = a.mother )
SELECT * FROM ancestors;

Take the following structure, and data,

CREATE TABLE t1 (from_ int, to_ int);
INSERT INTO t1 VALUES (1,2), (1,100), (2,3), (3,4), (4,1);
SELECT * FROM t1;
+-------+------+
| from_ | to_  |
+-------+------+
|     1 |    2 |
|     1 |  100 |
|     2 |    3 |
|     3 |    4 |
|     4 |    1 |
+-------+------+

Given the above, the following query would theoretically result in an infinite loop due to the last record in t1 (note that max_recursive_iterations is set to 10 for the purposes of this example, to avoid the excessive number of cycles):

SET max_recursive_iterations=10;

WITH RECURSIVE cte (depth, from_, to_) AS ( 
  SELECT 0,1,1 UNION DISTINCT SELECT depth+1, t1.from_, t1.to_ 
    FROM t1, cte  WHERE t1.from_ = cte.to_ 
) 
SELECT * FROM cte;
+-------+-------+------+
| depth | from_ | to_  |
+-------+-------+------+
|     0 |     1 |    1 |
|     1 |     1 |    2 |
|     1 |     1 |  100 |
|     2 |     2 |    3 |
|     3 |     3 |    4 |
|     4 |     4 |    1 |
|     5 |     1 |    2 |
|     5 |     1 |  100 |
|     6 |     2 |    3 |
|     7 |     3 |    4 |
|     8 |     4 |    1 |
|     9 |     1 |    2 |
|     9 |     1 |  100 |
|    10 |     2 |    3 |
+-------+-------+------+

However, the CYCLE ... RESTRICT clause (from MariaDB 10.5.2) can overcome this:

WITH RECURSIVE cte (depth, from_, to_) AS ( 
  SELECT 0,1,1 UNION SELECT depth+1, t1.from_, t1.to_ 
    FROM t1, cte WHERE t1.from_ = cte.to_ 
) 
CYCLE from_, to_ RESTRICT 
SELECT * FROM cte;
+-------+-------+------+
| depth | from_ | to_  |
+-------+-------+------+
|     0 |     1 |    1 |
|     1 |     1 |    2 |
|     1 |     1 |  100 |
|     2 |     2 |    3 |
|     3 |     3 |    4 |
|     4 |     4 |    1 |
+-------+-------+------+

See Also

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