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MySQL: Select all columns EXCEPT specified column

Posted on 2014-01-23
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Last Modified: 2014-01-25
This returns all columns:
SELECT * FROM tablexyz

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I want all columns EXCEPT the column named foobar to be selected.
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Question by:hankknight
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by:snoyes_jw
snoyes_jw earned 50 total points
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There is no syntax for that. You have to do:
SELECT all, the, other, columns FROM table;

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by:ravikantninave
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could be like this

Select *
into #temp
from table

alter table #temp drop column column_name

Select *
from #temp
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Author Comment

by:hankknight
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I like the idea of using a temporary table however the code provided for the temporary table does not work.
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by:johanntagle
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Are you open to using a stored procedure?  I think it can be done using dynamically formed SQL within a stored procedure, but I won't put effort into it if this is not an option for you.
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Expert Comment

by:ravikantninave
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Works with me.  I again tried it.

Select *
into #testx
from tablename

alter table #testx drop column joindate

Select * from #testx
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by:johanntagle
johanntagle earned 150 total points
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Yeah that should work, but how big is the data and how frequent will this be done?  I'm under the impression this will be done frequently so copying the full table and dropping the column will be quite inefficient.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Kevin Cross earned 300 total points
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Silly question, but this is MySQL, correct?
If yes, then "SELECT ... INTO #temp_table" syntax does not work that I am aware of.
You have to CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE

For example:
-- create temporary copy of data
CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE temp_table
SELECT *
FROM orig_table
;

-- drop unnecessary column
ALTER TABLE temp_table
DROP COLUMN `column_to_exclude`
;

-- select data from temp
SELECT *
FROM temp_table
;

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However, I agree with Johann.  Is it not possible to create a view one time in which you explicitly list the columns you want except the one?  From that point forward, you can SELECT * FROM view_name.
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by:Multimatic
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Needed to do similar before and used the schema. Originally done on business layer and built dynamic SQL there, but can be done easily in stored proc using prepared statement.
For example:

CREATE DEFINER=`root`@`localhost` PROCEDURE `procTest`(pTable VARCHAR(30),pExcludeField VARCHAR(30))
BEGIN
      SET @strSQL= (SELECT GROUP_CONCAT(column_name) FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS WHERE TABLE_NAME=pTable AND column_name<>pExcludeField);
      SET  @strSQL=CONCAT(' SELECT  ',@strSQL,' FROM ',pTable,' LIMIT 1000;');
      PREPARE stmt FROM @strSQL;
      EXECUTE stmt;
      DEALLOCATE PREPARE stmt;
END$$

DELIMITER ;

Then the following should give you your result set:

CALL spTest('MyTable,'foobar');
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Expert Comment

by:johanntagle
Comment Utility
Multimatic's solution was what I had in mind when I said use a stored procedure.  This would have been the more elegant and efficient way to do it.
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Expert Comment

by:Kevin Cross
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Again, I agree.  I posted to correct the dialog that the #temp_table syntax was correct as I expect the Experts did not see the topic area.  I love the use of dynamic SQL and the INFORMATION_SCHEMA for this.  I have similar situations on Microsoft SQL as timestamp columns cannot INSERT; therefore, when copying data across like systems, you have to select every column but the timestamp.  A technique like this is useful for that, although on the SQL side I just leverage the GUI's ability to generate a SELECT with all the columns then I manually remove the one.  The new MySQL Workbench can do this also, so I guess that is another option.
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