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How to Query NULL Value in MySql

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Misunderstanding NULL is common mistake beginners do while writing MySql query. While quering in MySql they compare column name with NULL. In MySql NULL is nothing or in simple word it isUnknown Value so if you use comparison operator for NULL values you’ll get empty result.

Introduction

Misunderstanding NULL is common mistake beginners do while writing MySql query. While quering in MySql they compare column name with NULL. In MySql NULL is nothing or in simple word it isUnknown Value so if you use comparison operator for NULL values you’ll get empty result.

create table emp (
id int(10) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
name varchar(200),
emp_pan_card varchar(200),
PRIMARY KEY(id)
);
 
insert into emp (name,emp_pan_card) values('John',NULL);
 
insert into emp (name,emp_pan_card) values('smith','DDS9167GH');
 
insert into emp (name,emp_pan_card) values('Amit',NULL);
 
insert into emp (name,emp_pan_card) values('vikash','DD47H86GH');
mysql> select * from emp;
+----+--------+--------------+
| id | name   | emp_pan_card |
+----+--------+--------------+
|  1 | John   | NULL         |
|  2 | smith  | DDS9167GH    |
|  3 | Amit   | NULL         |
|  4 | vikash | DD47H86GH    |
+----+--------+--------------+
4 rows in set (0.00 sec)

How to Query NULL Value in MySql

Let’s see what happens when comparing emp_pan_card with NULL value.

mysql> select * from emp where emp_pan_card = NULL;
Empty set (0.00 sec)

Second Mistake

NULL and ‘ ‘ (empty string) are different thing. NULL means value is unknown while empty string represents blank value.

mysql> select * from emp where emp_pan_card = '';
Empty set (0.00 sec)

This query will return empty result. In MySql, a NULL is never equal to anything, even another NULL.

** Never use arithmetic comparison operators such as =, <, or <> for NULL. If you use any arithmetic operator with NULL, the result is NULL.

To select rows which contain NULL value in mysql, you have to use IS NULL.

mysql> select * from emp where emp_pan_card IS NULL;
+----+------+--------------+
| id | name | emp_pan_card |
+----+------+--------------+
|  1 | John | NULL         |
|  3 | Amit | NULL         |
+----+------+--------------+
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

To select rows where emp_pan_card column is not null you have to use IS NOT NULL.

mysql> select * from emp where emp_pan_card IS NOT NULL;
+----+--------+--------------+
| id | name   | emp_pan_card |
+----+--------+--------------+
|  2 | smith  | DDS9167GH    |
|  4 | vikash | DD47H86GH    |
+----+--------+--------------+
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

For further reading on this topic

How to Query NULL Value in MySql

How to Query NULL Value in MySql Posted on 08-10-2016  Misunderstanding NULL is common mistake beginners do while writing MySql query. While quering in MySql they compare column name with NULL. In MySql NULL is nothing or in simple word it isUnknown Value so if you use comparison operator for NULL values you’ll get empty result. 10/10 106

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