1. sql
  2. /references
  3. /insert

SQL INSERT Statements


In SQL, the INSERT statement is used to insert one or more rows of data into a table. The basic syntax for the INSERT statement is as follows:

INSERT INTO table_name (column1, column2, column3) 
VALUES (value1, value2, value3);

Here, table_name is the name of the table that the data should be inserted into, and the column names and corresponding values are specified in the parentheses following the INSERT INTO clause.


For example, the following SQL statement would insert a new row into the employees table, with values of "John", "Doe", and "35" for the first_name, last_name, and age columns, respectively:

INSERT INTO employees (first_name, last_name, age) 
VALUES ('John', 'Doe', 35);

You can also insert multiple rows at once in a single statement, separating each set of values by a comma:

INSERT INTO employees (first_name, last_name, age) 
VALUES ('John', 'Doe', 35), ('Jane', 'Doe', 30), ('Mike', 'Smith', 40);

When inserting data into a table, it's important to ensure that the values being inserted match the data types of the columns they are being inserted into. If a value does not match the data type of the column, an error will be generated and the statement will fail to execute.

In addition, if you are inserting data into a table that has constraints such as primary key or foreign key, it is important to make sure that the values being inserted do not violate those constraints.

It's also possible to insert data into a table by selecting data from one or more other tables using a SELECT statement, rather than specifying the values directly. The basic syntax for this type of INSERT statement is as follows:

INSERT INTO table_name (column1, column2, column3) 
  SELECT column1, column2, column3 
  FROM other_table 
  WHERE some_column = some_value;

This is useful when you want to copy data from one table to another, or when you want to insert data into a table based on data from multiple tables.

In any case it is important to be very careful when using the insert statement, as it can cause data integrity issues if it's not used properly.

Best Practices

When working with SQL INSERT statements, there are a few best practices that you should keep in mind in order to ensure that your queries are performant, reliable, and secure:

  • Use parameterized queries instead of concatenating values into your SQL string. This helps to protect against SQL injection attacks, as well as making your code more readable and maintainable.

  • Use the appropriate data types for the columns in your table. This will help to ensure that your data is stored correctly, and will make it easier to query and manipulate later on.

  • Use a transaction if you need to insert multiple rows of data at once while maintaining data integrity. This will help to ensure that all of the data is inserted, or none of it is, even if there is an error.

  • Keep indexes in mind when inserting data. If you insert a large number of rows of data at once and have a index on the table , it will slow down your insert. You can use bulk insert or disable indexes temporarily before, and enable it after the insert, or you can insert the data in smaller chunks.

  • If your Database Management System allows for it, use the RETURNING clause for returning the columns data after the INSERT statement. It is faster and sometimes more convenient than using an additional SELECT statement to retrieve the same data.