SQL - Primary Key


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A primary key is a field in a table which uniquely identifies each row/record in a database table. Primary keys must contain unique values. A primary key column cannot have NULL values.

A table can have only one primary key, which may consist of single or multiple fields. When multiple fields are used as a primary key, they are called a composite key.

If a table has a primary key defined on any field(s), then you cannot have two records having the same value of that field(s).

Note − You would use these concepts while creating database tables.

Create Primary Key

Here is the syntax to define the ID attribute as a primary key in a CUSTOMERS table.

CREATE TABLE CUSTOMERS(
   ID   INT              NOT NULL,
   NAME VARCHAR (20)     NOT NULL,
   AGE  INT              NOT NULL,
   ADDRESS  CHAR (25) ,
   SALARY   DECIMAL (18, 2),       
   PRIMARY KEY (ID)
);

To create a PRIMARY KEY constraint on the "ID" column when the CUSTOMERS table already exists, use the following SQL syntax −

ALTER TABLE CUSTOMER ADD PRIMARY KEY (ID);

NOTE − If you use the ALTER TABLE statement to add a primary key, the primary key column(s) should have already been declared to not contain NULL values (when the table was first created).

For defining a PRIMARY KEY constraint on multiple columns, use the SQL syntax given below.

CREATE TABLE CUSTOMERS(
   ID   INT              NOT NULL,
   NAME VARCHAR (20)     NOT NULL,
   AGE  INT              NOT NULL,
   ADDRESS  CHAR (25) ,
   SALARY   DECIMAL (18, 2),        
   PRIMARY KEY (ID, NAME)
);

To create a PRIMARY KEY constraint on the "ID" and "NAMES" columns when CUSTOMERS table already exists, use the following SQL syntax.

ALTER TABLE CUSTOMERS 
   ADD CONSTRAINT PK_CUSTID PRIMARY KEY (ID, NAME);

Delete Primary Key

You can clear the primary key constraints from the table with the syntax given below.

ALTER TABLE CUSTOMERS DROP PRIMARY KEY ;

sql-rdbms-concepts.htm

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