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SELECT INTO

Name

SELECT INTO  --  Creates a new table from the results of a SELECT

Synopsis

SELECT [ ALL | DISTINCT [ ON ( expression [, ...] ) ] ]
    * | expression [ AS output_name ] [, ...]
    INTO [ TEMPORARY | TEMP ] [ TABLE ] new_table
    [ FROM from_item [, ...] ]
    [ WHERE condition ]
    [ GROUP BY expression [, ...] ]
    [ HAVING condition [, ...] ]
    [ { UNION | INTERSECT | EXCEPT [ ALL ] } select ]
    [ ORDER BY expression [ ASC | DESC | USING operator ] [, ...] ]
    [ FOR UPDATE [ OF tablename [, ...] ] ]
    [ LIMIT { count | ALL } [ { OFFSET | , } start ]]

where from_item can be:

[ ONLY ] table_name [ * ]
    [ [ AS ] alias [ ( column_alias_list ) ] ]
|
( select )
    [ AS ] alias [ ( column_alias_list ) ]
|
from_item [ NATURAL ] join_type from_item
    [ ON join_condition | USING ( join_column_list ) ]
  

Inputs

TEMPORARY, TEMP

If TEMPORARY or TEMP is specified, the output table is created only within this session, and is automatically dropped on session exit. Existing permanent tables with the same name are not visible (in this session) while the temporary table exists. Any indexes created on a temporary table are automatically temporary as well.

new_table

The name of the new table to be created. This table must not already exist. However, a temporary table can be created that has the same name as an existing permanent table.

All other inputs are described in detail for SELECT.

Outputs

Refer to CREATE TABLE and SELECT for a summary of possible output messages.

Description

SELECT INTO creates a new table and fills it with data computed by a query. The data is not returned to the client, as it is with a normal SELECT. The new table's columns have the names and datatypes associated with the output columns of the SELECT.

Note: CREATE TABLE AS is functionally equivalent to SELECT INTO. CREATE TABLE AS is the recommended syntax, since SELECT INTO is not standard. In fact, this form of SELECT INTO is not available in PL/pgSQL or ecpg, because they interpret the INTO clause differently.

Compatibility

SQL92 uses SELECT ... INTO to represent selecting values into scalar variables of a host program, rather than creating a new table. This indeed is the usage found in PL/pgSQL and ecpg. The Postgres usage of SELECT INTO to represent table creation is historical. It's best to use CREATE TABLE AS for this purpose in new code. (CREATE TABLE AS isn't standard either, but it's less likely to cause confusion.)

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