9.2 Schema Object Names
Certain objects within MySQL, including database, table, index, column, alias, view, stored procedure, partition, tablespace, and other object names are known as identifiers. This section describes the permissible syntax for identifiers in MySQL. Section 9.2.1, “Identifier Length Limits”, indicates the maximum length of each type of identifier. Section 9.2.3, “Identifier Case Sensitivity”, describes which types of identifiers are case-sensitive and under what conditions.
An identifier may be quoted or unquoted. If an identifier contains special characters or is a reserved word, you must quote it whenever you refer to it. (Exception: A reserved word that follows a period in a qualified name must be an identifier, so it need not be quoted.) Reserved words are listed at Section 9.3, “Keywords and Reserved Words”.
Internally, identifiers are converted to and are stored as Unicode (UTF-8). The permissible Unicode characters in identifiers are those in the Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP). Supplementary characters are not permitted. Identifiers thus may contain these characters:
Permitted characters in unquoted identifiers:
ASCII: [0-9,a-z,A-Z$_] (basic Latin letters, digits 0-9, dollar, underscore)
Extended: U+0080 .. U+FFFF
Permitted characters in quoted identifiers include the full Unicode Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP), except U+0000:
ASCII: U+0001 .. U+007F
Extended: U+0080 .. U+FFFF
ASCII NUL (U+0000) and supplementary characters (U+10000 and higher) are not permitted in quoted or unquoted identifiers.
Identifiers may begin with a digit but unless quoted may not consist solely of digits.
Database, table, and column names cannot end with space characters.
The identifier quote character is the backtick (
mysql> SELECT * FROM `select` WHERE `select`.id > 100;
ANSI_QUOTES SQL mode is enabled, it is also permissible to quote identifiers within double quotation marks:
mysql> CREATE TABLE "test" (col INT); ERROR 1064: You have an error in your SQL syntax... mysql> SET sql_mode='ANSI_QUOTES'; mysql> CREATE TABLE "test" (col INT); Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
ANSI_QUOTES mode causes the server to interpret double-quoted strings as identifiers. Consequently, when this mode is enabled, string literals must be enclosed within single quotation marks. They cannot be enclosed within double quotation marks. The server SQL mode is controlled as described in Section 5.1.10, “Server SQL Modes”.
Identifier quote characters can be included within an identifier if you quote the identifier. If the character to be included within the identifier is the same as that used to quote the identifier itself, then you need to double the character. The following statement creates a table named
a`b that contains a column named
mysql> CREATE TABLE `a``b` (`c"d` INT);
In the select list of a query, a quoted column alias can be specified using identifier or string quoting characters:
mysql> SELECT 1 AS `one`, 2 AS 'two'; +-----+-----+ | one | two | +-----+-----+ | 1 | 2 | +-----+-----+
Elsewhere in the statement, quoted references to the alias must use identifier quoting or the reference is treated as a string literal.
It is recommended that you do not use names that begin with
N are integers. For example, avoid using
1e as an identifier, because an expression such as
1e+3 is ambiguous. Depending on context, it might be interpreted as the expression
1e + 3 or as the number
Be careful when using
MD5() to produce table names because it can produce names in illegal or ambiguous formats such as those just described.
A user variable cannot be used directly in an SQL statement as an identifier or as part of an identifier. See Section 9.4, “User-Defined Variables”, for more information and examples of workarounds.
Special characters in database and table names are encoded in the corresponding file system names as described in Section 9.2.4, “Mapping of Identifiers to File Names”. If you have databases or tables from an older version of MySQL that contain special characters and for which the underlying directory names or file names have not been updated to use the new encoding, the server displays their names with a prefix of
#mysql50#. For information about referring to such names or converting them to the newer encoding, see that section.