MySQL: get value of last auto-increment field

If you use an auto increment field (autonumbering) in your database table, you can find the last generated number by performing the following query :

select last_insert_id();

This will get the last id for the current connection. If you close the connection you can’t get the number again, and it will only return the last number for *your* connection. It is kept on a per-connection basis.

Linux MySQL

Using MySQL (basics)

This article assumes you are using linux, and mysql has already been installed and configured.

Starting the interactive environment

Start a linux terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and type the following:

mysql --user=<username> --password=<password>

Where <username> is the name of the user that has access to mysql, and <password> is his/her/their password.

Creating a database

Once you have started the interactive environment as explained above, you can start creating databases by typing the following command:

create database mydatabase;

Please replace mydatabase with the name of the database you want to create.

Defining permissions

To grant a user all rights on all databases, you can use the following command:

grant all privileges on *.* to 'username'@'localhost'  identified by 'mypassword' with grant option;

Of course this is not the safest setup, you should always limit the privileges as much as possible. So to grant a user only select on all databases, you could use:

grant select on *.* to 'username'@'localhost'

Suppose you want to give select access on one specific table in one database, to a user coming from any host:

grant select on `mydatabase`.`mytable` to 'username'@'%';

Notice the backticks around the databasename, and the tablename. And the % sign to indicate any host.

Showing permissions for a user

show grants for username@localhost;

Using a database

Before you can access a database, you have to tell MySQL which database you want to use:

use mydatabase;

Replace mydatabase with the name of the database you want to access.

Creating a table

Suppose you want to create a table ‘products’ in database ‘mydatabase’ with the following fields:

'id'          : a unique recordkey filled automatically
'name'        : the name of the product
'description' : a longer text describing the item
'stock'       : a number, no decimals
'price'       : number, two decimals
'dateupdate'  : date field

The primary index will be on the unique id, a secondary index will be on name.

To create this table, use the following command:

use mydatabase;
create table products (
name CHAR(255),
description TEXT,
stock BIGINT,
price DECIMAL(9,2),
dateupdate DATE,
PRIMARY KEY (id), KEY(name)

A short explanation:

the field ‘id’ is created as an INTeger, can NOT be NULL, and is AUTOmatically INCREMENTed, ‘name’ can contain 255 CHARacters, ‘description’ can contain a large TEXT, ‘stock’ is a BIG INTeger, so it can’t have a decimal point, ‘price’ is 9 characters long, 2 after the decimal point.

List all tables in a database

To list all tables in database mydatabase use the following commands:

use mydatabase;
show tables;

Show the structure of a MySQL table

To show the structure of table ‘products’ use the following command:

use mydatabase;
describe products;

This will get an overview similar to the one below:

| Field      | Type         | Null | Key | Default | Extra          |
| id         | int(11)      |      | PRI | NULL    | auto_increment |
| name       | varchar(255) | YES  | MUL | NULL    |                |
| description| text         | YES  |     | NULL    |                |
| stock      | bigint(20)   | YES  |     | NULL    |                |
| price      | decimal(9,2) | YES  |     | NULL    |                |
| dateupdate | date         | YES  |     | NULL    |                |

Backup and restore of MySQL databases

There will be a separate post for this, including a handy little script to automate this.

A simple way to backup the database is type the following command on the bash prompt (Not inside the mysql interactive environment)

mysqldump mydatabase > backup_mydatabase.sql

Replace ‘mydatabase’ by the name of the database you want to backup, and ‘mydatabase.sql’ by the name of the backupfile.

To restore this you open the mysql interactive environment, create an empty database as explained below, select the database and then process the backup file. You can do this as follows:

create database mydatabase;
use mydatabase;
source backup_mydatabase.sql

Replace ‘mydatabase’ with the name of your database and ‘mydatabase.sql’ with the name of you backup file. It is best to use the full path here (e.g. /home/dbadmin/backups/backup_products_database.sql)