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Column expressions can be used in various SQL clauses in order to refer to one or several columns. This chapter explains how to form various types of column expressions with jOOQ. A particular type of column expression is given in the section about tuples or row value expressions, where an expression may have a degree of more than one.

Using column expressions in jOOQ

jOOQ allows you to freely create arbitrary column expressions using a fluent expression construction API. Many expressions can be formed as functions from DSL methods, other expressions can be formed based on a pre-existing column expression. For example:

// A regular table column expression
Field<String> field1 = BOOK.TITLE;

// A function created from the DSL using "prefix" notation
Field<String> field2 = trim(BOOK.TITLE);

// The same function created from a pre-existing Field using "postfix" notation
Field<String> field3 = BOOK.TITLE.trim();

// More complex function with advanced DSL syntax
Field<String> field4 = listAgg(BOOK.TITLE)

In general, it is up to you whether you want to use the "prefix" notation or the "postfix" notation to create new column expressions based on existing ones. The "SQL way" would be to use the "prefix notation", with functions created from the DSL. The "Java way" or "object-oriented way" would be to use the "postfix" notation with functions created from org.jooq.Field objects. Both ways ultimately create the same query part, though.

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