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The SQL:1999 standard specifies the WITH clause to be an optional clause for the SELECT statement, in order to specify common table expressions (also: CTE). Many other databases (such as PostgreSQL, SQL Server) also allow for using common table expressions also in other DML clauses, such as the INSERT statement, UPDATE statement, DELETE statement, or MERGE statement.

When using common table expressions with jOOQ, there are essentially two approaches:

  • Declaring and assigning common table expressions explicitly to names
  • Inlining common table expressions into a SELECT statement

Explicit common table expressions

The following example makes use of names to construct common table expressions, which can then be supplied to a WITH clause or a FROM clause of a SELECT statement:

-- Pseudo-SQL for a common table expression specification
"t1" ("f1", "f2") AS (SELECT 1, 'a')
// Code for creating a CommonTableExpression instance
name("t1").fields("f1", "f2").as(select(val(1), val("a")));

The above expression can be assigned to a variable in Java and then be used to create a full SELECT statement:

WITH "t1" ("f1", "f2") AS (SELECT 1, 'a'),
     "t2" ("f3", "f4") AS (SELECT 2, 'b')
    "t1"."f1" + "t2"."f3" AS "add",
    "t1"."f2" || "t2"."f4" AS "concat"
FROM "t1", "t2"
CommonTableExpression<Record2<Integer, String>> t1 =
  name("t1").fields("f1", "f2").as(select(val(1), val("a")));
CommonTableExpression<Record2<Integer, String>> t2 =
  name("t2").fields("f3", "f4").as(select(val(2), val("b")));

Result<?> result2 =
      .from(t1, t2)

Note that the org.jooq.CommonTableExpression type extends the commonly used org.jooq.Table type, and can thus be used wherever a table can be used.

Inlined common table expressions

If you're just operating on plain SQL, you may not need to keep intermediate references to such common table expressions. An example of such usage would be this:

               1 AS "x",
               'a' AS "y"
FROM "a"

Recursive common table expressions

The various SQL dialects do not agree on the use of RECURSIVE when writing recursive common table expressions. When using jOOQ, always use the DSLContext.withRecursive() or DSL.withRecursive() methods, and jOOQ will render the RECURSIVE keyword, if needed.

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