Quickly duplicate a row in MySQL

A quick way of duplicating a row in a table without running into duplicate key errors or having to type out all the field names…

Not quite a one-liner, but very straightforward.

/*
Duplicate row 58 from mytable
*/
CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE tmptable  SELECT * FROM mytable WHERE id = 58;

/*
Change the unique key
*/
UPDATE tmptable SET id=0; 

/* 
Insert the duplicate row into the original table
*/
INSERT INTO mytable SELECT * FROM tmptable;

/* 
Drop the temporary table
*/
DROP TABLE tmptable;

MySQL DATE_FORMAT() AND PHP date() formats

I’m always finding myself looking up strings to format PHP and MySQL dates. A simple d/m/Y is pretty straight forward but sometimes things can get a bit fiddly. Where ever possible I try and leave my date formatting in the database, but I still find myself doing it in PHP all the time.

Here are a few simple cut and paste date formats.

PHP Date MySQL Date PHP Format MySQL Format Notes
7/9/2009 7/9/2009 j/n/Y %e/%c/%Y
07/09/2009 07/09/2009 d/m/Y %d/%m/%Y
7/9/2009 8:07 7/9/2009 8:07 j/n/Y G:i %e/%c/%Y %k:%i
7/9/2009 8:07 AM 7/9/2009 8:07 AM j/n/Y G:i A %e/%c/%Y %k:%i %p
07/09/2009 8:07 AM 07/09/2009 8:07 AM d/m/Y G:i A %d/%m/%Y %k:%i %p
07/09/2009 08:07 AM 07/09/2009 08:07 AM d/m/Y H:i A %d/%m/%Y %H:%i %p
07/09/2009 8:07 am d/m/Y G:i a
Mon 7th Sep 2009 Mon 7th Sep 2009 D jS M Y %a %D %b %Y
Monday 7th September 2009 Monday 7th September 2009 l jS F Y %W %D %M %Y
2009-09-07T08:07:50+01:00 Monday 7th September 2009 Y-m-d\TH:i:sP %W %D %M %Y PHP DATE_ATOM constant
Mon, 07 Sep 2009 08:07:50 +0100 Mon, 07 Sep 2009 08:07:50 D, d M Y H:i:s O %a, %d %b %Y %T PHP DATE_RSS constant

The PHP way

echo(date('d/m/Y', strtotime('2009-09-07 08:07:50')));

//or

$dateTime = new DateTime("now");
echo $dateTime->format("Y-m-d H:i:s")


The MySQL way

$sqlstring = "SELECT DATE_FORMAT('2009-09-07 08:07:50', '%d/%m/%Y') AS formated_date FROM some_table" ;


If you haven’t looked at the PHP manual closely for a while you should definitely (re)acquaint yourself with the DateTime Class.

Finding overlapping dates and times in MySQL

Quite often you end up in situations where you are required to check and see if one time period overlaps another time period. Probably the most common situation this occurs in is when you are building a booking system – be it for tables or cars or rooms.

You have a series of entries in a database with a start (date)time and an end (date)time and before adding a new record you need to check that it doesn’t overlap with another booking.

The solution is fairly simple but I always end up making a quick diagram on a piece of paper to check.

Time overlapping diagram

As you can see two time periods can either be sequential (i.e. there is no overlap at all) or they can overlap in one of four ways. Put this into a diagram and the solution becomes pretty obvious.

There is an overlap if end_time_1 > start_time_2 AND start_time_1 < end_time_2

Time start_1 start_2 end_1 end_2 end_1 > start_2 start_1 < end_2
1 09:00 08:00 11:00 10:00 true true
2 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 true true
3 09:00 08:00 11:00 12:00 true true
4 09:00 09:30 11:00 10:30 true true
5 09:00 07:00 11:00 08:00 false true
6 09:00 12:00 11:00 13:00 true false

An example SQL query would be something like the one below but make sure your datetime formats are correct – in MySQL the default format is YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss

SELECT * FROM bookings WHERE room_id = '" . $room_id . "' AND ((date_end > '" . $start_date . "') AND (date_start < '" . $end_date . "')) ";

The above query will pull back the records where the times overlap.