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Question by PC Control | 05/01/2018 at 15:46

I would like to either insert some data into a Firebird database or, if the corresponding ID already exists, update the record with that ID. I would like to do this within one query so that I do not get any error messages and I do not have to check first if an ID is already in the table.

For this purpose, MySQL has the command "INSERT ... ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE", which is constructed as follows:

INSERT INTO tab (id, val) VALUES (10, 1)
  ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE val = val + 1;

This inserts an entry with id = 10 and val = 1 in the table "tab", if the id = 10 does not already exist. However, if this ID exists, the value of val of this row is incremented by 1.

That's exactly what I would like to do with Firebird. Unfortunately, Firebird does not seem to understand this syntax and always gives me only an error message. What can I do? Is this option not available in Firebird?



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After all, even in Firebird you can do an "ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE" INSERT. However, in Firebird the syntax is a bit different. Instead of the MySQL syntax, you have to write "UPDATE OR INSERT". Your query from above would look like this in Firebird:

UPDATE OR INSERT INTO tab (id, val) 
  VALUES (10, 1);

The "UPDATE OR INSERT" from Firebird automatically uses the existing column(s) with PRIMARY KEY. If you do not have a PRIMARY KEY column or want to use other columns for the match, you can use the keyword MATCHING at the back of your query:

UPDATE OR INSERT INTO tab (id, val) 
  VALUES (10, 1) 

After MATCHING in the bracket, you define which columns are to be used for the match. In this example, I took again the column "id".

More about this topic can be found in the Firebird-FAQ.
05/01/2018 at 19:01

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