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SQL statements with subqueries

Copying data from one table to another

Let’s say we want to copy over all the data from the students table below to a new table, called studentsCopy.

One way of doing it is copying over all the data manually after creating a new table with same schema.

The other is using a subquery that returns a list of rows instead of the VALUES list of an INSERT INTO statement.

Notice that the result of SELECT * FROM students serves as a replacement to the standard VALUES list provided in an INSERT INTO statement.

What if we only want to copy a subset of columns over?

The concept still remains the same. An appropriate subquery can serve as the data to INSERT, as long as it matches the columns (all/few) specified in the INSERT statement.

Notice that in the above query, we are only copying the id and name from students over to studentsMetadata, although the studentsMetadata is not an exact copy of students. The subquery SELECT id, name FROM students; still is a valid list of rows, to provide to the INSERT INTO statement for studentsMetadata, given we have a specific column list specified (id, name).