The Java EE 5 Tutorial

Simplified Query Language Syntax

This section briefly describes the syntax of the query language so that you can quickly move on to the next section, Example Queries. When you are ready to learn about the syntax in more detail, see the section Full Query Language Syntax.

Select Statements

A select query has six clauses: SELECT, FROM, WHERE, GROUP BY, HAVING, and ORDER BY. The SELECT and FROM clauses are required, but the WHERE, GROUP BY, HAVING, and ORDER BY clauses are optional. Here is the high-level BNF syntax of a query language query:

QL_statement ::= select_clause from_clause 

The SELECT clause defines the types of the objects or values returned by the query.

The FROM clause defines the scope of the query by declaring one or more identification variables, which can be referenced in the SELECT and WHERE clauses. An identification variable represents one of the following elements:

The WHERE clause is a conditional expression that restricts the objects or values retrieved by the query. Although it is optional, most queries have a WHERE clause.

The GROUP BY clause groups query results according to a set of properties.

The HAVING clause is used with the GROUP BY clause to further restrict the query results according to a conditional expression.

The ORDER BY clause sorts the objects or values returned by the query into a specified order.

Update and Delete Statements

Update and delete statements provide bulk operations over sets of entities. They have the following syntax:

update_statement :: = update_clause [where_clause] delete_statement :: = 
		delete_clause [where_clause]

The update and delete clauses determine the type of the entities to be updated or deleted. The WHERE clause may be used to restrict the scope of the update or delete operation.