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20.1. CREATE TRIGGER Syntax

CREATE
    [DEFINER = { user | CURRENT_USER }]
    TRIGGER trigger_name trigger_time trigger_event
    ON tbl_name FOR EACH ROW trigger_stmt

This statement creates a new trigger. A trigger is a named database object that is associated with a table, and that activates when a particular event occurs for the table. Currently, CREATE TRIGGER requires the TRIGGER privilege for the table associated with the trigger. (This statement requires the SUPER privilege prior to MySQL 5.1.6.)

The trigger becomes associated with the table named tbl_name, which must refer to a permanent table. You cannot associate a trigger with a TEMPORARY table or a view.

When the trigger is activated, the DEFINER clause determines the privileges that apply, as described later in this section.

trigger_time is the trigger action time. It can be BEFORE or AFTER to indicate that the trigger activates before or after the statement that activated it.

trigger_event indicates the kind of statement that activates the trigger. The trigger_event can be one of the following:

  • INSERT: The trigger is activated whenever a new row is inserted into the table; for example, through INSERT, LOAD DATA, and REPLACE statements.

  • UPDATE: The trigger is activated whenever a row is modified; for example, through UPDATE statements.

  • DELETE: The trigger is activated whenever a row is deleted from the table; for example, through DELETE and REPLACE statements.

It is important to understand that the trigger_event does not represent a literal type of SQL statement that activates the trigger so much as it represents a type of table operation. For example, an INSERT trigger is activated by not only INSERT statements but also LOAD DATA statements because both statements insert rows into a table.

A potentially confusing example of this is the INSERT INTO ... ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE ... syntax: a BEFORE INSERT trigger will activate for every row, followed by either an AFTER INSERT trigger or both the BEFORE UPDATE and AFTER UPDATE triggers, depending on whether there was a duplicate key for the row.

There cannot be two triggers for a given table that have the same trigger action time and event. For example, you cannot have two BEFORE UPDATE triggers for a table. But you can have a BEFORE UPDATE and a BEFORE INSERT trigger, or a BEFORE UPDATE and an AFTER UPDATE trigger.

trigger_stmt is the statement to execute when the trigger activates. If you want to execute multiple statements, use the BEGIN ... END compound statement construct. This also enables you to use the same statements that are allowable within stored routines. See Section 19.2.5, “BEGIN ... END Compound Statement Syntax”. Some statements are not allowed in triggers; see Section I.1, “Restrictions on Stored Routines and Triggers”.

Note: Currently, triggers are not activated by cascaded foreign key actions. This limitation will be lifted as soon as possible.

In MySQL 5.1, you can write triggers containing direct references to tables by name, such as the trigger named testref shown in this example:

CREATE TABLE test1(a1 INT);
CREATE TABLE test2(a2 INT);
CREATE TABLE test3(a3 INT NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT PRIMARY KEY);
CREATE TABLE test4(
  a4 INT NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT PRIMARY KEY, 
  b4 INT DEFAULT 0
);

DELIMITER |

CREATE TRIGGER testref BEFORE INSERT ON test1
  FOR EACH ROW BEGIN
    INSERT INTO test2 SET a2 = NEW.a1;
    DELETE FROM test3 WHERE a3 = NEW.a1;  
    UPDATE test4 SET b4 = b4 + 1 WHERE a4 = NEW.a1;
  END;
|

DELIMITER ;

INSERT INTO test3 (a3) VALUES 
  (NULL), (NULL), (NULL), (NULL), (NULL), 
  (NULL), (NULL), (NULL), (NULL), (NULL);

INSERT INTO test4 (a4) VALUES 
  (0), (0), (0), (0), (0), (0), (0), (0), (0), (0);

Suppose that you insert the following values into table test1 as shown here:

mysql> INSERT INTO test1 VALUES 
    -> (1), (3), (1), (7), (1), (8), (4), (4);
Query OK, 8 rows affected (0.01 sec)
Records: 8  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

As a result, the data in the four tables will be as follows:

mysql> SELECT * FROM test1;
+------+
| a1   |
+------+
|    1 |
|    3 |
|    1 |
|    7 |
|    1 |
|    8 |
|    4 |
|    4 |
+------+
8 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> SELECT * FROM test2;
+------+
| a2   |
+------+
|    1 |
|    3 |
|    1 |
|    7 |
|    1 |
|    8 |
|    4 |
|    4 |
+------+
8 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> SELECT * FROM test3;
+----+
| a3 |
+----+
|  2 |
|  5 |
|  6 |
|  9 |
| 10 |
+----+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> SELECT * FROM test4;
+----+------+
| a4 | b4   |
+----+------+
|  1 |    3 |
|  2 |    0 |
|  3 |    1 |
|  4 |    2 |
|  5 |    0 |
|  6 |    0 |
|  7 |    1 |
|  8 |    1 |
|  9 |    0 |
| 10 |    0 |
+----+------+
10 rows in set (0.00 sec)

You can refer to columns in the subject table (the table associated with the trigger) by using the aliases OLD and NEW. OLD.col_name refers to a column of an existing row before it is updated or deleted. NEW.col_name refers to the column of a new row to be inserted or an existing row after it is updated.

The DEFINER clause specifies the MySQL account to be used when checking access privileges at trigger activation time. If a user value is given, it should be a MySQL account in 'user_name'@'host_name' format (the same format used in the GRANT statement). The user_name and host_name values both are required. CURRENT_USER also can be given as CURRENT_USER(). The default DEFINER value is the user who executes the CREATE TRIGGER statement. (This is the same as DEFINER = CURRENT_USER.)

If you specify the DEFINER clause, you cannot set the value to any account but your own unless you have the SUPER privilege. These rules determine the legal DEFINER user values:

  • If you do not have the SUPER privilege, the only legal user value is your own account, either specified literally or by using CURRENT_USER. You cannot set the definer to some other account.

  • If you have the SUPER privilege, you can specify any syntactically legal account name. If the account does not actually exist, a warning is generated.

    Although it is possible to create triggers with a non-existent DEFINER value, it is not a good idea for such triggers to be activated until the definer actually does exist. Otherwise, the behavior with respect to privilege checking is undefined.

Note: Prior to MySQL 5.1.6, MySQL requires the SUPER privilege for the use of CREATE TRIGGER, so only the second of the preceding rules applies. As of 5.1.6, CREATE TRIGGER requires the TRIGGER privilege and SUPER is required only to be able to set DEFINER to a value other than your own account.

MySQL checks trigger privileges like this:

  • At CREATE TRIGGER time, the user that issues the statement must have the TRIGGER privilege. (SUPER prior to MySQL 5.1.6.)

  • At trigger activation time, privileges are checked against the DEFINER user. This user must have these privileges:

    • The TRIGGER privilege. (SUPER prior to MySQL 5.1.6.)

    • The SELECT privilege for the subject table if references to table columns occur via OLD.col_name or NEW.col_name in the trigger definition.

    • The UPDATE privilege for the subject table if table columns are targets of SET NEW.col_name = value assignments in the trigger definition.

    • Whatever other privileges normally are required for the statements executed by the trigger.


 
 
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