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11.1.4. Data Type Default Values

The DEFAULT value clause in a data type specification indicates a default value for a column. With one exception, the default value must be a constant; it cannot be a function or an expression. This means, for example, that you cannot set the default for a date column to be the value of a function such as NOW() or CURRENT_DATE. The exception is that you can specify CURRENT_TIMESTAMP as the default for a TIMESTAMP column. See Section 11.3.1.1, “TIMESTAMP Properties as of MySQL 4.1”.

BLOB and TEXT columns cannot be assigned a default value.

If a column definition includes no explicit DEFAULT value, MySQL determines the default value as follows:

If the column can take NULL as a value, the column is defined with an explicit DEFAULT NULL clause.

If the column cannot take NULL as the value, MySQL defines the column with no explicit DEFAULT clause. For data entry, if an INSERT or REPLACE statement includes no value for the column, MySQL handles the column according to the SQL mode in effect at the time:

  • If strict SQL mode is not enabled, MySQL sets the column to the implicit default value for the column data type.

  • If strict mode is enabled, an error occurs for transactional tables and the statement is rolled back. For non-transactional tables, an error occurs, but if this happens for the second or subsequent row of a multiple-row statement, the preceding rows will have been inserted.

Suppose that a table t is defined as follows:

CREATE TABLE t (i INT NOT NULL);

In this case, i has no explicit default, so in strict mode each of the following statements produce an error and no row is inserted. When not using strict mode, only the third statement produces an error; the implicit default is inserted for the first two statements, but the third fails because DEFAULT(i) cannot produce a value:

INSERT INTO t VALUES();
INSERT INTO t VALUES(DEFAULT);
INSERT INTO t VALUES(DEFAULT(i));

See Section 5.2.5, “The Server SQL Mode”.

For a given table, you can use the SHOW CREATE TABLE statement to see which columns have an explicit DEFAULT clause.


 
 
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