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I have the below schema, fields owner_id,billing_id,tech_id,admin_id on carts table are pointing to contacts table. As you can see from the query result I have to JOIN for each field .Is there a way to avoid?

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SELECT c.domain, c.period, co.name AS owner, co1.name AS admin, co2.name AS tech, co3.name AS billing, h.nameserver
FROM carts c
LEFT JOIN contacts co ON c.owner_id = co.id
LEFT JOIN contacts co1 ON c.admin_id = co1.id
LEFT JOIN contacts co2 ON c.tech_id = co2.id
LEFT JOIN contacts co3 ON c.billing_id = co3.id
LEFT JOIN HOSTS h ON c.host_id = h.id
WHERE c.user_id =1

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You are only selecting data for one user so it should be pretty fast. Why do you want to avoid the 4 joins? –  ypercube Oct 24 '13 at 11:41
I'm asking if there is a better way to query this result. I just want to improve my SQL skills.Is there a for loop or a recursive way or a declarative trick to skip this? –  giannis christofakis Oct 25 '13 at 6:22

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can get the same results with just one join and pivoting .

SELECT c.domain, c.period, h.nameserver,
MAX(CASE WHEN co.id=c.owner_id THEN co.name END) AS owner, 
MAX(CASE WHEN co.id=c.admin_id THEN co.name END) AS admin,
MAX(CASE WHEN co.id=c.tech_id THEN co.name END) AS tech, 
MAX(CASE WHEN co.id=c.billing_id THEN co.name END)  AS billing
FROM carts c
LEFT JOIN contacts co ON co.id IN (c.owner_id , c.admin_id,c.tech_id,c.billing_id)

LEFT JOIN HOSTS h ON c.host_id = h.id
WHERE c.user_id =1
GROUP BY c.domain,c.period,h.nameserver

However, check execution plan for both versions, sometimes multiple joins may be faster than such approach.

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I can't figure out how is this working. I see you use MAX() how you replace it with a co.name shouldn't it be a number? –  giannis christofakis Nov 13 '13 at 14:41
it's just pivoting (other RDMS support PIVOT keyword to do the same, you can look on stackoverflow.com/questions/7674786/mysql-pivot-table for couple more examples). CASE inside MAX has default ELSE NULL clause. –  a1ex07 Nov 13 '13 at 14:57

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