I have a single table (table_1) of schema below:

row_id      identifier   col1    col2    col3    col4    status
1           A            1       2       3       4      
2           A            2       3       4       5      
3           B            1       2       3       4
4           B            2       3       4       6
5           C            1       2       3       4

I want to join on identifier = A such that any rows with identifier != A but which match on values for col1, col2, col3 and col4 will update the status column with values for any matched ('B,C'), and another for mismatch (foo).

Note that the status column values need to update with the identifier(s) matched.

row_id      identifier   col1    col2    col3    col4    status
1           A            1       2       3       4       B,C
2           A            2       3       4       5       foo
3           B            1       2       3       4
4           B            2       3       4       6
5           C            1       2       3       4

I've used a single SELECT statement with multiple subqueries for each separate column to match to on 'A', but had to explicitly select other identifiers and resulted in errors.

Corrected row_id to show the primary key.

2 Answers 2


You can do it using a self-join and an aggregate function (string_agg) to aggregate the identifiers that are different from the current row as below.

The first and last lines initializes the status column to NULL and finalizes it to foo if it isn't assigned, respectively:

UPDATE table_1 t1 SET status = NULL;

UPDATE table_1 t1
SET status = (
  SELECT string_agg(t2.identifier,',') FROM table_1 t2
  WHERE t2.identifier != t1.identifier
    AND t1.col1 = t2.col1
    AND t1.col2 = t2.col2
    AND t1.col3 = t2.col3
    AND t1.col4 = t2.col4

UPDATE table_1 t1 SET status = 'foo' WHERE status  IS NULL;
update test_table t1
inner join (
    select *, 
         when status_value is null then 'foo'
         else status_value
         end) as to_update_status from
         (select *, group_concat(case
                                   when identifier='A' then null
                                   else identifier 
                                 ) as status_value from test_table
            group by col1, col2, col3, col4) as t1 where identifier='A' 
      ) t2 on t1.row_id = t2.row_id 
          and t1.identifier=t2.identifier
          and t1.col1 = t2.col1
          and t1.col2 = t2.col2
          and t1.col3 = t2.col3
          and t1.col4 = t2.col4
  set t1.status = t2.to_update_status;

In the above query, test_table is the name of the table.

Consider changing the structure of your table. It should have a unique identifier.(From the name, the column row_id should be unique, but it is not in the data you provided, so I had to put 5 additional checks in the join query). If your row has a unique identifier, you could select just the row_id and to_update_status in the subquery and simply check the row_id

You should also have an index on identifer column and a multi-column index on col1, col2, col3, col4.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.