How do I execute a Subquery once in a Query like this


  select group_concat(user) 
  from table_b
) as subquery 
from table_a

to maintain performance of the Query, Or it is better If I run two Queries separatly?

I want a result as if I used

select group_concat(user) from talbe_b;
select id from table_a;

but in a single query.

  • What would you like the output of your query to be? – gareth Mar 7 '18 at 16:43
  • @gareth I want to get all users from table_b to be used in a different place once, Something like if first row has the group_concat and all rows after it is about the id – Toleo Mar 7 '18 at 16:46
  • 2
    Why not run 2 separate queries? It can be done in a single query but the value from group_concat will be returned a thousand (or a million) times, as many as the rows in table_a. – ypercubeᵀᴹ Mar 7 '18 at 16:52
  • @ypercubeᵀᴹ Which means the only way is using two different queries. – Toleo Mar 7 '18 at 16:58
  • 1
    Wait, is your question really "how to return the value only once?" If yes, it's not clear from the question at all. – ypercubeᵀᴹ Mar 7 '18 at 17:02

If you want a single result set with the first row containing a list of all users from table_a, and subsequent rows listing all ids from table_b (one per row), you could UNION the two queries. However, you would have to cast the results to a common data type (presumably something like varchar), and you would technically need to include a sort order field to guarantee that the users are in the first row.

SELECT values
FROM (select group_concat(user) as values, 1 as sort_order from table_b
      select CAST(id as varchar) as values, 2 as sort_order from table_a
     ) sq
ORDER BY sort_order

This will almost certainly be at least slightly slower than running the two queries separately. Not sure if that will matter, in your circumstance.

(Note: UNION checks for and eliminates duplicate rows; UNION ALL just combines all rows without checking. Since we don't need to worry about duplicates....)


Starting in MariaDB 10.2 and MySQL 8.0 you can do Common Table Expressions, so:

WITH subquery AS (SELECT group_concat(user) AS user FROM table_b)
  SELECT table_a.id, subquery.user FROM table_a, subquery; 
  • It still has the same effect of the original query, giving each row the concat value. – Toleo Mar 7 '18 at 16:57
  • 2
    @Matheo the subquery/CTE is executed/evaluated once in this case. The value is returned multiple times, as your original query. – ypercubeᵀᴹ Mar 7 '18 at 17:02
  • 3
    You could also use a derived table: SELECT table_a.id, subquery.user FROM table_a CROSS JOIN (SELECT group_concat(user) AS user FROM table_b) subquery; Same results, and the subquery evaluated only once, as the CTE version in the answer. – ypercubeᵀᴹ Mar 7 '18 at 17:04
  • @ypercubeᵀᴹ well, it seems as u said, two queries is better, also having multiple rows isn't better than a new query with a single one as i suppose. – Toleo Mar 7 '18 at 17:12

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