I would like to group the teachers by the last visit and show the other values corresponding to the last visit.

`FIELD1` int(5) NOT NULL,
`teacher` varchar(9) DEFAULT NULL,
`visit_time` int(5) DEFAULT NULL,
`1A` varchar(1) DEFAULT NULL,
`2A` varchar(1) DEFAULT NULL  

I used this query

 SELECT i1.* FROM visits AS i1 LEFT JOIN visits AS i2
ON (i1.teacher = i2.teacher AND i1.visit_time < i2.visit_time) WHERE i2.visit_time IS NULL 

The query in general gives correct results, but in the end there are more teachers than expected (for example when using group by teacher).

  • Your query seems correct. It will show all teachers and their last visit. What is the issue? Nov 26 '14 at 13:09
  • 1
    It may show though more than 1 visit for teachers that have null in their visit_time. Nov 26 '14 at 13:10
  • The issue is that running the query I got different result (number of teachers; cirka 20 more) than when using group by teacher. Interesting is that when turning the < to > I got different amount of teachers too. (cirka 15 more).
    – chejnik
    Nov 26 '14 at 13:24
  • 1
    It would be easier with some sample data. The queries, as you have explained, seem to work well (the amount must vary if you change < to > because is a cartesian product), first try checking SELECT i1.* FROM visits AS i1 LEFT JOIN visits AS i2 ON i1.teacher = i2.teacher Nov 26 '14 at 14:19
  • 1
    Another reason for getting more results is that some teachers have more than 1 row with the same (maximum) visit_time. Nov 26 '14 at 14:35

You need to join all the teacher's last visit_time value against the whole visits table

    SELECT teacher,MAX(visit_time) visit_time
    FROM visits GROUP BY teacher
) A INNER JOIN visits B USING (teacher,visit_time);

Based on this query, you should also add the following index

ALTER TABLE visits ADD INDEX teacher_visit_time_ndx (teacher,visit_time);

Give it a Try !!!


Is the FIELD1 supposed to be a primary key/unique column? If so, albeit it might not be the fanciest solution, you could achieve what you are trying to achieve with a subquery. I usually work with T-SQL, so I'm not 100% sure of the syntax, but I ran it through a checker so hopefully it's correct.

SELECT i1.* FROM visits AS i1
WHERE i1.Field1 = 
    (SELECT  i2.Field1 FROM visits AS i2
     WHERE i2.Teacher = i1.Teacher AND i2.visit_time is not null 
     LIMIT 1 
     ORDER BY i2.visit_time DESCENDING)

If the FIELD1 column is not a key, you could switch it out to the visit_time field. It will be slower but the result should be the same.

I am uncertain how to interpret visit_time null. Since the table is named visits there should be no rows with visit_time null, right? If they haven't visited at a point in time, they should logically not have visited at all, right?

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