MySQL Recursive Queries

MySQL Recursive Queries

As we lever MySQL to build database solutions, we might need to build a MySQL recursive query. This article will show how to use MySQL recursion.

Introduction

As we lever MySQL to build database solutions, we might need to build a MySQL recursive query. In an earlier Database Journal article, I showed how to solve an integer parsing problem with SQL Server recursion. This article will show how to solve that same problem with MySQL recursion, highlighting the strong and weak points of this MySQL feature.

Recursion – the basics

As a basic understanding, we can say that recursive software calls itself in a controlled, structured way. According to the classic definition, recursive software needs the below:

  • a base case, where the recursive software system reaches a defined solution state
  • some way to move the recursive software towards that base case, in a finite number of steps

But in practice, we can add the below to the mix as requirements:

  • a software language/development tool that can handle recursion
  • hardware, software, and time resources that will support recursion generally, and handle the scope of the specific recursion problem to solve

Recursion has many more considerations, aspects, and fine points, but we have enough information here to proceed. MySQL, combined with readily available modern hardware, covers all these requirements, so we can build a MySQL recursive query. The software samples we’ll see here assume a MySQL 8.0.19 environment.

mysql mysql recursive

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