Ecological Tools
Doc Menu



UPDATE updates data in a table. UPDATE changes the values of the specified columns in all rows that satisfy the condition. The WHERE clause clarifies conditions. The columns to be modified need to be mentioned in the SET clause; columns not explicitly modified retain their previous values.


  • You must have the UPDATE permission on a table to be updated.
  • You must have the SELECT permission on all tables involved in the expressions or conditions.
  • For column-store tables, the RETURNING clause is currently not supported.
  • Column-store tables do not support non-deterministic update. If you update data in one row with multiple rows of data in a column-store table, an error will be reported.
  • Memory space that records update operations in column-store tables is not reclaimed. You need to clean it by executing VACUUM FULL table_name.
  • Currently, UPDATE cannot be used in column-store replication tables.


Update ::= UPDATE [ ONLY ] table_name [ * ] [ [ AS ] alias ]
SET {column_name = { expression | DEFAULT } 
    |( column_name [, ...] ) = {( { expression | DEFAULT } [, ...] ) |sub_query }}[, ...]
    [ FROM from_list] [ WHERE condition ]
    [ RETURNING {* 
                | {output_expression [ [ AS ] output_name ]} [, ...] }];

Where sub_query can be:

sub_query ::= SELECT [ ALL | DISTINCT [ ON ( expression [, ...] ) ] ]
{ * | {expression [ [ AS ] output_name ]} [, ...] }
[ FROM from_item [, ...] ]
[ WHERE condition ]
[ GROUP BY grouping_element [, ...] ]
[ HAVING condition [, ...] ]

Parameter Description

  • table_name

    Specifies the name (optionally schema-qualified) of the table to be updated.

    Value range: an existing table name

  • alias

    Specifies a substitute name for the target table.

    Value range: a string. It must comply with the naming convention rule.

  • column_name

    Specifies the name of the column to be modified.

    You can refer to this column by specifying the target table alias and the column name. For example:

    UPDATE foo AS f SET f.col_name = 'mogdb';

    Value range: an existing column

  • expression

    Specifies a value assigned to a column or an expression that assigns the value.


    Specifies the default value of a column.

    The value is NULL if no specified default value has been assigned to it.

  • sub_query

    Specifies a subquery.

    This statement can be executed to update a table with information for other tables in the same database. For details about clauses in the SELECT statement, see SELECT.

  • from_list

    Specifies a list of table expressions, allowing columns from other tables to appear in the WHERE condition and the update expressions. This is similar to the list of tables that can be specified in the FROM clause of a SELECT statement.

    img NOTICE: Note that the target table must not appear in the from_list, unless you intend a self-join (in which case it must appear with an alias in the from_list).

  • condition

    Specifies an expression that returns a value of type Boolean. Only rows for which this expression returns true are updated.

  • output_expression

    Specifies an expression to be computed and returned by the UPDATE statement after each row is updated.

    Value range: The expression can use any column names of the table named by table_name or table(s) listed in FROM. Write * to return all columns.

  • output_name

    Specifies a name to use for a returned column.


-- Create a table student1.
mogdb=# CREATE TABLE student1
   stuno     int,
   classno   int 

-- Insert data.
mogdb=# INSERT INTO student1 VALUES(1,1);
mogdb=# INSERT INTO student1 VALUES(2,2);
mogdb=# INSERT INTO student1 VALUES(3,3);

-- View data.
mogdb=# SELECT * FROM student1;

-- Update the values of all records.
mogdb=# UPDATE student1 SET classno = classno*2;

-- View data.
mogdb=# SELECT * FROM student1;

-- Delete the table.
mogdb=# DROP TABLE student1;