Filter Records Based on Multiple Rows in Associated Table?

I have two tables, ‘post’ and ‘postmeta’. The post table basically just contains the author, title and body of the post. The ‘postmeta’ table contains additional metadata about the post, such as the type of post, category, tags, etc. The ‘postmeta’ table looks like this…

id	post_id		name		value
--	-------		----		-----
1	1		type		blog
2	1		category	technology

How would I, for example, get all posts with the ‘type’ of ‘blog’, and the ‘category’ of ‘technology’? Getting all posts which match just a single bit of metadata is easy using this…

JOIN postmeta ON postmeta.post_id =
WHERE = 'type' AND postmeta.value = 'blog'

But I’m am stumped as to how to the same thing, but matching on multiple rows of metadata. I do know however that this will almost certainly require a sub-query of some sort.

Any help is much appreciated as always.

Try this:

 , anything
 , just_not_the_dreaded_star
   post p
   postmeta pm1
   pm1.post_id =
   postmeta pm2
   pm2.post_id =
WHERE = 'type'
   pm1.value = 'blog'

Ah yes, that method rings a big bell. It’s been a while since I’ve touched MySQL, but I’ve definitely done that sort of query before. The old multiple joins on the same table trick :slight_smile:

I assume this is the only, or at least the most efficient, way?

Thanks Scallio!

I don’t know any other way, so I guess so too. But I’d be happy if someone could correct me on that :slight_smile:

there is another wy, and it is ultimately a lot more flexible than adding an additional join for every additional attribute/value condition

SELECT something
     , anything
     , just_not_the_dreaded_evil_select_star
  FROM ( SELECT post_id
           FROM postmeta
          WHERE name = 'type' AND value = 'blog'
             OR name = 'category' AND value='technology'
             BY post_id
         HAVING COUNT(*) = 2 ) AS meta
  JOIN post 
    ON = meta.post_id

the WHERE clause in the subquery finds all postmeta rows that are required – and the conditions have to be combined with OR, because each row can satisfy only one of them

then the GROUP BY and HAVING clauses make sure all the required rows were found for a given post_id

the subquery returns the post_id of all posts that satisfy all requirements, and then the INNER JOIN in the main query retrieves those posts

this method is much more flexible because in the subquery you can do things like “must have at least 3 of these 5 conditions” which is pretty damned tricky if you have to have 5 joins, which would have to be LEFT OUTER JOINS and then how do you check that there were at least 3 non-null results? … ugly!

Yeah nice one r937. I actually thought of your suggestion as a possible solution before posting this (using GROUP BY and COUNT in a sub-query), but didn’t know if there were any easier or better ways.

I can’t help but think however, that scenario’s like this highlight a weakness in SQL as a query language. I imagine this would be easily solvable in an object-orientated type query language where you would join the ‘postmeta’ table as a set of attributes against the ‘post’, so you could just do something like: WHERE post.postmeta.type = ‘blog’ AND post.postmeta.category = ‘technology’. I guess that it all comes back to performance though?