is there a way to directly append in a single mysql update query? -- without first fetching the data?
Can you explain more detailly, please?
Yes...CONCAT for strings, DATE_ADD/DATE_SUB for dates, straight arithmetic operators for numbers. You can even do conditional logic within queries.
As an example..
UPDATE table SET field = CONCAT( field, ' this is appended' ) WHERE id = 7;
... like magic... ok, now to replace all my mysql_fetch, concat in php, mysql_send code with the wonderful concat() function