Working with Insert in MySQL



The INSERT statement allows us to insert data into our tables. It is one of the main operations you will use. In this article, we will learn how to use Insert in MySQL.

The Syntax

The basic syntax of INSERT is as follows:

INSERT INTO table(column1, column2, ...)
VALUES (value1, value2, ....)

Getting Setup

We will be using docker in this article, but feel free to install your database locally instead. Once you have docker installed, create a new file called docker-compose.yml and add the following.

version: '3'
    image: mysql:latest
    container_name: db
      MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: root_pass
      MYSQL_DATABASE: app_db
      MYSQL_USER: db_user
      MYSQL_PASSWORD: db_user_pass
      - "6033:3306"
      - dbdata:/var/lib/mysql
    image: phpmyadmin/phpmyadmin
    container_name: pma
      - db
      PMA_HOST: db
      PMA_PORT: 3306
    restart: always
      - 8081:80


Next, run docker-compose up.

Now, navigate to http://localhost:8081/ to access phpMyAdmin. Then log in with the username root and pass root_pass.

Click the SQL tab and you are ready to go.

Creating a DB

In this article, we will need some data to work with. We will be using the sample db provided here: However, we will only enter what we need rather than import the whole db.

With the SQL tab open (or your own sql cli going), let's first create our DB and select it.

create DATABASE if not EXISTS sakila;

USE sakila;
CREATE TABLE employees (
    emp_no      INT             NOT NULL,
    birth_date  DATE            NOT NULL,
    first_name  VARCHAR(14)     NOT NULL,
    last_name   VARCHAR(16)     NOT NULL,
    gender      ENUM ('M','F')  NOT NULL,    
    hire_date   DATE            NOT NULL,
    PRIMARY KEY (emp_no)
CREATE TABLE salaries (
    emp_no      INT             NOT NULL,
    salary      INT             NOT NULL,
    from_date   DATE            NOT NULL,
    to_date     DATE            NOT NULL,
    FOREIGN KEY (emp_no) REFERENCES employees (emp_no) ON DELETE CASCADE,
    PRIMARY KEY (emp_no, from_date)

Now, let's enter a few rows

INSERT INTO `employees` VALUES (10001,'1953-09-02','Georgi','Facello','M','1986-06-26'),
INSERT INTO `salaries` VALUES (10001,60117,'1986-06-26','1987-06-26'),

An Example

Let's start an example where we insert a new employee.

INSERT INTO employees (emp_no, birth_date, first_name, last_name, gender, hire_date)
VALUES (4000, '1991-01-01', 'Anna', 'Hendrix', 'F', '2021-01-01');

We can also inter multiple rows using the following:

INSERT INTO employees (emp_no, birth_date, first_name, last_name, gender, hire_date)
  (4000, '1991-01-01', 'Anna', 'Hendrix', 'F', '2021-01-01'),
  (4001, '1991-01-01', 'John', 'Hendrix', 'M', '2021-01-01'),
  (4002, '1991-01-01', 'Jenna', 'Hendrix', 'F', '2021-01-01');

Notice that we had to specify all values and columns above. However, if we have a table with default values or an ID that auto increments, we do not need to include those columns and values.