Retrieving a Subset of Rows: Simple Conditions

Often you don't want to retrieve all the rows in a table but want only the rows that satisfy one or more conditions. In this case, you would include the WHERE clause in the SELECT statement to retrieve a portion, or subset, of the rows in a table.

A search condition expresses the logic by which the computer determines which rows of the table are retrieved and which are ignored. The search condition has many variations. A simple search condition is formed with a conditional expression, which specifies a comparison between two values. It has the following format:

     expression    comparison operator    expression

The expressions in the conditional expression are usually a column name or a constant. The comparison operator indicates a mathematical comparison such as less than, greater than, equal to, etc. Table here shows the comparison operators allowed in Texis.


Type of Comparison Texis Symbol
Equal to =
Less than <
Less than or equal to <=
Greater than >
Greater than or equal to >=
Not equal to <> or !=

Table: Comparison Operators Supported in Texis

Example: Let's say there is a DEPARTMENT table which has listed in it the department code, the long form department name, the department head, the division to which the department belongs, and the annual department budget. The conditional expression to find departments with a budget above $25,000 can be written:

     BUDGET > 25000
In this case BUDGET is being compared to a numeric constant.

The conditional expression to find all departments in the Product Division is written:

     DIV = 'PROD'
Character constants, sometimes called character strings, are enclosed in single quotes. The conditional expression can compare numeric values to one another or string values to one another as just shown.

Each row in the indicated table is evaluated, or tested, separately based on the condition in the WHERE clause. For each row, the evaluation of the conditional expression is either true or false. When a condition is true, a row is retrieved; when the condition is false, the row is not retrieved. For example, if a department has a $35,000 budget, then the conditional expression "BUDGET > 25000" is true and the row is included in the query result. However, if the department had a budget of $15,000, then the result of the conditional expression "BUDGET > 25000" is false and the row is not retrieved.

Example: Let's develop a list of all departments, in long form, in the Product Division.

Enter the statement:

     WHERE   DIV = 'PROD' ;
'PROD' is the search condition, and as a character string must be enclosed in quotes.

The result displayed will be:

  Research and Development
  Customer Support and Service
  Product Marketing and Sales

In the WHERE clause, the condition "DIV must equal PROD" results in the retrieval of the name of each department in the Product Division. As only DNAME, the long form departmental name, was requested in the SELECT statement, a list of department names is all that is shown.

Example: Let's develop a list of all departments with a budget above $25,000.

Enter the statement:

     WHERE   BUDGET > 25000 ;
Note that numeric values, as 25000, are not enclosed in quotes.

The result displayed will be:

  DNAME                                BUDGET
  Finance and Accounting               26000
  Corporate Legal Support              28000
  Research and Development             27500
  Manufacturing                        32000
  Strategic Planning and Intelligence  28500

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