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SQL Reference Guide

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Syntax Conventions

Syntax diagrams appear in monospace type and use the following conventions:


Uppercase type denotes reserved words. You must include reserved words in statements, but they can be upper or lower case.


Lowercase type denotes either user-supplied elements or names of other syntax diagrams. User-supplied elements include names of tables, host-language variables, expressions, and literals. Syntax diagrams can refer to each other by name. If a diagram is named, the name appears in lowercase type above and to the left of the diagram, followed by a double-colon (for example, privilege ::). The name of that diagram appears in lowercase in diagrams that refer to it.

{ }

Braces denote a choice among mandatory elements. They enclose a set of options, separated by vertical bars ( | ). You must choose at least one of the options.

[ ]

Brackets denote an optional element or a choice among optional elements.


Vertical bars separate a set of options.


A horizontal ellipsis denotes that the preceding element can optionally be repeated any number of times.

( ) , ;

Parentheses and other punctuation marks are required elements. Enter them as shown in syntax diagrams.