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Retrieving All Columns

In addition to being able to specify desired columns (one or more, as seen previously), SELECT statements can also request all columns without having to list them individually. This is done using the asterisk (*) wildcard character in lieu of actual column names, as follows:


FROM products;


When a wildcard (*) is specified, all the columns in the table are returned. columns are in the order in which the columns appear in the table definition. However, this cannot be relied on because changes to table schemas (adding and removing columns, for example) could cause ordering changes.


Using Wildcards As a rule, you are better off not using the * wildcard unless you really do need every column in the table. Even though use of wildcards might save you the time and effort needed to list the desired columns explicitly, retrieving unnecessary columns usually slows down the performance of your retrieval and your application.


Retrieving Unknown Columns There is one big advantage to using wildcards. As you do not explicitly specify column names (because the asterisk retrieves every column), it is possible to retrieve columns whose names are unknown.

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