21.3. Expression Handling

With precision math, exact-value numbers are used as given whenever possible. For example, numbers in comparisons are used exactly as given without a change in value. In strict SQL mode, for INSERT into a column with an exact data type (DECIMAL or integer), a number is inserted with its exact value if it is within the column range. When retrieved, the value should be the same as what was inserted. (Without strict mode, truncation for INSERT is allowable.)

Handling of a numeric expression depends on what kind of values the expression contains:

If a numeric expression contains any strings, they are converted to double-precision floating-point values and the expression is approximate.

Inserts into numeric columns are affected by the SQL mode, which is controlled by the sql_mode system variable. (See Section 5.2.5, “The Server SQL Mode”.) The following discussion mentions strict mode (selected by the STRICT_ALL_TABLES or STRICT_TRANS_TABLES mode values) and ERROR_FOR_DIVISION_BY_ZERO. To turn on all restrictions, you can simply use TRADITIONAL mode, which includes both strict mode values and ERROR_FOR_DIVISION_BY_ZERO:

mysql> SET sql_mode='TRADITIONAL';

If a number is inserted into an exact type column (DECIMAL or integer), it is inserted with its exact value if it is within the column range.

If the value has too many digits in the fractional part, rounding occurs and a warning is generated. Rounding is done as described in Section 21.4, “Rounding Behavior”.

If the value has too many digits in the integer part, it is too large and is handled as follows:

Underflow is not detected, so underflow handing is undefined.

By default, division by zero produces a result of NULL and no warning. With the ERROR_FOR_DIVISION_BY_ZERO SQL mode enabled, MySQL handles division by zero differently:

In other words, inserts and updates involving expressions that perform division by zero can be treated as errors, but this requires ERROR_FOR_DIVISION_BY_ZERO in addition to strict mode.

Suppose that we have this statement:

INSERT INTO t SET i = 1/0;

This is what happens for combinations of strict and ERROR_FOR_DIVISION_BY_ZERO modes:

sql_mode ValueResult
'' (Default)No warning, no error; i is set to NULL.
strictNo warning, no error; i is set to NULL.
ERROR_FOR_DIVISION_BY_ZEROWarning, no error; i is set to NULL.
strict,ERROR_FOR_DIVISION_BY_ZEROError condition; no row is inserted.

For inserts of strings into numeric columns, conversion from string to number is handled as follows if the string has non-numeric contents: