MySQL Table creation with Foreign Key


Example

CREATE TABLE Account (
    AccountID     INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL,
    AccountNo     INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL,
    PersonID    INT UNSIGNED,
    PRIMARY KEY (AccountID),
    FOREIGN KEY (PersonID) REFERENCES Person (PersonID)
) ENGINE=InnoDB;

Foreign key: A Foreign Key (FK) is either a single column, or multi-column composite of columns, in a referencing table. This FK is confirmed to exist in the referenced table. It is highly recommended that the referenced table key confirming the FK be a Primary Key, but that is not enforced. It is used as a fast-lookup into the referenced where it does not need to be unique, and in fact can be a left-most index there.

Foreign key relationships involve a parent table that holds the central data values, and a child table with identical values pointing back to its parent. The FOREIGN KEY clause is specified in the child table. The parent and child tables must use the same storage engine. They must not be TEMPORARY tables.

Corresponding columns in the foreign key and the referenced key must have similar data types. The size and sign of integer types must be the same. The length of string types need not be the same. For nonbinary (character) string columns, the character set and collation must be the same.

Note: foreign-key constraints are supported under the InnoDB storage engine (not MyISAM or MEMORY). DB set-ups using other engines will accept this CREATE TABLE statement but will not respect foreign-key constraints. (Although newer MySQL versions default to InnoDB, but it is good practice to be explicit.)