Capitalization and special characters

Using the classes and methods of JDBC, you submit SQL statements to Derby as strings. The character set permitted for strings containing SQL statements is Unicode. Within these strings, the following rules apply:
  • Double quotation marks delimit special identifiers referred to in SQL-92 as delimited identifiers.
  • Single quotation marks delimit character strings.
  • Within a character string, to represent a single quotation mark or apostrophe, use two single quotation marks. (In other words, a single quotation mark is the escape character for a single quotation mark.)

    A double quotation mark does not need an escape character. To represent a double quotation mark, simply use a double quotation mark. However, note that in a Java program, a double quotation mark requires the backslash escape character.

    -- a single quotation mark is the escape character
    -- for a single quotation mark
    VALUES 'Joe''s umbrella'
    -- in ij, you don't need to escape the double quotation marks
    VALUES 'He said, "hello!"'
    n = stmt.executeUpdate(
        "UPDATE aTable setStringcol = 'He said, \"hello!\"'");
  • SQL keywords are case-insensitive. For example, you can type the keyword SELECT as SELECT, Select, select, or sELECT.
  • SQL-92-style identifiers are case-insensitive (see SQL92Identifier), unless they are delimited.
  • Java-style identifiers are always case-sensitive.
  • * is a wildcard within a SelectExpression. See The * wildcard. It can also be the multiplication operator. In all other cases, it is a syntactical metasymbol that flags items you can repeat 0 or more times.
  • % and _ are character wildcards when used within character strings following a LIKE operator (except when escaped with an escape character). See Boolean expressions.
  • Comments can be either single- or multiline as per the SQL-92 standard. Singleline comments start with two dashes (--) and end with the newline character. Multiline comments are bracketed and start with forward slash star (/*), and end with star forward slash (*/). Note that bracketed comments may be nested. Any text between the starting and ending comment character sequence is ignored.
Related concepts
SQL identifiers
Built-in system functions
Built-in system procedures
Data types
Related reference
SQL clauses
SQL expressions
JOIN operations
SQL queries
Built-in functions
SYSCS_DIAG diagnostic tables and functions