Selecting all columns that start with XXX using a wildcard?

Solution:

You'd have to build the SQL dynamically. As a starting point, this would get you the column names you're seeking.

SELECT COLUMN_NAME
    FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS
    WHERE table_name = 'Foods'
        AND table_schema = 'YourDB'
        AND column_name LIKE 'Vegetable%'

There's no way to do exactly what you're trying to. You could do another query first to fetch all the column names, then process them in PHP and build the second query, but that's probably more complex than just writing out the names that you want.

Or is there a reason this query needs to be dynamic? Will the table's structure change often?


Here's a way I did it purely with MySQL:

SET SESSION group_concat_max_len = 2048;
SELECT GROUP_CONCAT(CONCAT(" ",CAST(column_name as CHAR(50)))) FROM information_schema.columns WHERE table_name='real_big_table' AND column_name LIKE 'prefix%' INTO @sub;
SET @x = CONCAT("SELECT ",@sub," FROM my_db.real_big_table WHERE my_db.real_big_table.country_id='US'");
PREPARE stmt FROM @x;
EXECUTE stmt;

My answer is inspired by this answer.

Note: My 'inner-DBA' (in the form of a small angel on my shoulder) tells me that needing to do this is probably a sign of bad DB structure, but my 'inner-hacker' (in the form of a small devil on my other shoulder) says "just get it done!"