The SELECT INTO statement produces a result table consisting of at most one row, and assigns the values in that row to variables.


This statement can only be embedded in an application program. It is an executable statement that cannot be dynamically prepared. It must not be specified in REXX.


The privileges held by the authorization ID of the statement must include at least one of the following:

  • For each table or view identified in the statement,
    • The SELECT privilege on the table or view, and
    • The system authority *EXECUTE on the library containing the table or view
  • Start of changeDatabase administrator authorityEnd of change

If a global variable is specified in the INTO variable list, the privileges held by the authorization ID of the statement must include at least one of the following:

  • The WRITE privilege on the global variable.
  • Start of changeDatabase administrator authorityEnd of change

For information about the system authorities corresponding to SQL privileges, see Corresponding System Authorities When Checking Privileges to a Table or View.


Read syntax diagramSkip visual syntax diagramselect-clauseINTO,variablefrom-clausewhere-clause group-by-clausehaving-clause order-by-clause offset-clause fetch-clause1 isolation-clauseconcurrent-access-resolution-clause2
  • 1 Only one row may be specified in the fetch-clause.
  • 2 Each clause may be specified only once.


The result table is derived by evaluating the isolation-clause, concurrent-access-resolution-clause, from-clause, where-clause, group-by-clause, having-clause, order-by-clause, Start of changeoffset-clause,End of changefetch-clause, and select-clause, in this order.

See Queries for a description of the select-clause, from-clause, where-clause, group-by-clause, having-clause, order-by-clause, Start of changeoffset-clause,End of changefetch-clause, isolation-clause, and concurrent-access-resolution-clause.

INTO variable,…
Identifies one or more host structures or variables that must be declared in the program in accordance with the rules for declaring host structures and variables. In the operational form of the INTO clause, a reference to a host structure is replaced by a reference to each of its variables. The first value in the result row is assigned to the first variable in the list, the second value to the second variable, and so on. The data type of each variable must be compatible with its corresponding column.


Variable assignment: Each assignment to a variable is performed according to the retrieval assignment rules described in Assignments and comparisons.1 If the number of variables is less than the number of values in the row, an SQL warning (SQLSTATE 01503) is returned (and the SQLWARN3 field of the SQLCA is set to 'W'). Note that there is no warning if there are more variables than the number of result columns. If a value is null, an indicator variable must be provided for that value.

If the specified variable is character and is not large enough to contain the result, a warning (SQLSTATE 01004) is returned (and 'W' is assigned to SQLWARN1 in the SQLCA). The actual length of the result may be returned in the indicator variable associated with the variable, if an indicator variable is provided. For further information, see Variables.

If an assignment error occurs, the value of that variable and any following variables is unpredictable. Any values that have already been assigned to variables remain assigned.

Multiple assignments: If more than one variable is specified in the INTO clause, the query is completely evaluated before the assignments are performed. Thus, references to a variable in the select list are always the value of the variable prior to any assignment in the SELECT INTO statement.

Empty result table: If the result table is empty, the statement assigns '02000' to the SQLSTATE variable and does not assign values to the variables.

Result tables with more than one row: If more than one row satisfies the search condition, statement processing is terminated and an error is returned (SQLSTATE 21000). If an error occurs because the result table has more than one row, values may or may not be assigned to the variables. If values are assigned to the variables, the row that is the source of the values is undefined and not predictable.

Result column evaluation considerations: If an error occurs while evaluating a result column in the select list of a SELECT INTO statement, as the result of an arithmetic expression (such as division by zero, or overflow) or a numeric or character conversion error, the result is the null value. As in any other case of a null value, an indicator variable must be provided. The value of the variable is undefined. In this case, however, the indicator variable is set to the value of -2. Processing of the statement continues and a warning is returned. If an indicator variable is not provided, an error is returned and no more values are assigned to variables. It is possible that some values have already been assigned to variables and will remain assigned when the error is returned.

When a datetime value is returned, the length of the variable must be large enough to store the complete value. Otherwise, depending on how much of the value would have to be truncated, a warning or an error is returned. See Datetime assignments for details.


Example 1: Using a COBOL program statement, put the maximum salary (SALARY) from the EMPLOYEE table into the host variable MAX-SALARY (DECIMAL(9,2)).

               INTO :MAX-SALARY
               FROM EMPLOYEE WITH CS

Example 2: Using a Java™ program statement, select the row from the EMPLOYEE table on the connection context 'ctx' with a employee number (EMPNO) value the same as that stored in the host variable HOST_EMP (java.lang.String). Then put the last name (LASTNAME) and education level (EDLEVEL) from that row into the host variables HOST_NAME (String) and HOST_EDUCATE (Integer).

                 INTO :HOST_NAME, :HOST_EDUCATE
                 FROM EMPLOYEE
                 WHERE EMPNO = :HOST_EMP   };

Example 3: Put the row for employee 528671, from the EMPLOYEE table, into the host structure EMPREC. Assume that the row will be updated later and should be locked when the query executes.

               INTO :EMPREC
               FROM EMPLOYEE
               WHERE EMPNO = '528671'

1 If assigning to an SQL-variable or SQL-parameter and the standards option is specified, storage assignment rules apply. For information about the standards option, see Standards compliance.