Endb SQL Basics

If you know SQL, Endb SQL will feel instantly familiar. It is not "SQL-like". It is SQL. However, Endb SQL is dynamic, strongly-typed, time-aware, and shuns language embedding. Hopefully it is pleasant to use without feeling foreign.

Just Begin

Endb is a schemaless document database. You do not need CREATE TABLE — tables are dynamically created when you insert data. The following SQL is valid as soon as you start endb:

INSERT INTO posts (id, user_id, text) VALUES (123, 456, 'Hello World');

Try querying it out:

SELECT * FROM posts;


Endb is immutable, so it does not permit destructive UPDATE or DELETE. For example, if you run an UPDATE, your previous INSERT isn't lost.

Before we update the record, we'll make note of the current time, according to the database. (Any time after the INSERT and before the UPDATE would suffice.)

-- make note of this time to use below

Multiple statements can be separated by semicolons. This time, we'll update the record and view it at once:

UPDATE posts SET text = 'Hello Immutable World' WHERE id = 123;

SELECT * from posts;

You'll note that Hello World from your original insert isn't visible. That's because it only exists in the past and, by default, SELECT will show the state of the database as of now.

To see the old version, you can time-travel back to a time when the old record was visible. Copy the timestamp you noted, without the quotes, something like SELECT * from posts FOR SYSTEM_TIME AS OF 2024-01-01T00:00:00.000000Z;:


NOTE: Although there is no destructive DELETE in an immutable database, there is ERASE, which exists to remove data for user safety and compliance with laws like GDPR.

Dynamic Joins

Relationships are also dynamic. You can join any two tables on any two columns. Adding a user with id 456 allows a join with the previous posts table.

INSERT INTO users (id, name) VALUES (456, 'Vikram');

SELECT * from posts p JOIN users u ON p.user_id = u.id;

Semi-Structured Data

Endb allows you to insert asymmetrical, jagged data. Let's add another user with more columns.

INSERT INTO users (id, name, email) VALUES (789, 'Daniela', 'daniela@endatabas.com');

SELECT * from users;

Note that the SELECT * is an implicitly dynamic query. It doesn't have any difficulty with the previous user document, even though it lacked an email column. In practice, most applications and SQL queries should specify exactly the columns they want to query. SELECT * is really only for exploratory queries, so it shows you everything visible in the table.

Data "Migration"

It may seem strange to leave jagged columns lying around. Endb doesn't discourage you from cleaning up your data, if you can:

UPDATE users SET email = 'vikram@stockholm.se' WHERE name = 'Vikram';

SELECT * from users;

The difference in Endb is that we haven't "migrated" the old data — it's still there. If you query for Vikram's user document as of 2 minutes ago, you will see the old record without an email. Queries in Endb always default to as-of-now, which is why the results of the query above shouldn't be surprising.

Nested Data

Endb eschews JSONB columns in favour of a native, strongly-typed, document-relational model.

INSERT INTO users (id, name, friends)
VALUES (123, 'Anastasia', [{name: 'Heikki', country: 'Finland'},
                           {name: 'Amit', country: 'Japan'}]);

SELECT users.friends[1] FROM users WHERE id = 123;

The users.friends[1] expression above is a path expression. A detailed explanation of Endb's path navigation is provided in the SQL Reference Path Navigation docs.


Because of Endb's native document-relational model, rows are documents and vice-versa. You can use an INSERT statement to add a document directly to the database:

INSERT INTO users {id: 890,
                   name: 'Aaron',
                   friends: [{name: 'Jeff', country: 'Canada'},
                             {name: 'Kaia', country: 'Japan'}]};

Error Messages

Endb will always do its best to provide you with meaningful error messages that point you to a solution:

SELECT * FROM im_not_here;

Learn More

Much more detail on Endb SQL is provided in the SQL Reference.