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What is the IN Operator in SQL?

The SQL IN operator is used to match a value against a list of values. The operator is often used in the WHERE clause of a SQL statement to test whether a column’s value is present in a set of specified values.

This SQL statement would retrieve all rows from the tv_show table where the genre column has a value of either “Thriller” or “Comedy”:

WHERE genre IN ('Thriller', 'Comedy');

SQL In Operator Usage Example

If you are asking yourself when the IN operator is useful, here are some of its benefits:

  1. Readability: Makes your SQL statements more readable and easier to understand, especially when you are comparing against a large list of values.
  2. Conciseness: Allows you to write shorter code than using multiple OR conditions.
  3. Flexibility: You can use it with different data types, including numeric, string, and date values, making it a versatile tool for filtering data in various situations.
  4. Improved performance: have better performance compared to using multiple OR conditions, as the database engine can process the values in the list more efficiently.

Overall, the IN operator provides a useful and flexible way to filter data in SQL, making your code more readable, concise, and performant.