MySQL Table DDL file with phpMyAdmin


If you need a structure only .sql file of a MySQL tables’ Data Definition Language (DDL), phpMyAdmin makes this super-easy with just a few clicks. Continue reading and learn how…


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Why use a DDL file?

Why would you need a structure-only .sql DDL file anyway?

Maybe you want to build out a tables’ structure on another server to bring in different data or something comparable, and want it void of any existing data.

Rather than creating the table by hand with manual MySQL commands, simply use the .sql DDL dump file.

Practice Data

The target table I’m using for the examples in this post is a fictitious project table with this structure:

table-structure-phpMyAdmin
Table structure with phpMyAdmin.

How to create a DDL only .sql file with phpMyAdmin

Step 1:

Click the Export tab located in the top ribbon of phpMyAdmin:

phpMyAdmin-export-tab
Export tab in phpMyAdmin.

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Step 2:

In the Export method section, select the Custom – display all possible options radio button and make sure the Format dropdown is set to SQL:

phpMyAdmin Export method.

Step 3:

In the Format-specific options section, click the structure radio button:

iphpMyAdmin-format-specific-options
phpMyAdmin Format-specific options.

Step 4:

Keeping all of the other configuration options to their defaults, simply click the Go button located in the bottom right of the window to complete the Export:


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Shown in the below Github gist, is the entire .sql dump file with the project tables’ DDL:

Way easy, right?!?

Like always, if you have questions or see any mistakes in the code, please share them freely in the comments section. Constructive comments help me provide accurate and valuable content and are much appreciated!


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Josh Otwell has a passion to study and grow as a SQL Developer and blogger. Other favorite activities find him with his nose buried in a good book, article, or the Linux command line. Among those, he shares a love of tabletop RPG games, reading fantasy novels, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.

Disclaimer: The examples presented in this post are hypothetical ideas of how to achieve similar types of results. They are not the utmost best solution(s). The majority, if not all, of the examples provided, are performed on a personal development/learning workstation environment and should not be considered production quality or ready. Your particular goals and needs may vary. Use those practices that best benefit your needs and goals. Opinions are my own.

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