I'm trying to convert a delete query with left join to use JDatabaseQuery, but I am encountering an issue in the query. The query that I'm trying to convert and which works is the following :

$db->setQuery("DELETE u FROM #__mycomponent_users AS u
               LEFT JOIN #__users AS ju ON u.userid=ju.id
               WHERE ju.username IS NULL"); 

I have converted it to JDatabaseQuery, with the following code:

   ->delete($db->quoteName('#__mycomponent_users', 'u'))
   ->leftJoin($db->quoteName('#__users', 'ju') . ' ON u.userid=ju.id')
   ->where('ju.username IS NULL');

In this, it returns the following error :

Syntax error near 'AS u LEFT JOIN jt5il_users AS ju ON u.userid=ju.id WHERE ju.username IS NUL'

So how can I make this query work by using JDatabaseQuery?


1 Answer 1


It seems that if you want to delete rows from one or more tables in a DELETE query containing a JOIN, you will need to specify the table(s) to delete between DELETE and FROM.


Joomla's delete() method does not provide the necessary output - as you have discovered.

If you wish to patch the output from the query methods, then you can replace your:



$db->setQuery(preg_replace('~DELETE \K~', 'u ', $query, 1));

The \K metacharacter in the pattern says "forget/release any previously matched characters". By using this technique, no characters are removed -- only u then a space are added.

Or because you only have one DELETE in your query, you can more simply adjust the sql string with:

$db->setQuery(str_replace('DELETE', 'DELETE u', $query));

This issue seems like reasonable grounds for an adjustment in core Joomla's delete() method so that a hack isn't required. However, maybe this is too uncommon of a fringe case to bother with.

If the string replacement hack is too dirty for your taste, there are a few ways to perform this kind of mysql operation. You might prefer to build a subquery to delete against. (An example of Joomla subquery implementation.)

See these other sql options:

  • I have tried this code snippet : $query = $db->getQuery(true) ->delete($db->quoteName('#__mycomponent_users')) ->leftJoin($db->quoteName('#__users', 'ju') . ' ON userid = ju.id') ->where('ju.username IS NULL'); $db->setQuery($query); I still obtain the error : syntax error near 'LEFT JOIN jt5il_users AS ju ON userid = ju.id WHERE ju.username IS NULL' Jun 2, 2019 at 13:06
  • The dump give : DELETE FROM `jt5il_mycomponent_users` LEFT JOIN `jt5il_users` AS `ju` ON userid = ju.id WHERE ju.username IS NULL Jun 2, 2019 at 13:13
  • In Phpmyadmin it throws the same error, for you second code snippnet there are the same error, the dump give : DELETE FROM `jt5il_mycomponent_users` LEFT JOIN `jt5il_users` AS `ju` ON `jt5il_mycomponent_users`.`userid` = ju.id WHERE ju.username IS NULL Same issue in phpmyadmin Jun 2, 2019 at 13:16
  • Literally the table is nammed #__mycomponent_users Jun 2, 2019 at 13:24
  • I have done a screenshot of phpmyadmin : imgur.com/6A7P8zI Jun 2, 2019 at 13:51

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