Getting a MySQL error 1064? Here's what the error means, causes and solutions.

MySQL Error 1064 — What Is It?

MySQL error 1064 refers to a general syntax error, which can vary between mistakes in MySQL commands to utilizing an unsupported format. The official documentation lists the error in a following manner:
Error: 1064 SQLSTATE: 42000 (ER_PARSE_ERROR)
Message: %s near '%s' at line %d
Where, SQLSTATE: 42000 refers to: Class Code 42: Syntax Error or Access Rule Violation

MySQL Error 1064 — What Are the Causes?

There are a number of cases which may lead up to this error. Here are the most common scenarios:
  1. Syntax error. These are caused by simplistic mistakes — like missing quotes, brackets, misspelled column names and forgetting keywords.
  2. Version conflicts. A particular MySQL version may require following specific syntax structure. However, this is rare, and different configurations can also cause this problem.
  3. Encoding. If the database was created using a specific encoding scheme, any statement that doesn't align with to the encoding scheme constraints will be considered illegal, and could result in the MySQL error 1064.
  4. Library issues. MySQL is generally masked by middleware interfaces such as PHP, Node or Django. These interfaces often utilize third-party libraries as a database interface. If any library is not following standard practices, MySQL might throw the 1064 error in certain cases.
  5. Reserved word. MySQL, like other programming languages, have reserved words — which if used inside a query will be illegal and cause error 1064.
  6. Escape characters. When passing data through queries (especially in batches), on occasion escape characters, coma, quotes, slashes and spaces are also passed, without properly coding for those instances. MySQL will consider those as syntax violations.

MySQL Error 1064  — Solutions

Here are some possible solutions for MySQL error 1064:
  1. Prepared statements. By using prepared statements, most MySQL errors can be avoided (including error 1064).
  2. Code for exceptions. When laying out the foundation of your database interface, plan for all possible exceptions.
  3. Follow best practices. Follow the best practices listed in official documentation.

MySQL Error 1064 — Final Word

Error 1064 can be serious, leading to lengthy down times for your web application. It's best to be prepared with solutions, rather than reactively trying to fix the problem. By following best practices, you can work to avoid this error.
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