I just saw this after seeing MINUS in this powerpoint and looking for more information.

MINUS Example The following statement combines results with the MINUS operator, which returns only unique rows returned by the first query but not by the second:

SELECT product_id FROM inventories
SELECT product_id FROM order_items;

I'm just curious what's the historic reason for using MINUS instead of EXCEPT? Does anyone else use MINUS? I assume this predates the SQL Spec?

closed as off-topic by scruss, Stephen Kitt, DrSheldon, lvd, Wilson Sep 26 '18 at 12:58

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about retrocomputing, within the scope defined in the help center." – scruss, Stephen Kitt, DrSheldon, lvd, Wilson
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 6
    It probably stems from set theory. A database is just a set and the select is a subset. Some languages use a minus sign to remove one subset from another. – cup Sep 25 '18 at 3:59
  • EXCEPT was added in SQL-92, I suspect MINUS predates that (Oracle 7 had it, I can’t remember for sure but I think Oracle 6 might have had it too). I don’t have sources to hand to back that up though. – Stephen Kitt Sep 25 '18 at 9:14

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