OrientDB Manual


Update one or more records in the current database. Remember that OrientDB can work also in schema-less mode, so you can create any field on-the-fly. Furthermore, OrientDB works on collections. This is the reason why OrientDB SQL has some extensions to handle collections.


UPDATE <class>|cluster:<cluster>|<recordID>
  [SET|INCREMENT|ADD|REMOVE|PUT <field-name> = <field-value>[,]*]|[CONTENT|MERGE <JSON>]
  [RETURN <returning> [<returning-expression>]]
  [WHERE <conditions>]
  [LOCK default|record]
  [LIMIT <max-records>] [TIMEOUT <timeout>]


  • SET updates the field
  • INCREMENT increments the field by the value. If the record had 10 as a value and "INCREMENT value = 3" is executed, then the new value will be 13. This is useful for atomic updates of counters. Use negative numbers to decrement. INCREMENT can be used to implement sequences (autoincrement)
  • ADD, adds a new item in collection fields
  • REMOVE, removes an item in collection and maps fields
  • PUT, puts an entry into map fields
  • CONTENT, replaces the record content with a JSON
  • MERGE, merges the record content with a JSON
  • LOCK specifies how the record is locked between the load and the update. It can be a value between:
    • DEFAULT, no lock. In case of concurrent update, the MVCC throws an exception
    • RECORD, locks the record during the update
  • UPSERT updates a record if it already exists, or inserts a new record if it does not, all in a single statement. This avoids the need to execute 2 commands, one for the query and a conditional insert/update. UPSERT requires a WHERE clause and a class target. There are limitation on usage of UPSERT. See below.
  • RETURN specifies what to return as <returning>. If <returning-expression> is specified (optional) and returning is BEFORE or AFTER, then the expression value is returned instead of record. <returning> can be a value between:
    • COUNT, the default, returns the number of updated records
    • BEFORE, returns the records before the update
    • AFTER, returns the records after the update
  • WHERE, SQL-Where condition to select records to update
  • LIMIT, sets the maximum number of records to update
  • TIMEOUT, if any limits the update operation to a timeout

Note that RecordID must be prefixed with '#'. Example: #12:3.

To know more about conditions, take a look at WHERE conditions.

Limitation on usage of UPSERT clause

UPSERT guarantee the atomicity only if a UNIQUE index is created and the lookup on index is done by where condition.

In this example a unique index on Client.id must be present to guarantee uniqueness on concurrent operations:

update client set id = 23 upsert where id = 23


Example 1: Change the value of a field

    > UPDATE Profile SET nick='Luca' WHERE nick IS NULL

    Updated 2 record(s) in 0,008000 sec(s).

Example 2: Remove a field from all the records

> UPDATE Profile REMOVE nick

Example 3: Add a value into a collection

> UPDATE Account ADD addresses=#12:0

Example 4: Remove a value from a collection

> UPDATE Account REMOVE addresses=#12:0

Example 5: Put a map entry into a map

> UPDATE Account PUT addresses='Luca', #12:0

Example 6: Remove a value from a map

> UPDATE Account REMOVE addresses='Luca'

Example 7: Update an embedded document

Update command can take a JSON as value to update:

> UPDATE Account SET address={"street":"Melrose Avenue", "city":{"name":"Beverly Hills"}}

Example 8: Update the first 20 records that satisfy a condition

> UPDATE Profile SET nick='Luca' WHERE nick IS NULL LIMIT 20

Example 9: Update a record or insert if it does not already exist

> UPDATE Profile SET nick='Luca' UPSERT WHERE nick='Luca'

Example 10: Update a web counter, avoiding concurrent accesses

> UPDATE Counter INCREMENT viewes = 1 WHERE page='/downloads/' LOCK RECORD

Example 11: Usage of RETURN keyword

UPDATE7:0 SET gender='male' RETURN AFTER @rid
UPDATE7:0 SET gender='male' RETURN AFTER @version
UPDATE7:0 SET gender='male' RETURN AFTER @this
UPDATE7:0 INCREMENT Counter = 123 RETURN BEFORE $current.Counter
UPDATE7:0 SET gender='male' RETURN AFTER $current.exclude("really_big_field")
UPDATE7:0 ADD out_Edge = ♯12:1 RETURN AFTER $current.outE("Edge")

In case a single field is returned, the result is wrapped in a record storing value in "result" field (Just to avoid introducing new serialization – there is no primitive-values collection serialization in binary protocol). Additionally to that, useful fields like version and rid of original record is provided in corresponding fields. New syntax will allow optimizing client-server network traffic.

To know more about the SQL syntax used in Orient, take a look at: SQL-Query.