PDO Prepared Inserts multiple rows in single query


I am currently using this type of SQL on MySQL to insert multiple rows of values in one single query:

INSERT INTO `tbl` (`key1`,`key2`) VALUES ('r1v1','r1v2'),('r2v1','r2v2'),...

On the readings on PDO, the use prepared statements should give me a better security than static queries.

I would therefore like to know whether it is possible to generate "inserting multiple rows of values by the use of one query" using prepared statements.

If yes, may I know how can I implement it?

4/28/2015 6:53:18 AM

Accepted Answer

Multiple Values Insert with PDO Prepared Statements

Inserting multiple values in one execute statement. Why because according to this page it is faster than regular inserts.

$datafields = array('fielda', 'fieldb', ... );

$data[] = array('fielda' => 'value', 'fieldb' => 'value' ....);
$data[] = array('fielda' => 'value', 'fieldb' => 'value' ....);

more data values or you probably have a loop that populates data.

With prepared inserts you need to know the fields you're inserting to, and the number of fields to create the ? placeholders to bind your parameters.

insert into table (fielda, fieldb, ... ) values (?,?...), (?,?...)....

That is basically how we want the insert statement to look like.

Now, the code:

function placeholders($text, $count=0, $separator=","){
    $result = array();
    if($count > 0){
        for($x=0; $x<$count; $x++){
            $result[] = $text;

    return implode($separator, $result);

$pdo->beginTransaction(); // also helps speed up your inserts.
$insert_values = array();
foreach($data as $d){
    $question_marks[] = '('  . placeholders('?', sizeof($d)) . ')';
    $insert_values = array_merge($insert_values, array_values($d));

$sql = "INSERT INTO table (" . implode(",", $datafields ) . ") VALUES " .
       implode(',', $question_marks);

$stmt = $pdo->prepare ($sql);
try {
} catch (PDOException $e){
    echo $e->getMessage();

Although in my test, there was only a 1 sec difference when using multiple inserts and regular prepared inserts with single value.

11/26/2017 7:46:21 PM

Same answer as Mr. Balagtas, slightly clearer...

Recent versions MySQL and PHP PDO do support multi-row INSERT statements.

SQL Overview

The SQL will look something like this, assuming a 3-column table you'd like to INSERT to.

INSERT INTO tbl_name
            (colA, colB, colC)
     VALUES (?, ?, ?), (?, ?, ?), (?, ?, ?) [,...]

ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE works as expected even with a multi-row INSERT; append this:


PHP Overview

Your PHP code will follow the usual $pdo->prepare($qry) and $stmt->execute($params) PDO calls.

$params will be a 1-dimensional array of all the values to pass to the INSERT.

In the above example, it should contain 9 elements; PDO will use every set of 3 as a single row of values. (Inserting 3 rows of 3 columns each = 9 element array.)


Below code is written for clarity, not efficiency. Work with the PHP array_*() functions for better ways to map or walk through your data if you'd like. Whether you can use transactions obviously depends on your MySQL table type.


  • $tblName - the string name of the table to INSERT to
  • $colNames - 1-dimensional array of the column names of the table These column names must be valid MySQL column identifiers; escape them with backticks (``) if they are not
  • $dataVals - mutli-dimensional array, where each element is a 1-d array of a row of values to INSERT

Sample Code

// setup data values for PDO
// memory warning: this is creating a copy all of $dataVals
$dataToInsert = array();

foreach ($dataVals as $row => $data) {
    foreach($data as $val) {
        $dataToInsert[] = $val;

// (optional) setup the ON DUPLICATE column names
$updateCols = array();

foreach ($colNames as $curCol) {
    $updateCols[] = $curCol . " = VALUES($curCol)";

$onDup = implode(', ', $updateCols);

// setup the placeholders - a fancy way to make the long "(?, ?, ?)..." string
$rowPlaces = '(' . implode(', ', array_fill(0, count($colNames), '?')) . ')';
$allPlaces = implode(', ', array_fill(0, count($dataVals), $rowPlaces));

$sql = "INSERT INTO $tblName (" . implode(', ', $colNames) . 
    ") VALUES " . $allPlaces . " ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE $onDup";

// and then the PHP PDO boilerplate
$stmt = $pdo->prepare ($sql);

try {
} catch (PDOException $e){
   echo $e->getMessage();


Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with: Stack Overflow