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SQL SELECT TOP Clause


The SQL SELECT TOP Clause

The SELECT TOP clause is used to specify the number of records to return.

The SELECT TOP clause can be very useful on large tables with thousands of records. Returning a large number of records can impact on performance.

Note: Not all database systems support the SELECT TOP clause.

SQL Server / MS Access Syntax

SELECT TOP number|percent column_name(s)
FROM table_name;


SQL SELECT TOP Equivalent in MySQL and Oracle

MySQL Syntax

SELECT column_name(s)
FROM table_name
LIMIT number;

Example

SELECT *
FROM Persons
LIMIT 5;

Oracle Syntax

SELECT column_name(s)
FROM table_name
WHERE ROWNUM <= number;

Example

SELECT *
FROM Persons
WHERE ROWNUM <=5;


Demo Database

In this tutorial we will use the well-known Northwind sample database.

Below is a selection from the "Customers" table:

CustomerID CustomerName ContactName Address City PostalCode Country
1

Alfreds Futterkiste Maria Anders Obere Str. 57 Berlin 12209 Germany
2 Ana Trujillo Emparedados y helados Ana Trujillo Avda. de la Constitución 2222 México D.F. 05021 Mexico
3 Antonio Moreno Taquería Antonio Moreno Mataderos 2312 México D.F. 05023 Mexico
4

Around the Horn Thomas Hardy 120 Hanover Sq. London WA1 1DP UK
5 Berglunds snabbköp Christina Berglund Berguvsvägen 8 Luleå S-958 22 Sweden


SQL SELECT TOP Example

The following SQL statement selects the two first records from the "Customers" table:

Example

SELECT TOP 2 * FROM Customers;

Try it yourself »


SQL SELECT TOP PERCENT Example

The following SQL statement selects the first 50% of the records from the "Customers" table:

Example

SELECT TOP 50 PERCENT * FROM Customers;

Try it yourself »



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