MySQL RAND Function

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MySQL has a RAND function that can be invoked to produce random numbers between 0 and 1:

mysql>  SELECT RAND( ), RAND( ), RAND( );
+------------------+-----------------+------------------+
| RAND( )          | RAND( )         | RAND( )          |
+------------------+-----------------+------------------+
| 0.45464584925645 | 0.1824410643265 | 0.54826780459682 |
+------------------+-----------------+------------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

When invoked with an integer argument, RAND( ) uses that value to seed the random number generator. Each time you seed the generator with a given value, RAND( ) will produce a repeatable series of numbers:

mysql>  SELECT RAND(1), RAND( ), RAND( );
+------------------+------------------+------------------+
| RAND(1 )         | RAND( )          | RAND( )          |
+------------------+------------------+------------------+
| 0.18109050223705 | 0.75023211143001 | 0.20788908117254 |
+------------------+------------------+------------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

You can use ORDER BY RAND() to randomize a set of rows or values as follows:

To understand ORDER BY RAND() function, consider an employee_tbl table, which is having the following records:

mysql> SELECT * FROM employee_tbl;
+------+------+------------+--------------------+
| id   | name | work_date  | daily_typing_pages |
+------+------+------------+--------------------+
|    1 | John | 2007-01-24 |                250 |
|    2 | Ram  | 2007-05-27 |                220 |
|    3 | Jack | 2007-05-06 |                170 |
|    3 | Jack | 2007-04-06 |                100 |
|    4 | Jill | 2007-04-06 |                220 |
|    5 | Zara | 2007-06-06 |                300 |
|    5 | Zara | 2007-02-06 |                350 |
+------+------+------------+--------------------+
7 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Now, use the following commands:

mysql> SELECT * FROM employee_tbl ORDER BY RAND();
+------+------+------------+--------------------+
| id   | name | work_date  | daily_typing_pages |
+------+------+------------+--------------------+
|    5 | Zara | 2007-06-06 |                300 |
|    3 | Jack | 2007-04-06 |                100 |
|    3 | Jack | 2007-05-06 |                170 |
|    2 | Ram  | 2007-05-27 |                220 |
|    4 | Jill | 2007-04-06 |                220 |
|    5 | Zara | 2007-02-06 |                350 |
|    1 | John | 2007-01-24 |                250 |
+------+------+------------+--------------------+
7 rows in set (0.01 sec)

mysql> SELECT * FROM employee_tbl ORDER BY RAND();
+------+------+------------+--------------------+
| id   | name | work_date  | daily_typing_pages |
+------+------+------------+--------------------+
|    5 | Zara | 2007-02-06 |                350 |
|    2 | Ram  | 2007-05-27 |                220 |
|    3 | Jack | 2007-04-06 |                100 |
|    1 | John | 2007-01-24 |                250 |
|    4 | Jill | 2007-04-06 |                220 |
|    3 | Jack | 2007-05-06 |                170 |
|    5 | Zara | 2007-06-06 |                300 |
+------+------+------------+--------------------+
7 rows in set (0.00 sec)


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