How can we get randomly different set of rows or values each time from MySQL table?



When we use RAND() function along with both ORDER BY and LIMIT clause in a query, MySQL returns the different set of rows or values each time. To understand it considers a table ‘Employee’ having the following records −

mysql> Select * from Employee;
+----+--------+--------+
| ID | Name   | Salary |
+----+--------+--------+
| 1  | Gaurav | 50000  |
| 2  | Rahul  | 20000  |
| 3  | Advik  | 25000  |
| 4  | Aarav  | 65000  |
| 5  | Ram    | 20000  |
| 6  | Mohan  | 30000  |
| 7  | Aryan  | NULL   |
| 8  | Vinay  | NULL   |
+----+--------+--------+
8 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Now, the query below will use RAND() function with both ORDER BY and LIMIT clause in a query return randomly different set of values or rows −

mysql> Select * from employee ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT 4;
+----+-------+--------+
| ID | Name  | Salary |
+----+-------+--------+
| 5  | Ram   | 20000  |
| 4  | Aarav | 65000  |
| 6  | Mohan | 30000  |
| 8  | Vinay | NULL   |
+----+-------+--------+
4 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> Select * from employee ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT 4;
+----+--------+--------+
| ID | Name   | Salary |
+----+--------+--------+
| 6  | Mohan  | 30000  |
| 8  | Vinay  | NULL   |
| 2  | Rahul  | 20000  |
| 1  | Gaurav | 50000  |
+----+--------+--------+
4 rows in set (0.03 sec)

mysql> Select * from employee ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT 4;
+----+-------+--------+
| ID | Name  | Salary |
+----+-------+--------+
| 3  | Advik | 25000  |
| 8  | Vinay | NULL   |
| 7  | Aryan | NULL   |
| 5  | Ram   | 20000  |
+----+-------+--------+
4 rows in set (0.00 sec)

It can be observed from the above result sets that each time when we run the query, it returns a randomly different set of values or rows.


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