SQL - TOP, LIMIT or ROWNUM Clause


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The SQL TOP clause is used to fetch a TOP N number or X percent records from a table.

Note − All the databases do not support the TOP clause. For example MySQL supports the LIMIT clause to fetch limited number of records while Oracle uses the ROWNUM command to fetch a limited number of records.

Syntax

The basic syntax of the TOP clause with a SELECT statement would be as follows.

SELECT TOP number|percent column_name(s)
FROM table_name
WHERE [condition]

Example

Consider the CUSTOMERS table having the following records −

+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
| ID | NAME     | AGE | ADDRESS   | SALARY   |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
|  1 | Ramesh   |  32 | Ahmedabad |  2000.00 |
|  2 | Khilan   |  25 | Delhi     |  1500.00 |
|  3 | kaushik  |  23 | Kota      |  2000.00 |
|  4 | Chaitali |  25 | Mumbai    |  6500.00 |
|  5 | Hardik   |  27 | Bhopal    |  8500.00 |
|  6 | Komal    |  22 | MP        |  4500.00 |
|  7 | Muffy    |  24 | Indore    | 10000.00 |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+

The following query is an example on the SQL server, which would fetch the top 3 records from the CUSTOMERS table.

SQL> SELECT TOP 3 * FROM CUSTOMERS;

This would produce the following result −

+----+---------+-----+-----------+---------+
| ID | NAME    | AGE | ADDRESS   | SALARY  |
+----+---------+-----+-----------+---------+
|  1 | Ramesh  |  32 | Ahmedabad | 2000.00 |
|  2 | Khilan  |  25 | Delhi     | 1500.00 |
|  3 | kaushik |  23 | Kota      | 2000.00 |
+----+---------+-----+-----------+---------+

If you are using MySQL server, then here is an equivalent example −

SQL> SELECT * FROM CUSTOMERS
LIMIT 3;

This would produce the following result −

+----+---------+-----+-----------+---------+
| ID | NAME    | AGE | ADDRESS   | SALARY  |
+----+---------+-----+-----------+---------+
|  1 | Ramesh  |  32 | Ahmedabad | 2000.00 |
|  2 | Khilan  |  25 | Delhi     | 1500.00 |
|  3 | kaushik |  23 | Kota      | 2000.00 |
+----+---------+-----+-----------+---------+

If you are using an Oracle server, then the following code block has an equivalent example.

SQL> SELECT * FROM CUSTOMERS
WHERE ROWNUM <= 3;

This would produce the following result −

+----+---------+-----+-----------+---------+
| ID | NAME    | AGE | ADDRESS   | SALARY  |
+----+---------+-----+-----------+---------+
|  1 | Ramesh  |  32 | Ahmedabad | 2000.00 |
|  2 | Khilan  |  25 | Delhi     | 1500.00 |
|  3 | kaushik |  23 | Kota      | 2000.00 |
+----+---------+-----+-----------+---------+


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