The SQL SELECT TOP Clause

The 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 is useful on large tables with thousands of records. Returning a large number of records can impact on performance.

SQL Server / MS Access Syntax:

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

MySQL Syntax:

SELECT column_name(s)
FROM table_name
WHERE condition
LIMIT number;

Oracle Syntax:

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

SQL TOP, LIMIT and ROWNUM Examples

The following SQL statement selects the first three records from the “Customers” table:

Example

SELECT TOP 3 * FROM Customers;

The following SQL statement shows the equivalent example using the LIMIT clause:

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
LIMIT 3;

The following SQL statement shows the equivalent example using the LIMIT clause:

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
LIMIT 3;
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