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SQL TOP Keyword



The SQL TOP keyword is used to fetch specified number or percentage of records from a table. This is useful when the table contains thousands of records and returning a large dataset can impact performance.

Note: TOP keyword is not supported in all database. For example MYSQL supports the LIMIT keyword and Oracle uses ROWNUM keyword to fetch limited number of records.

Syntax

The syntax for using TOP keyword is given below:

SELECT TOP number|percent column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
WHERE condition(s);

Example:

Consider a database containing a table called Employee with the following records:

EmpIDNameCityAgeSalary
1JohnLondon253000
2MarryNew York242750
3JoParis272800
4KimAmsterdam303100
5RameshNew Delhi283000
6HuangBeijing282800

  • To fetch top 3 records from the Employee table, the SQL query is:

    SELECT TOP 3 * FROM Employee;
    

    This will produce the result as shown below:

    EmpIDNameCityAgeSalary
    1JohnLondon253000
    2MarryNew York242750
    3JoParis272800
  • In SQL Server and MS Access, the above result can also be achieved by using PERCENT keyword in the query.

    SELECT TOP 50 PERCENT * FROM Employee;
    

    This result of the following code will be:

    EmpIDNameCityAgeSalary
    1JohnLondon253000
    2MarryNew York242750
    3JoParis272800

❮ SQL Keywords

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