The SQL SELECT TOP Clause

The SELECT TOP clause is used to specify the number of records to return.

The SELECT TOP clause can be very useful on large tables with thousands of records. Returning a large number of records can impact on performance.

Note: Not all database systems support the SELECT TOP clause

Let's see an example. If a table has a large number of data, select top statement determines that how many rows will be retrieved from the given table.

SQL Server / MS Access Syntax


SELECT TOP number|percent column_name(s)

FROM table_name;


SQL SELECT TOP in MySQL and Oracle

MySQL Syntax

SELECT column_name(s)

FROM table_name

LIMIT number;

Example:

SELECT *

FROM Persons

LIMIT 5;

Oracle Syntax


SELECT column_name(s)

FROM table_name

WHERE ROWNUM <= number;

Example

SELECT *

FROM Persons

WHERE ROWNUM <=5;

There is an example of employee table:

Emp_Id Name Sir_Name User_Name
1 Mithiliesh Kushwaha Mithi
2 Harish Sharma Sharma.harish
3 Girish Guddu Girishs

Let's see the syntax for the select top statement.

SELECT COUNT (expression)

Let's see the example of sql select top statement.

SELECT TOP 2 * FROM employee

It will return the following table:

Emp_Id Name Sir_Name User_Name
1 Neha Singh Nehgasingh
2 Rahul Singh rahul