Ask the Expert

Oracle's equivalent of SQL Server's TOP command

I want to retrieve the first row in Oracle from a table, like when using the TOP keword in SQL Server (select top 1 from emp). Is there any similar command in Oracle?

    Requires Free Membership to View

If you just want the first row in the result set (non-ordered), you can simply use ROWNUM as follows:

SELECT * FROM emp WHERE rownum < 2 ;
If you want the first row of an ordered result set, you need to do the following:
  FROM (SELECT * FROM emp ORDER BY empno) e
 WHERE rownum < 2 ;
The reason why is because rownum is assigned to the result set as the records are retrieved but before they are sorted. For that reason you must order the result set in an in-line view before using rownum to retrieve the first row (or any number of first rows for that matter).

For More Information

This was first published in April 2003

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: