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Selecting the latest order for a customer

How do you write a query that will return a table with all the customers and a single order for each customer (along...

with pertinent order info) made closest to a certain specified date? I tried to write a query to return the most recent data (easiest case) and got an error message (I am new to SQL).

select MAX(OrderDate), Name, Address, Price
  from Orders

This is almost, but not quite, the same as Joining two tables but including the most recent row for each 26 April 2001.

What's different this time is that you want the closest date to a specified date, not the latest date. This might mean closest either before or after which would require a DATEDIFF function and an ABS value -- but I'll assume you want the closest before the specified date. This is simpler, and allows the use of MAX() with an additional WHERE condition --

select *
  from Customers
     , Orders
 where Customers.ID = Orders.Cust_ID
   and Orders.OrderDate =
       ( select max(OrderDate)
           from Orders
          where Cust_ID = Customers.ID
            and OrderDate < somedate
       )

This was last published in March 2002

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