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Tip of the Day
Language: Informix
Expertise: Beginner
Oct 6, 2000

Selecting "N" Records from Result Set

Question:
How can we specify in a select statement to get first "n" records from the result set?

E.g.,

select * from employee 
order by emp_num
I just want the first 10 records in the output.

Answer:
In versions later than 7.30, you can use the FIRST N ROWS syntax, which is a relatively new addition to the SELECT syntax:

SELECT FIRST 5 rowname1, rowname2,..rownameN
FROM tablename
This will select the first five rows in the tablename table. In order to make the concept of "FIRST N" rows mean something (physical database location sequence is not guaranteed) you need to include an ORDER BY clause in the SELECT:
SELECT FIRST 5 * 
FROM tablename
ORDER by date_entered DESC
This would select the entire first five rows from tablename in reverse order based on the date_entered field of each row.
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