In this blog post we will discuss about Ranking Functions like RANK( ), DENSE_RANK( ), and ROW_NUMBER( ).

## Ranking Functions (Part 1)

There are four ranking functions in SQL server. Today we will look at RANK( ), DENSE_RANK( ), and ROW_NUMBER( ).These functions all have the same basic behavior. Where they differ is in the handling of tie values. These three functions produce identical results, until a tying value in your data is present.

Until the tie data is encountered, the results are identical (see Josh and Kevin’s score of 9.6. We will explain more on this later. Let’s look at RANK( ) using a Grant table example sorted by largest to smallest grant amount (descending sort order).

A smart way to begin your ranking functions is to first write a SELECT statement with an ORDER BY clause. Every ranking function retrieves your sort order from the ORDER BY clause. In this case, the item is grant amount arranged in descending order. Add RANK( ) to the SELECT list. Remember that all ranking functions need an OVER( ) clause. If you then SQL Server reminds you as you can see from the error message below.

All ranking functions need an OVER( ) clause and SQL Server provides another syntax clue for the ORDER BY clause. Ranking functions need the ORDER BY information to appear as an argument of the OVER( ) clause Move the ORDER BY clause inside the parentheses of OVER( ) clause.

Now we can look at how RANK() works with ties. The Grant table ranked over the Amount column, showing 2 pairs of tied amounts. There is a 2 way tie for 4th place so both the grants of $21,000 get a rank of 4. After that there is no 5^{th} place grant. There is a 6^{th} place grant so after ties you get a gap to match the numbered order. Observe that no ORDER BY clause follows the FROM clause, since we moved it in into the OVER( ) clause. Examine what the RANK( ) function has done here. We see straightforward rankings of 1, 2, and 3 for the first three unique amount values. Notice the tie for fourth place. Then there’s another tie for the next place, which is ranked as 6. After that we get to 8^{th} place as seen in the figure below.

How about Dense_Rank? After the 2 way tie for 4^{th} place the next value will get 5^{th} place. There will be no gaps after the tie with the DENSE_RANK(). DENSE_RANK( ) is very useful for finding the five highest distinct amounts, because it finds each amount and has no gap in its numbering sequence.

*Note*: If you want to setup the sample JProCo database on your system you can watch this video. For this post you will want to run the SQLQueriesChapter7.0Setup.sql script from Volume 2.

## Question 12

The figure below shows the scores of 6 contest winners. Tom is the highest

and Eric made 6^{th} place. There were 6 people but only 5 distinct scores.

9.9 9.9 9.8 9.8 9.7 9.7 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.2 |

You are writing a query to list the 5 highest distinct scores. The Ranked field should be called ScoreRating. You have written the following code.

SELECT * FROM (SELECT *More code here.FROM [Contestants]) AS ContestantFinal WHERE ScoreRating <= 5

What code will achieve this goal?

- SUM(*) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating
- RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating
- COUNT(*) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating
- DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

**Rules:**

Please leave your answer in comment section below with correct option, explanation and your country of resident.

Every day one winner will be announced from United States.

Every day one winner will be announced from India.

**A valid answer must contain country of residence of answerer.**

Please check my **facebook page** for winners name and correct answer.

Winner from United States will get **Joes 2 Pros Volume 2**.

The contest is open till next blog post shows up at which is next day GTM+2.5.

Reference: Pinal Dave (**http://blog.SQLAuthority.com****)**

## 102 comments. Leave new

option 4 is correct

As per requirement none of the option provide correct result as last option only provide the fifth highest distinct score.

For getting all five distinct highest scores where clause must be ‘<=' instead of '=' .

After saying so, i will say DENSE_RANK() function provide a unique rank no to each of the unique score whereas RANK() function provide a unique rank to unique score but skips the one rank no.. if two scores were same. SUM() and COUNT() function provides sum and count of total no of scores. So, Option 1,2,3 are not at all nearer to the solution .

Hence, Only option nearer to the solution is option 4

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Country – INDIA (Gujarat)

orrect Answer – 4

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Correct answer: #4 (DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating)

Country of residence: India

Correct answer is:

4) DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Country: India

Answer 4 is correct

USA

Mike Michalicek

Option : 4 is correct.

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

As per requirement this query will return 5 distinct values.

Thanks,

Rajasekar.K

Bangalore – India.

Option : 4 is correct.

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Dhina-India

Hi,

correct ans is this

4) DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

I am from India

SELECT * FROM

(SELECT score, DENSE_RANK() OVER (ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

FROM #temp) AS ContestantFinal

WHERE ScoreRating < 5

so correct answer is :DENSE_RANK() OVER (ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

and another thing is that you will have to use "ScoreRating < 5" instead of "ScoreRating = 5"

I am From INDIA

Of the options provided, I would think you are looking for #4 to be the answer

DENSE_RANK() OVER (ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

because your article states “DENSE_RANK( ) is very useful for finding the five highest distinct amounts, because it finds each amount and has no gap in its numbering sequence.”

However running that query will only return those with scores equal to the 5th highest score. You’d acutally want something like this to return just the 5 highest scores…

Select * FROM

(SELECT distinct Score, DENSE_Rank() Over( Order by Score Desc) as ScoreRating

From Contestants) as ContestantFinal

where ScoreRating <= 5

from the USA

Option 4 is correct

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

County : India

Answer : 4

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Hi Pinal,

Challenge:

Question 12

The figure below shows the scores of 6 contest winners. Tom is the highest

and Eric made 6th place. There were 6 people but only 5 distinct scores.

5 Highest Scores 5 Highest Distinct Scores

9.9 9.9

9.8 9.8

9.7 9.7

9.6 9.6

9.6 9.2

You are writing a query to list the 5 highest distinct scores. The Ranked field should be called ScoreRating. You have written the following code.

SELECT * FROM

(SELECT * More code here.

FROM [Contestants]) AS ContestantFinal

WHERE ScoreRating = 5

What code will achieve this goal?

1.SUM(*) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

2.RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

3.COUNT(*) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

4.DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Correct Answer:

The correct answer will use #4:

SELECT * FROM

(SELECT *, DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

FROM [Contestants]) AS ContestantFinal

WHERE ScoreRating = 5

Explanation:

Choice #1 uses the aggregate SUM(), which will sum all the values. We don’t want the sum of the scores, so this choice is incorrect.

Choice #2 uses Rank(). It will provide the 5 highest scores, but we are looking for the 5 highest distinct scores, so this choice is also incorect.

Choice #3 uses the aggregate COUNT(), which will return the number 5. We don’t want this solution, so this choice is incorrect.

Choice #4 uses DENSE_RANK(). It will provide the 5 highest distinct scores, which is what we are trying to retrieve. This is the correct choice to complete the SQL statement above.

Country:

United States

Thanks for the knowledge!

Regards,

Bill Pepping

The correct answer is #4

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

The DENSE_RANK() OVER() clause will select distinct scores. RANK() OVER() will retrieve duplicates in the result set.

SELECT ‘USA’ AS [COUNTRY];

The Correct Option is

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Country-India

Correct answer is No. 4

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

as it would give the five highest distinct amounts

(Sale, Nigeria)

Correct Answer is : option 4

Country: USA

4.DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

4.DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Posted to quickly (speeding towards Friday evening)

Gordon Kane

Allen TX

USA

The answer is #4

David

USA

The correct answer is #4

DENSE_RANK() OVER (ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Jitendra Gupta

Copenhagen,Denmark

the correct answer is number 4

tarek abosalem

Egypt

Assiut

Correct option is #4

Country – India

Answer: None of the above.

Answer 4 is very close to the answer and to correct that we should add with that (WHERE ScoreRating <= 5)

-Country: India

Answer 4, but with scorerating <=5 in where clause.

Since the current query will list all details in the table with scorerating =5.

Sddesh

USA

4. DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

This is correct option.

India

-Dnyanesh

Answer is :

4.DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Vinay

Pune, India

Option 4 will yield the desired results.

Country: United States

Answer – 4 DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Divesh

INDIA

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Can be used to five highest distinct amounts with scorerating <=5 in where clause

USA

Answer : 4

1 -> Because * can not be used in Sum Function

2 -> Because Misses the rank numbers

3 -> count(*) will count for all rows..this result we are not expecting

Country -> USA

Option 4 is correct answer.

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

SELECT * FROM

(SELECT * , DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating.

FROM [Contestants]) AS ContestantFinal

WHERE ScoreRating <= 5

Thanks

Vivek Srivastava

Country:- INDIA

SELECT distinct * FROM

(SELECT *, Dense_Rank() OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating FROM [Rank]) AS ContestantFinal

WHERE ScoreRating <= 5

order by ScoreRating asc

This code will precisely provide the distinct score and score ranking

Rishi

USA

Hi Pinal Sir,

The Correct option for the above question is Option 4.

4. DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Explanation:

We need to write a query to list the 5 highest distinct scores. The Ranked field should be called ScoreRating.

SELECT * FROM (SELECT * DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating FROM [Contestants]) AS ContestantFinal WHERE ScoreRating <= 5

The below Query just Gives that.

As, Explained by you DENSE_RANK( ) is very useful for finding the five highest distinct amounts, because it finds each amount and has no gap in its numbering sequence. Now what if we have similar value it repeats and then gives the next value no matter how many times it repeated the same Rank.

By the result and query the Option by far stands the correct Option.

Why Other Options are wrong:

Option 1 )SUM(*) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Here we need to list the 5 highest distinct scores not the sum so ruled out.

Option 2)RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Here its a good Question I read in one of the comment it is written that this can be a good contender for correct option but how because here 9.6 is repeating if there are other option or number which repeats other than this how come Rank will return 5 highest distinct scores because on the first table it goes from 4 to 6 then 6 never less then 5 so we will have only 5 distinct values and comming to tell that Pinal sir has done a typing blunder, wrong how if we write ScoreRating = 5 the query will return only the records where ScoreRating equates to 5 it may have 1 or no record.

Here the table given by you has repeated 9.6 and we dont know how many times but will continue from where it left so last record we need to complete 5 distinct values is 9.2. Now if we write only ScoreRating <= 5 how we will get 5 th unique record because 5 is never less than 5. so it should be ScoreRating <= 5.

Hence this is completly wrong.

Option 3) COUNT(*) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Here we require 5 highest distinct scores not count so ruled out.

So the correct option is 4

Dilip Kumar Jena

Country : INDIA

Hi Pinal Sir,

Correction :

The Correct option for the above question is Option 4.

4. DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Explanation:

We need to write a query to list the 5 highest distinct scores. The Ranked field should be called ScoreRating.

SELECT * FROM (SELECT * DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating FROM [Contestants]) AS ContestantFinal WHERE ScoreRating <= 5

The below Query just Gives that.

As, Explained by you DENSE_RANK( ) is very useful for finding the five highest distinct amounts, because it finds each amount and has no gap in its numbering sequence. Now what if we have similar value it repeats and then gives the next value no matter how many times it repeated the same Rank.

By the result and query the Option by far stands the correct Option.

Why Other Options are wrong:

Option 1 )SUM(*) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Here we need to list the 5 highest distinct scores not the sum so ruled out.

Option 2)RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Here its a good Question I read in one of the comment it is written that this can be a good contender for correct option but how because here 9.6 is repeating if there are other option or number which repeats other than this how come Rank will return 5 highest distinct scores because on the first table it goes from 4 to 6 then 6 never less then 5 so we will have only 5 distinct values and comming to tell that Pinal sir has done a typing blunder, wrong how if we write ScoreRating = 5 the query will return only the records where ScoreRating equates to 5 it may have 1 or no record.

Here the table given by you has repeated 9.6 and we dont know how many times but will continue from where it left so last record we need to complete 5 distinct values is 9.2. Now if we write only ScoreRating < 5 how we will get 5 th unique record because 5 is never less than 5. so it should be ScoreRating <= 5.

Hence this is completly wrong.

Option 3) COUNT(*) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Here we require 5 highest distinct scores not count so ruled out.

So the correct option is 4

Dilip Kumar Jena

Country : INDIA

4.

Dense_Rank returns distinct values

Dan

New Jersey USA

hi friend ‘s i have a question to all who belong to database pls give me ans if u know friend’s pls….. question is:- how we can retrieve four highest sallry from a table pls tell me query

select top 4 * from table order by salarycolumn desc

The correct answer is 4 DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating because it returns distinct values in case of a tie

Eric

USA

4)

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Location : London UK

Q 12) SQL SERVER – Tips from the SQL Joes 2 Pros Development Series – Ranking Functions – RANK( ), DENSE_RANK( ), and ROW_NUMBER( ) – Day 12 of 35A.) Because SUM and COUNT both expect the PARTITION BY argument in the OVER ( ) clause the code in (1) and (3) will both return ‘Incorrect syntax near the word ‘order ’’. Since RANK ( ) will skip numbers after a tie the records returned may not be distinct values making (2) incorrect too. Because DENSE_RANK assigns the rank based on distinct values (4) is the correct answer.

Winner from USA:

DebWinner from India:

Dayanand SinghI thank you all for participating here. The permanent record of this update is posted on facebook page.

Ans-4:

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Regards

Rajesh.M

Ans-4:

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Regards

Rajesh.M

From India

Correct answer is No. 4

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

because difference between rank() and dense_rank is dense_rank wont skip the number id there is tie between two numbers..

so correct answer is 4

India

Answer is #4:

DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

Thanks,

Wayne (USA)

Answer: DENSE_RANK( ) OVER(ORDER BY Score DESC) as ScoreRating

As the question here we are trying to get distinct highest 5 scores here with using the DENSE_RANK( ) we can get this ranking because we are getting all number as a rank without skipping any number with the tied value.

So this is the best answer for get all distinct highest five score.

Thanks for the info. Really helped me a lot.