ROWNUM, Random updates and the Alert Log – A trip down Memory Lane

I met up with an old friend recently. Deb and I were in Toronto, hometown of a certain Simon Jennings.
Apart from being a top bloke, Simon was also my first mentor in the mysterious ways of SQL, a sort of Obi-Wan Kenobi to my Anakin Skywalker, but without the light-sabers.

Ah those heady days when the world was young…and I first discovered ROWNUM.
That pseudo column was one I used often when investigating the structure and data within tables. It was also, the source of some confusion.
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Top-N Queries in Oracle – SQL at the sharp-end of the season

It’s coming up to that time of year once more. Games are running out, permutations are being permutated, bottoms are beginning to squeak.

The question on everyone’s lips ( well, Simon’s actually) is, who will fill the Play-Off places in the Conference ?

For those of you not acquainted with the lower echelons of English Professional Football ( or Soccer, if you really must), The Conference is the fifth tier of English football and the pinnacle of non-League. Each year, the winners gain automatic promotion to the promised land of the Football League with those finishing second to fifth playing-off for the right to join them.

All of which gives me the perfect opportunity to forsake my old habits and bring my SQL bang up-to-date. Continue reading