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SQL Limit

What is the LIMIT statement in SQL?

The LIMIT clause in SQL is used to specify the maximum number of rows returned by a SELECT statement. It is used to limit the number of rows retrieved from a database.

Specifying the maximum number of rows to be returned in a query result helps to reduce the amount of data transmitted from the database to the application, making the query more efficient and reducing the memory footprint.

SQL LIMIT helps with:

  1. Resource utilization: Save system resources by avoiding processing unnecessary data, improving data platform efficiency and reducing cost.
  2. Security and privacy: Enforce security and privacy policies by limiting data access to only what is necessary.
  3. Usability: Limiting the results can make it easier to handle and analyze data within an application; plus, the results are returned faster.

Here’s the basic SQL Limit syntax:

SELECT column_name(s) 
FROM table_name  
LIMIT number_of_rows;
  • number_of_rows represents the maximum number of rows to be returned in the result set.

For example, the following SQL Limit statement returns 2 rows from the tv_show table.

FROM sandbox.tv_show