Wednesday, 14 April 2010

What is the difference between GROUP BY and ORDER BY in SQL?

To sort a result, use an ORDER BY clause.
The most general way to satisfy a GROUP BY clause is to scan the whole table and create a new temporary table where all rows from each group are consecutive, and then use this temporary table to discover groups and apply aggregate functions (if any).
ORDER BY [col1],[col2],...[coln]; Tells DBMS according to what columns it should sort the result. If two rows will have the same value in col1 it will try to sort them according to col2 and so on.
GROUP BY [col1],[col2],...[coln]; Tells DBMS to group (aggregate) results with same value of column col1. You can use COUNT(col1), SUM(col1), AVG(col1) with it, if you want to count all items in group, sum all values or view average.

Cheers!

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