How do I retrieve a random record?
SQL Server 7.0+
Assuming there is a unique identifier for each row, and that there is at least one record in the table, retrieving a random record can be quite easy. This method will work in SQL Server 7.0 and above (running on Windows 2000), but this could be a performance problem on larger tables / resultsets:
If you are not running on Windows 2000, then the following code will work if your table has a unique identifier (e.g. IDENTITY) column:
Note that both of these methods also allow you to select 10 or 50 or 5000 random records, simply by altering the TOP parameter.
SQL Server has a few other tricks up its sleeve as well...
Ken Schaefer offered some ASP code that sends a SQL statement to Access to retrieve a random row:
SQL Server 6.5, et. al.
Now, if you're stuck using SQL Server 6.5, you may have to use some logic on the application end to deal with this. Here are the ordered steps your code must take:
With SQL Server, this would be much faster with a stored procedure... I just wanted to provide syntax here that demonstrates the concept, and will work on either Access or SQL Server.
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