SQL Server offers new query hints that allow you to implement query paging solution. In the past, we’ve used TOP operator to return the top number of rows from a table, however, OFFSET & FETCH query clauses can give you more benefits than just the TOP operator.
Let’s assume you have 50,000 records in a table and you want to query 1200 rows starting from 25000. Traditionally you would use a cursor to implement this solution however with the introduction of OFFSET and FETCH its much easier.
OFFSET and FETCH when used together can return the exact set of data you are looking for.
OFFSET: Allows you to offset the record pointer to a specific row in a table
FETCH: Allows you to fetch/return number of rows you request in Fetch.
Lets take an example of querying rows from a table that has 50,000 records. Lets query 1200 records starting from 25,000 thousand record.
Step 1 – Create a table
CREATE TABLE ITEMS ( ITEM_ID INT IDENTITY(1,1), ITEM_NAME VARCHAR(50) );
Step 2 – Populate the table with data
INSERT INTO ITEMS VALUES ('MANGO'), ('APPLE'), ('BANANA'), ('KIWI'), ('PLUMS'), ('GRAPES'), ('WATERMELON'), ('HONEYDEW'), ('CHERRY'), ('STRAWBERRY');
Step 3 – Query the table with Offset and Fetch
--IN THIS QUERY, WE ARE OFFSETTING/SKIPPING THE ROWS BY 3 RECORDS AND RETURNING THE NEXT 5 ROWS. SELECT * FROM ITEMS ORDER BY ITEM_ID OFFSET 3 ROWS FETCH NEXT 5 ROWS ONLY GO --EXECUTING THE ABOVE STATEMENT WILL RETURN THE BELOW RESULT SET AS REQUESTED: ITEM_ID ITEM_NAME 4 KIWI 5 PLUMS 6 GRAPES 7 WATERMELON 8 HONEYDEW (5 row(s) affected) --NOTE: YOU CAN ALSO USE VARIABLES WITH OFFSET AND FETCH CLAUSES. DECLARE @OFFSET INT=3, @FETCH INT=5 SELECT * FROM ITEMS ORDER BY ITEM_ID OFFSET @OFFSET ROWS FETCH NEXT @FETCH ROWS ONLY GO --EXECUTING THE ABOVE COMMAND WILL RETURN THE SAME RESULTS AS THE USING CONSTANT VALUE WITH OFFSET AND FETCH. ITEM_ID ITEM_NAME 4 KIWI 5 PLUMS 6 GRAPES 7 WATERMELON 8 HONEYDEW (5 row(s) affected)