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Using SQL FIRST

Reading time 1 min
Published May 24, 2019
Updated Oct 3, 2019

SQL FIRST: Main Tips

  • This function brings back the primary value of a column.
  • Only MS Access database system supports this function.

Syntax of SQL FIRST

SELECT FIRST(col_name) FROM tbl_name;

Demo Database

In the below table there is a piece of  "Customer" table:

ID Name Contact Address City Postal_Code Country
1 Ben Choplinks Ben Choplink Obeesre Str. 51 Rome 11207 Italy
2 Donald Rich Donald Richario Avda. de la Confgfstitución 4122 Tallin 17021 Estonia
3 Lilly Smilkins Lilly Smilkin Matadsderos 2312 Eguero 14023 Mexico
4 Brandinina Tom Hitchins 110 Hanegover Sq. London WB2 2DP UK
5 Carizmos Christiano Kerrys Berguvsesvägen 9 Luleå S-968 43 Sweden

In the code example below we use SQL SELECT FIRST function to pick the primary value in the "Customer" table of the "Name" column:

Example
SELECT FIRST(Name) AS FirstCustomer FROM Customers;
Theory is great, but we recommend digging deeper!

SQL FIRST Workaround in SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle

SQL Server: Syntax

SELECT TOP 1 col_name FROM tbl_name
ORDER BY col_name ASC;

Example
SELECT TOP 1 Name FROM Customers
ORDER BY ID ASC;

Syntax of MySQL

SELECT col_name FROM tbl_name
ORDER BY col_name ASC
LIMIT 1;

Example
SELECT Name FROM Customers
ORDER BY ID ASC
LIMIT 1;

Oracle: Syntax

SELECT col_name FROM tbl_name
WHERE ROWNUM <=1
ORDER BY col_name ASC;

Example
SELECT Name FROM Customers
WHERE ROWNUM <=1
ORDER BY ID ASC;