returning the row with the most current date in Informix/4gl

I have to run a query where the chances of returning multiple rows for each individual item is very likely,


Item        Price Date
0123456789 $4.00 1999-07-01-99
0123456789 $3.00 1999-05-01-99

What function could I use to return the most recent value of the item only?

0123456789 price 1999-07-01-99



Thanks, Had(Mike)

hadronsAsked:
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lbrooks65Commented:
Use max() fuction and a correlated subquery.
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JHausmannCommented:
select item, price, date from table where date in (select max(date) from table where item='0123456789') and item ='0123456789'
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lbrooks65Commented:
Use max() fuction and a correlated subquery.
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Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
I assume you work with SQLServer, on other DBMS the syntax TOP 1 may be replaced by something else:
So fastest should be:
select TOP 1 item, price, date from table where item='0123456789' and item ='0123456789'
order by date desc
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jpk041897Commented:
Depending on the DB you use, you can use one of two approaches:

1.- Use a phisical index, rather than a data index.

All databases maintain an internal physical index (record numner, sector/block, etc.) which you could use to determine the most recent entry (i.e.: the one with the higher physical index). Angel III's answer falls into this category.


2.- Use the time part of the date to determine most recent entry.

Provided you are storing the date in a type DATE column (and not as a string), the date column will also allow you to determine the most recent entry since it will store a time part as well as the date. This is the essence of JHaussmans answer.

Both solutions are correct, and both will work. As to determining which one to use though... :-)

Physical index will give you the fastest acces, but the solution is non portable and might require the use of a stored procedure depending on the DB you are using (Oracle for instance).

The date field solution is considerably slower and will probably require that you create a secondary index on the DATE field if you will be running the querry repeatedly.

Once you know the options the choice is up to you.
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paaskyCommented:
Hello,

TOP 1 solution looks great. If TOP predicate is not available, here's my another suggestion:

SELECT Last(A1.Item), Last(A1.Price) , A1.Date
FROM PriceList AS A1
WHERE A1.Date=
   (SELECT MAX(A2.Date)
    FROM PriceList AS A2
    WHERE A1.Item = A2.Item)
GROUP BY A1.Date;

It will show only the last record if there are multiple records in price-list in same day.

Regards,
Paasky
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paaskyCommented:
Hello hadrons, any news here?
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hadronsAuthor Commented:
I'm sorry for taking so long to get back to all of you (it was something beyond my control;) I'm working with Informix, and the MAX() fuction has been returning the desired results.

Thanks so much everyone for your help.
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