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SQL Server select distinct

Posted on 2013-12-10
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Last Modified: 2013-12-11
In SQL Server, how do you select a distinct with multiple columns?  I want distinct employeeid, but it's not the first column in my select, so it doesn't seem to work.

select count(*) as seqnumber, Recordtype, CoID, EmployeeID, EventCode, CreationDate
I want to select distinct employeeids, that is, if an employeeid is in there more than once, I only want it once.

Thanks.
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Question by:newtoperlpgm
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39710272
So why don't you make it the first column and see what you get?
select DISTINCT EmployeeID, count(*) as seqnumber, Recordtype, CoID, EventCode, CreationDate

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Expert Comment

by:Angelp1ay
ID: 39710279
I always tend to think GROUP BY is a better more explicit option. It forces you to identify the logic of how to pick the other values.

This is a nice clear example:
http://blog.sqlauthority.com/2007/03/29/sql-server-difference-between-distinct-and-group-by-distinct-vs-group-by/
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Accepted Solution

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Angelp1ay earned 500 total points
ID: 39710294
If you want to pick just the first row of a group (based on a specific sort) you can use ROW_NUMBER().
SELECT rn = ROW_NUMBER() OVER(PARTITION BY EmployeeID ORDER BY EventCode DESC), 
    Recordtype, 
    CoID, 
    EmployeeID, 
    EventCode, 
    CreationDate 
FROM your_table 
WHERE rn = 1

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...but you'd have to do a join to include the count as well.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:HuaMinChen
ID: 39710720
You need to use "group by" the columns including employeeid. Read:
http://www.w3schools.com/sql/sql_groupby.asp
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms173245.aspx
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Expert Comment

by:Angelp1ay
ID: 39711069
@newtoperlpgm - In the case that there are multiple records for a single EmployeeID, can you please describe the logic for which record you would like returned? e.g. would you like the one with the most recent creation date?

It's a little unusual to have a query which returns columns related to a single record and a count which relates to a group of records. It's perfectly possible to combine both but we need a fuller description of the intended logic.
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Author Comment

by:newtoperlpgm
ID: 39712944
Thanks for all your help.
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