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November 14, 2013 sqlserverpedia-syndication, SSC, Tech and Learning No Comments

I like to repost this blog about once a  year, because you really really need to know about windowing functions. So, happy November!

Here’s a quick summary of OVER and PARTITION BY (windowing functions, “new” in SQL 2005), for the uninitiated or forgetful…


OVER allows you to get aggregate information without using a GROUP BY. In other words, you can retrieve detail rows, and get aggregate data alongside it. For example, this query:

, OrderNum
FROM Orders

Will return something like this:

Cost OrderNum
10.00 345
10.00 346
10.00 347
10.00 348

Quick translation:

  • SUM(cost) – get me the sum of the COST column
  • OVER – for the set of rows….
  • () – …that encompasses the entire result set.


OVER, as used in our previous example, exposes the entire resultset to the aggregation…”Cost” was the sum of all [Cost] in the resultset. We can break up that resultset into partitions with the use of PARTITION BY:

, OrderNum
, CustomerNo

FROM Orders

My partition is by CustomerNo – each “window” of a single customer’s orders will be treated separately from each other “window”….I’ll get the sum of cost for Customer 1, and then the sum for Customer 2:

Cost OrderNum CustomerNo
8.00 345 1
8.00 346 1
8.00 347 1
2.00 348 2

The translation here is:

  • SUM(cost) – get me the sum of the COST column
  • OVER – for the set of rows….
  • (PARTITION BY CustomerNo) – …that have the same CustomerNo.


Further Reading:

Enjoy, and happy days!



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