Displaying the rank associated with each row is a common request. Some databases (such as SQL Server and Oracle) provide a RANK function that can easily achieve this, though this is not true for all databases (for example, MySQL does not have a RANK function). In this section, we discuss how we can show the ranking in the absence of such a function.
The general idea to display rank in SQL is to do a self-join, then list out the results in order, and finally do a count on the number of records that's listed ahead of (and including) the record of interest. Let's use an example to illustrate. Say we have the following table,
we would type,
SELECT a1.Name, a1.Sales, COUNT(a2.sales) Sales_Rank
FROM Total_Sales a1, Total_Sales a2
WHERE a1.Sales <= a2.Sales or (a1.Sales=a2.Sales and a1.Name = a2.Name)
GROUP BY a1.Name, a1.Sales
ORDER BY a1.Sales DESC, a1.Name DESC;
Let's focus on the WHERE clause. The first part of the clause, (a1.Sales <= a2.Sales), makes sure we are only counting the number of occurrences where the value in the Sales column is less than or equal to itself. If there are no duplicate values in the Sales column, this portion of the WHERE clause by itself would be sufficient to generate the correct ranking.
The second part of the clause, (a1.Sales=a2.Sales and a1.Name = a2.Name), ensures that when there are duplicate values in the Sales column, each one would get the correct rank.
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