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Window Functions in MS SQL Server

Learn how to use analytic T-SQL functions to deeply understand data.

Table of contents

21 free interactive coding challenges

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214

Interactive exercises

20 h

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Description

T-SQL window functions – also known as windowing functions, OVER functions, or analytic functions – are tremendously useful. These functions make building complex aggregations much simpler. In this step-by-step tutorial, we will lead you through T-SQL window functions. At its end, you'll embrace this topic with ease and feel comfortable using window functions in SQL Server databases.

Window functions are so powerful that they serve as a dividing point in time: people talk about SQL Server before window functions and SQL Server after window functions. Because they were introduced into the standard relatively recently, these functions aren't covered in many T-SQL courses.

Cover image for the course 'Window Functions in MS SQL Server'

About the Window Functions in SQL Server Course
This course covers the syntax and semantics of T-SQL window functions. It shows how powerful they are, what the typical use cases are, and how to use ORDER BY and PARTITION BY to set up a frame for window functions. You'll also learn the difference between ROWS and RANGE clauses

This course is intended for intermediate users. We assume the user knows the basics of T-SQL, including:

  • How to select from a single table, including writing complex WHERE conditions
  • How to JOIN tables
  • How GROUP BY and HAVING work

What are the requirements?

  • A web browser
  • Knowledge of basic T-SQL, including JOINs and GROUP BY clauses

What Am I Going to Get from This SQL Course?

In this MS SQL Server course you will learn:

  • The syntax of the OVER() clause
  • How to combine OVER() and PARTITION BY
  • How to combine OVER() and ORDER BY
  • How to rank rows using RANK, DENSE_RANK, and ROW_NUMBER
  • How to create sophisticated window frames using ROWS and RANGE.
  • The syntax of the analytic functions LEAD, LAG, FIRST_VALUE, LAST_VALUE, and NTILE.
  • How to combine window functions and GROUP BY
  • When to use window functions and when to use GROUP BY

You'll discover how window functions in MS SQL Server can be used to:

  • Build rankings
  • Compute running totals and running averages
  • Find the best and worst performers
  • Investigate trends across time
  • Calculate contributions to the whole, such as commission percentages

You'll also get a deeper understanding of T-SQL aggregate functions.

Who Should Take This Course?

  • Beginning database analysts
  • Developers who want to keep their knowledge of SQL Server current
  • Students taking classes in relational databases
  • Anyone who wants to learn SQL window functions

Table of contents

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Course progress

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Exercises completed

1.

Introduction

Window functions? We'll explain what they're all about

0/8

Introduction

2.

The OVER() clause

Your first encounter with window functions

0/17

Get to know the data

Get to know the OVER() clause

Computations with OVER()

Aggregate functions with OVER()

Using OVER() with WHERE

Summary

3.

OVER(PARTITION BY)

Discover how to define a function window with PARTITION BY

0/16

Introduction

PARTITION BY

Summary

4.

Ranking Functions

Learn how you can rank rows with window functions

0/26

Introduction

Ranking functions

Selecting n-th row

Summary

5.

Window Frame

Learn how to create sophisticated window frames for your window functions

0/26

Introduction

ROWS

RANGE

Default window frame

Summary

6.

Analytic functions

Learn the most essential analytic functions

0/28

Introduction

LEAD() and LAG()

FIRST_VALUE(), LAST_VALUE()

Summary

7.

PARTITION BY ORDER BY

Create advanced statistics computed independently for various groups of rows

0/24

Introduction

Quick Refresher

PARTITION BY ORDER BY with Ranking

PARTITION BY ORDER BY with Window Frames

Using PARTITION BY ORDER BY with Analytical Functions

Summary and Review

8.

All You Need to Know About Using Window Functions

Do you know when window functions are evaluated in a T-SQL query? Let's find out!

0/23

Evaluation Order and Common Problems

Window functions and GROUP BY

Summary and Review

9.

Window Functions: The Practice Field

Master all the skills you've acquired so far with our practice set

0/31

Introduction

Simple OVER()

PARTITION BY

Ranking functions

Window Frames

Analytic Functions

PARTITION BY ORDER BY

Order of Evaluation

Finished!

10.

Final quiz

Test all the skills you've acquired so far with this comprehensive final quiz

0/15

Introduction

The Final Quiz

You’ve Completed the Windows Function Course!

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