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SQL Query to Delete or Select First or Last n Records From Table

Introduction: In this article I am going to explain how to select or delete first or last 5 or 10 or any number of rows from table in SQL Server. Or we can say getting and deleting specified number of records from top or bottom of the table.


Description: To delete specified number of records from table we need a unique column for example primary key column through which we can filter the first or last n number of records using TOP and ORDER BY clause as I have used in the queries below.


Implementation: Let’s create a table and delete n number of records from first or last.

--Create a table using following script
 CREATE TABLE tbBooks
(
    BookId     INT NOT NULL IDENTITY(1,1) PRIMARY KEY,
    BookName   VARCHAR(100),
    Author     VARCHAR(100),
    Publisher  VARCHAR(100),
    BookPrice  DECIMAL(10,2)
)

--Add some dummy data into the table
GO
INSERT INTO tbBooks VALUES
('Asp.Net','Ajay','Rozy Publication',1200),
('C#.Net','Sahil','Jai Publication',1000),
('VB.Net','Nancy','Rozy Publication',970),
('MVC','Sahil','Amar Publication',1480),
('JAVA','Supreet','Sam Publication',850),
('PHP','Parvesh','Maya Publication',800),
('ORACLE','Sunny','Amar Publication',1110),
('MYSQL','Shaheed','Sam Publication',400),
('jQuery','Amit','Maya Publication',950)


 --Check inserted data
SELECT * FROM tbBooks

BookId
BookName
Author
Publisher
BookPrice
1
Asp.Net
Ajay
Rozy Publication
1200.00
2
C#.Net
Sahil
Jai Publication
1000.00
3
VB.Net
Nancy
Rozy Publication
970.00
4
MVC
Sahil
Amar Publication
1480.00
5
JAVA
Supreet
Sam Publication
850.00
6
PHP
Parvesh
Maya Publication
800.00
7
ORACLE
Sunny
Amar Publication
1110.00
8
MYSQL
Shaheed
Sam Publication
400.00
9
jQuery
Amit
Maya Publication
950.00


--Select first 5 records
SELECT TOP 5 * FROM tbBooks ORDER BY BookId ASC

BookId
BookName
Author
Publisher
BookPrice
1
Asp.Net
Ajay
Rozy Publication
1200.00
2
C#.Net
Sahil
Jai Publication
1000.00
3
VB.Net
Nancy
Rozy Publication
970.00
4
MVC
Sahil
Amar Publication
1480.00
5
JAVA
Supreet
Sam Publication
850.00


--Select last 5 records
SELECT TOP 5 * FROM tbBooks ORDER BY BookId DESC

BookId
BookName
Author
Publisher
BookPrice
9
jQuery
Amit
Maya Publication
950.00
8
MYSQL
Shaheed
Sam Publication
400.00
7
ORACLE
Sunny
Amar Publication
1110.00
6
PHP
Parvesh
Maya Publication
800.00
5
JAVA
Supreet
Sam Publication
850.00


--Delete first 2 records
DELETE FROM tbBooks
WHERE BookId IN (SELECT TOP 2 BookId FROM tbBooks ORDER BY BookId ASC)

--Check data in table
SELECT * FROM tbBooks 

BookId
BookName
Author
Publisher
BookPrice
3
VB.Net
Nancy
Rozy Publication
970.00
4
MVC
Sahil
Amar Publication
1480.00
5
JAVA
Supreet
Sam Publication
850.00
6
PHP
Parvesh
Maya Publication
800.00
7
ORACLE
Sunny
Amar Publication
1110.00
8
MYSQL
Shaheed
Sam Publication
400.00
9
jQuery
Amit
Maya Publication
950.00


--Delete last 2 records
DELETE FROM tbBooks
WHERE BookId IN (SELECT TOP 2 BookId FROM tbBooks ORDER BY BookId DESC)

--Check data in table
SELECT * FROM tbBooks 

BookId
BookName
Author
Publisher
BookPrice
3
VB.Net
Nancy
Rozy Publication
970.00
4
MVC
Sahil
Amar Publication
1480.00
5
JAVA
Supreet
Sam Publication
850.00
6
PHP
Parvesh
Maya Publication
800.00
7
ORACLE
Sunny
Amar Publication
1110.00

 Now over to you:
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