SQL Server 2012 Windowing Functions Part 1 of 2: Running and Sliding Aggregates

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Lenni Lobel on SQL Server and .NET Development

The first windowing capabilities appeared in SQL Server 2005 with the introduction of the OVER clause and a set of ranking functions (ROW_NUMBER, RANK, DENSE_RANK, and NTILE). The term “window,” as it is used here, refers to the scope of visibility from one row in a result set relative to neighboring rows in the same result set. By default, OVER produces a single window over the entire result set, but its associated PARTITION BY clause lets you divide the result set up into distinct windows—one per partition. Furthermore, its associated ORDER BY clause enables cumulative calculations within each window.

In addition to the four ranking functions, the OVER clause can be used with the traditional aggregate functions (SUM, COUNT, MIN, MAX, AVG). This is extremely useful, because it allows you to calculate aggregations without being forced to summarize all…

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