SQL Rank Vs Row Number

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SQL Rank Vs Row Number is a common question because the two functions are very similar. SQL Server has the two similar built-in functions to assign numbers to the order of the data in the result set. The SQL Server RANK function and the ROW_NUMBER function both can accomplish this, but they do something slightly different. You can follow these links see details on how to use this functions at RANK function and ROW_NUMBER function.

ROW_NUMBER: Returns a sequential number starting at 1 in the order specified. If there are duplicate records, SQL Server will continue the sequence on the duplicated record… ensuring that the row number sequence is never duplicated.

RANK: Returns a sequential number starting at 1 in the order specified. If there are duplicate records, SQL Server will use the same number for the duplicate records. There will then be a gap in the sequence for the duplicated records.

 
Reference:
    RANK: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms176102.aspx
    ROW_NUMBER: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms186734.aspx

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