SQL/thesql – Select distinct/UNIQUE but return all columns


SELECT DISTINCT field1, field2, field3, ......   FROM table

I am trying to accomplish the following sql statement but I want it to return all columns is this possible? Something like:

SELECT DISTINCT field1, * from table

Best Solution

You're looking for a group by:

select *
from table
group by field1

Which can occasionally be written with a distinct on statement:

select distinct on field1 *
from table

On most platforms, however, neither of the above will work because the behavior on the other columns is unspecified. (The first works in MySQL, if that's what you're using.)

You could fetch the distinct fields and stick to picking a single arbitrary row each time.

On some platforms (e.g. PostgreSQL, Oracle, T-SQL) this can be done directly using window functions:

select *
from (
   select *,
          row_number() over (partition by field1 order by field2) as row_number
   from table
   ) as rows
where row_number = 1

On others (MySQL, SQLite), you'll need to write subqueries that will make you join the entire table with itself (example), so not recommended.