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How To Use ROW NUMBER() In A WHERE Clause

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If you try to use the ROW_NUMBER() windowing function in a WHERE clause you will get an error. Run the code below to see what I mean

  1. USE AdventureWorks
  2. GO
  5. ROW_NUMBER() OVER (ORDER BY addressline1) AS rowNum,
  6. addressline1,
  7. city
  8. FROM person.address
  9. WHERE rowNum > 3;

That gave the following error Server: Msg 207, Level 16, State 1, Line 6 Invalid column name 'rowNum'.

What you have to do is use Common Table Expressions or use a subquery. Below are both methods.


  2. ROW_NUMBER() OVER (ORDER BY addressline1) AS rowNum,
  3. addressline1,
  4. city
  5. FROM person.address) AS x
  6. WHERE rowNum > 3;


  1. WITH x (rowNum,addressline1,
  2. city) AS
  3. (SELECT
  4. ROW_NUMBER() OVER (ORDER BY addressline1) AS rowNum,
  5. addressline1,
  6. city
  7. FROM person.address)
  10. WHERE rowNum > 3;

Contributed by: --SQLDenis 02:34, 31 May 2008 (GMT)

Part of SQL Server Programming Hacks

Section Sorting, Limiting

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