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Oracle Find Last Row

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonJune 30, 2015

Question:   How do I find the last row inserted?  I have been trying the following:

 select
  vehicle_id
from
  mytab
where
  rowid =(
    select
       max(rowid)
    from
       mytab);

Answer:  The query you are trying will return results but not the ones you intend.  

The rowid for a given row is a physical address and in no way indicates the order of insertion into the table.  

The only way to find the last row is to have a date or timestamp field that is populated by sysdate at the time of insertion and select the max value of that column. 

The following example shows how to query for the latest entry, when last_row is populated by sysdate at the time of insertion:

insert into mytab (vehicle_id, last_row) 123, sysdate
select
  vehicle_id,
  max(last_row)
from
  mytab
group by
  vehicle_id; 

Oracle does not insert rows in any particular order, and rows are inserted based on the next free block in the table's tablespace.  Hence, you need to procedurally mark the "first", "next" or "last" rows in a table.  

Also, see my notes on finding the top "n" rows in a table and the "top 10" rows.

 

 
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