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The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 1A - SQL Language Reference
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 454 pages
ISBN 9781906966041
RRP £14.95 ($19.95)

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5.2.4 Window Function Processing

If the query contains any window functions (see Window Functions, section 7.19 Window Functions and section 2.2.8 Window Function Calls), these functions are evaluated after any grouping, aggregation, and HAVING filtering is performed. That is, if the query uses any aggregates, GROUP BY, or HAVING, then the rows seen by the window functions are the group rows instead of the original table rows from FROM/WHERE.

When multiple window functions are used, all the window functions having syntactically equivalent PARTITION BY and ORDER BY clauses in their window definitions are guaranteed to be evaluated in a single pass over the data. Therefore they will see the same sort ordering, even if the ORDER BY does not uniquely determine an ordering. However, no guarantees are made about the evaluation of functions having different PARTITION BY or ORDER BY specifications. (In such cases a sort step is typically required between the passes of window function evaluations, and the sort is not guaranteed to preserve ordering of rows that its ORDER BY sees as equivalent.)

Currently, window functions always require presorted data, and so the query output will be ordered according to one or another of the window functions' PARTITION BY/ORDER BY clauses. It is not recommendable to rely on this, however. Use an explicit top-level ORDER BY clause if you want to be sure the results are sorted in a particular way.

ISBN 9781906966041The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 1A - SQL Language ReferenceSee the print edition