Sometimes web developers might need sample data to work with during the development. Sample data can be obtained from the following page in form of Web service, CSV and SQL statements. Hopefully this will help someone in need.
Finding random records from a table might not be the important one. However, if you ever find yourself in a position to find random records from a table, then following could be a help:
Below sql queries will return random three(3) records from a table
Method 1: Using NEWID()
NEWID() will help us to generate random result set in a simple way. It creates a unique value of type uniqueidentifier. It will unique for each call. When it is a part of ORDER BY clause then it generates a unique value in memory for each row and then sorted in ascending order.
SELECT TOP 3 * FROM Customer ORDER BY NEWID()
Method 2: Using Tablesample()
TABLESAMPLE can quickly return a sample from a large table. TABLESAMPLE clause can be added to any table in the FROM clause. Percentage of rows or number of rows need to be specified as a part of this clause. However, this sampling method will return an approximate number of rows back. If you specify a small number, you might not be able to see any results. Rows returned by this clause are not in order and most likely to be random.
SELECT TOP 3 * FROM Customer Tablesample(1 percent)
If you want to get trully random records then user NEWID().