in reply to Querying Select Number of Rows
As runrig said, syntaxes can vary... so here are some common ones:
PostgreSQL, MySQL, and some other have variants of the LIMIT x OFFSET y clause. This always (to my knowledge) appears as the last clause in the query.
... ORDER BY field1, field2 LIMIT 10 -- with OFFSET LIMIT 10 OFFSET 1 -- implicit OFFSET (MySQL) LIMIT 10,1
In Oracle you can use the "rownum" indexing of the recordset to return a specific number of records.
... FROM table1 a, table2 b WHERE rownum <= 10 ...
If you're working with an M$ DBMS like SQL Server (I refuse to allow Access to be called a DBMS) or one Informix's you can use the TOP syntax. TOP is part of the SELECT clause as seen below.
SELECT TOP 10 field1, field2, ... ,fieldn FROM ...
I know nothing of DBI so the next statement is a generality. The benefits to using the limiting at the DBMS side are smaller recordsets transfered back and often quicker queries (DBMS dependant), you do loose a certain amount of portability however. Staying with straight ANSI SQL and datatypes is always a problem though.