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I have trouble naming the COUNT() column from SQL queries and will swap between various variants

  • _Count
  • [Count] (sql, or "count" or backticks for MySQL etc)
  • C
  • Cnt
  • CountSomething (where "something" is the field being counted, or "CountAll")
  • NoOfRows
  • RowCount
  • etc

Has anyone come up with any name that you are happy with and always use without hesitation?
This is bothering me because after joining SO just recently, my answers have shown this tendency of flip-flopping with no consistency.
I need to get this sorted.

Please help.

(While we're at it, what do you use for SUM etc?)

Note: Before you close this question, consider that this one was not:

What's the best name for a non-mutating “add” method on an immutable collection?


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closed as primarily opinion-based by MichaelT, gnat, durron597, GlenH7, Snowman Aug 5 at 2:46

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@cyberkiwi: if we tell you the correct name for the COUNT(*) column, do you promise you will be using it? –  Quassnoi Jan 31 '11 at 22:12
@omg "End users can not mark questions wiki anymore" (The CW checkbox only exists on answers these days) –  Martin Jan 31 '11 at 22:24
@cyberkiwi: there is a street in London, GROUP cnt lane or something like this. Was inhabited by SQL developers in XIV century, hence the name. –  Quassnoi Jan 31 '11 at 22:27
@Martin: Thx, I never read meta –  OMG Ponies Jan 31 '11 at 22:37
This may be the best comment thread I've read all morning after all. –  BoltClock Jan 31 '11 at 23:18

1 Answer 1

"If there are more than two instances of COUNT/SUM/etc in the query, how do you distinguish between them?"

When you contemplate that question, it becomes obvious that:

  • using a naming convention consistently matters
  • the naming convention should be informational enough to distinguish from other uses of the same function

With the advent of intellisense/etc in SQL IDEs like SSMS and PLSQL Developer, I tend to prefix my aggregate derived columns. IE: numUsers, or cntUsers This makes it easier to key to them without sifting through others.


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