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Why select count(distinct *) does not work?

Hello SQL Team!

Any idea why select count(distinct *) does not work?

Thanks!

Can you please define "does not work" ?

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"(DISTINCT *)" has no meaning in SQL Server. COUNT ( * ) counts the presence of rows. To apply DISTINCT to the row, it must be outside parentheses.

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Mmm, I want to count the distinct records of a table.
When I type:

select count(distinct *)
from table

It says:

Incorrect syntax near '*'.

WITH distinctRows
AS (
SELECT DISTINCT * FROM table;
)
SELECT COUNT(*) FROM distinctRows;

Or - use a derived table:

SELECT COUNT(*) FROM (SELECT DISTINCT * FROM table t)

Note: if you have a primary key defined - then all rows in the table are DISTINCT. If you don't have a primary key defined - why not?

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Yes, because as I stated before, "(DISTINCT *)" has no valid meaning in SQL Server. It doesn't exist.

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