Edward McCarroll wisely noted: >>I refuse to believe that any respectable DBMS would scan an entire >>table if the goal was to find "N random rows". Hi Edward, I completely agree with you. Unfortunately I believe I am being asked to work with one. I just wanted to cross-check my understanding of how the world is supposed to work. Thanks! RonL. It *is* a respectable DBMS, (honest) ... it's just very specialized. It was tuned to do OLTP things so really really well that it's command syntax is a bit lacking in the data warehousery department where finding 'n random rows' might be an interesting thing to do.