Code Samples for Businesses, Schools & Developers

Updated 9 June 2018

This article was originally published back in Jan 2018 as 'How to Show Rank Order in Queries' at Access World Forums.

Its easy to create a rank order in Access reports but not so easy in queries.
If you Bing/Google the topic you will find several methods of doing so.
The standard solution involves the uses of subqueries.
For example, see

However, the following method using the Serialize function below is, in my opinion, far easier. In addition, it is usually faster than using subqueries


Public Function Serialize(qryname As String, KeyName As String, keyValue) As Long

On Error GoTo Err_Handler

   'used to create rank order for records in a query
   'add as query field
   'Example Serialize("qry1","field1",[field1])

   Dim rst As DAO.Recordset
   Set rst = CurrentDb.OpenRecordset(qryname, dbOpenDynaset, dbReadOnly)

   rst.FindFirst Application.BuildCriteria(KeyName, rst.Fields(KeyName).type, keyValue)

   Serialize = Nz(rst.AbsolutePosition, -1) + 1

   Set rst = Nothing

   Exit Function

   MsgBox "Error " & Err.Number & " in Serialize procedure: " & Err.Description
   Resume Exit_Handler

End Function

For example in this query, the function is used to create a TableID field which serves as the row number:

SELECT Serialize("qryJSONFileTables","TableName",[TableName]) AS [TableID], MSysObjects.Name AS TableName, qryJSONFileTableNames.FileID, qryJSONFileTableNames.FileNameFROM qryJSONFileTableNames INNER JOIN MSysObjects ON qryJSONFileTableNames.TableName = MSysObjects.Name
WHERE (((MSysObjects.Type)=1) AND ((MSysObjects.Flags)=0))
ORDER BY MSysObjects.Name;

Attached is a simple example database using student assessment marks for a fictitious school to further illustrate its use

It has 2 tables: tblAssessmentMarks / tblAssessmentTypes and various queries including three with rank order fields.

a) qryY7ScAss1MarkRANK
This sorts Year 7 Science students in rank order by mark (descending order) - as several students have the same mark, the rank values are repeated e.g. two are ranked 2 so the next is ranked 4


b) qryY7ScAss1PupilRANK
This is the same data but this time ranked in descending mark order by PupilID - so no repeated values for rank


c) qryY7HiAvgAssMarksRANK
This shows Y7 History average marks by assessment in rank order


Rank order queries can also be used as record sources for forms (or reports).
Conditional formatting can also be used to assist understanding.

In the example form shown below, rank values ending in 5 are coloured blue and those ending in 0 are coloured green.


Click to download:     (Approx 0.85MB zipped)

Colin Riddington           Mendip Data Systems                 Last Updated 9 June 2018

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