Its something that took a bit of finding, but is very simple to do. I wanted to automatically add a row number to returned rows from a table in a database
SELECT FirstNames, LastName, DOB FROM Staff ORDER BY FirstNames ASC
FirstNames LastName DOB Richard Taylor 01/01/1980 James Watts 01/01/1980 Richard Stringer 01/01/1980
we can modify this so that it returns a row number by changing the SQL as follows:
SELECT ROW_NUMBER() OVER (ORDER BY FirstNames) As RowNumber, FirstNames, LastName, DOB FROM Staff ORDER BY FirstNames ASC
RowNumber FirstNames LastName DOB 1 Richard Taylor 01/01/1980 2 James Watts 01/01/1980 3 Richard Stringer 01/01/1980
NB. The ROW_NUMBER() Requires that the over keyword be included after it, and that the order you choose should be the same as the order by on the query.
If you know how to do this in a different way, or a way that will work for a query that does not have an order by (a very rare occurence) then please do post a comment to let others know.