Randomize SQL query results

There are many ways to get random database results, here I explain two of them.

** The first way:
** Let your database server randomize the database rows for you.
** This works by adding "ORDER BY RAND()" to your query string.
** (in MSSQL you have to use "ORDER BY NEWID()")
** The second way:
** If you want to use the "ORDER BY" for another field, you 
** can randomize the resulting array by using the shuffle function:
//  Connect to database:
$Link = mysql_connect('localhost','test_user','test_password') 
    or die('Could not connect to the server!');
// Select a database:
    or die('Could not select a database.');
// SQL-Query (select last 10 entries):
$SQL = "SELECT * FROM todo_list ORDER BY id DESC LIMIT 0,10";
// Execute the query:
$Result = mysql_query($SQL) 
    or die('A error occured: ' . mysql_error());
// Create empty array for the fetched rows
$Rows = array();
// Fetch all rows and store them in the new array:
while ($Row = mysql_fetch_assoc($Result))
    $Rows[] = $Row;
// Randomize all result rows
// Now do something cool with the randomized
// results:
foreach($Rows as $Data){
    // ...
    print $Data['Name'];
    print "<br/>\n";
// Please read the whole snippet before 
// you recommend --> ORDER BY RAND()
Snippet Details

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Older comments:

cssfreakie March 10, 2011 at 06:57
inmagine what would happen if you have table with a million rows and you only needed 20 rows at random. That would be pretty much work at database level
Alexander R September 23, 2008 at 19:36
Hey, great article, i saw at the end that you added please read the whole snippet before recommending RAND(), so how come you decided to implement the randomization part at the php level ?