< (Less Than) (Transact-SQL)

Applies to: SQL Server Azure SQL Database Azure SQL Managed Instance Azure Synapse Analytics Analytics Platform System (PDW) SQL analytics endpoint in Microsoft Fabric Warehouse in Microsoft Fabric

Compares two expressions (a comparison operator). When you compare nonnull expressions, the result is TRUE if the left operand has a value lower than the right operand; otherwise, the result is FALSE. If either or both operands are NULL, see the topic SET ANSI_NULLS (Transact-SQL).

Transact-SQL syntax conventions


expression < expression  


To view Transact-SQL syntax for SQL Server 2014 (12.x) and earlier versions, see Previous versions documentation.


Is any valid expression. Both expressions must have implicitly convertible data types. The conversion depends on the rules of data type precedence.

Result Types



A. Using < in a simple query

The following example returns all rows in the HumanResources.Department table that have a value in DepartmentID that is less than the value 3.

-- Uses AdventureWorks  
SELECT DepartmentID, Name  
FROM HumanResources.Department  
WHERE DepartmentID < 3  
ORDER BY DepartmentID;

Here is the result set.

DepartmentID Name  
------------ --------------------------------------------------  
1            Engineering  
2            Tool Design  
(2 row(s) affected)  

B. Using < to compare two variables

DECLARE @a INT = 45, @b INT = 40;  
SELECT IIF ( @a < @b, 'TRUE', 'FALSE' ) AS Result;  

Here is the result set.

(1 row(s) affected)  

See Also