Databases hold data. Users sometimes want to perform simple calculations or algorithms on that data to rank the results in a specific order—like gold, silver, and bronze medals in the Olympics or the top 10 customers by region. Starting with SQL Server 2005, functionality is provided for using ranking expressions with your result set. You can select a number of ranking algorithms, which are then applied to a column that you specify and applied in the scope of the executing query. If the data changes, your ranking algorithm will return different data the next time it is run. This comes in handy in Microsoft .NET Framework applications for paging and sorting in a grid, as well as in many other scenarios.