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The SUM function in SQL is used to calculate the total sum of a numeric column in a database.

The SUM function is an aggregate function that allows you to calculate the sum of all values in a specific column. It is particularly useful when you need to perform a quick calculation of data in a large table. The basic syntax for using the SUM function in SQL is: SELECT SUM(column_name) FROM table_name. Here, 'column_name' is the name of the column for which you want to calculate the total sum, and 'table_name' is the name of the table where the column resides.

For instance, if you have a table named 'Orders' with a column named 'Quantity', and you want to find the total quantity of all orders, you would write: SELECT SUM(Quantity) FROM Orders. This statement will return the total sum of all values in the 'Quantity' column.

It's important to note that the SUM function only works with numeric data types. If you try to use it with non-numeric data types, you'll get an error. Also, the SUM function ignores NULL values. If a column contains NULL values, they will not be included in the total sum.

You can also use the SUM function with the GROUP BY clause to calculate the sum for each group of rows in the table. For example, if you want to find the total quantity of orders for each customer in the 'Orders' table, you would write: SELECT CustomerID, SUM(Quantity) FROM Orders GROUP BY CustomerID. This statement will return a list of customers along with the total quantity of orders for each customer.

In conclusion, the SUM function in SQL is a powerful tool that can help you quickly calculate the total sum of a numeric column in a database. Whether you're working with a small table or a large database, the SUM function can save you a lot of time and effort.

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