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The following code works

Integer i = [select count() from Account];
System.debug(i);

But the code below results in and error: "Illegal assignment from LIST to Integer LINE: 1 COLUMN: 1"

Integer i = [select count(Id) from Account];
System.debug(i);

Why is this?

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2 Answers 2

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COUNT() is an older SOQL function that was available prior to other aggregate functions. It returns an integer. If you use COUNT(fieldName) the result of the query will be a List instead.

COUNT() is equivalent to COUNT(*) in SQL. It return the total row count. COUNT(fieldName) only counts the number of non-null records. If you want to use COUNT(fieldName), the following code should work:

List<AggregateResult> result  = [select count(Id) total from Account];
System.debug(result[0].get('total'));

For more about the difference between COUNT() and COUNT(fieldName) take a look at the documentation.

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COUNT() returns the number of items in a group, including NULL values and duplicates.

COUNT(expression) evaluates expression for each row in a group and returns the number of non null values.

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