Ordering Rows Using a User-Defined Order

By Sean Baird on 1 September 2000 | 5 Comments | Tags: ORDER BY

Jonathan writes: "How would I go about ordering results using a specified order in order to offset and limit the results. Say I have non-unique ids, (23, 12, 98, 3) and I need to return rows that contain these ids in the order I specified above. How could I do this without using any extra queries or sub-queries?

Jonathan -

Thankfully, you didn't say "How can I do this without using any extra tables", because that would have been trickier :o)

Since SQL doesn't natively provide this sort of ordering, you need to use another table that contains your desired key order and join to it. Something like this:

      KeyID int,
      SortOrder int

INSERT Sorter VALUES (23,1)
INSERT Sorter VALUES (12,2)
INSERT Sorter VALUES (98,3)
INSERT Sorter VALUES (3,4)

FROM foo
      JOIN Sorter
            ON foo.ID = Sorter.KeyID
ORDER BY Sorter.SortOrder

That should do the trick.

Discuss this article: 5 Comments so far. Print this Article.

If you like this article you can sign up for our weekly newsletter. There's an opt-out link at the bottom of each newsletter so it's easy to unsubscribe at any time.

Email Address:

Related Articles

Dynamic ORDER BY (22 January 2001)

Other Recent Forum Posts

How to extract a part of a string in the column re (2 Replies)

Repair Corrupt Access Database File (6 Replies)

pdf to gif(jpeg) (3 Replies)

SSRS Report Barcode-Not display in PDF (2 Replies)

Request Help Please (1 Reply)

copy a column with large data (1 Reply)

Convert PDF and digitally sign (2 Replies)

Minify SQL source? (34 Replies)

Subscribe to SQLTeam.com

Weekly SQL Server newsletter with articles, forum posts, and blog posts via email. Subscribers receive our white paper with performance tips for developers.

SQLTeam.com Articles via RSS

SQLTeam.com Weblog via RSS

- Advertisement -