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Home > SQL Tips > more on – ORDER BY with CASE

more on – ORDER BY with CASE


One of my previous post mentions about using CASE construct with ORDER BY clause to tweak the ordering of the result set. That example was a simple one, this post provides more insight on this tip.

Most of us must have experienced this problem at least once when you want to order some of your records in a specific way. Or your boss or client asks this weird request to see some specific records on top. And you are puzzelled, how to do this.

The following example shows how we can get this:

USE [AdventureWorks]
GO

--Simple sort by ORDER BY
SELECT FirstName, LastName
FROM Person.Contact
ORDER BY FirstName

-- ORDER BY with CASE
SELECT FirstName, LastName
FROM Person.Contact
ORDER BY CASE LastName
			WHEN 'Wright'  THEN '0'
			WHEN 'Jenkins' THEN '1'
			WHEN 'Torres'  THEN '2'
			WHEN 'Sanchez' THEN '3'
			ELSE LastName
	END

-- Multiple column sort with ORDER BY with CASE
SELECT FirstName, LastName
FROM Person.Contact
ORDER BY CASE LastName
			WHEN 'Wright'  THEN '0'
			WHEN 'Jenkins' THEN '1'
			WHEN 'Torres'  THEN '2'
			WHEN 'Sanchez' THEN '3'
			ELSE LastName
	END, FirstName
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Categories: SQL Tips Tags: ,
  1. January 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Does it support multiple column sorting such as
    Order by CASE WHEN @sort = ‘special’ THEN firstColumn, secondColumn END DESC?

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