SQL ORDER BY Keyword: Sorting Query Results

Introduction

In SQL, the ORDER BY keyword is used to sort the query results in ascending or descending order based on one or more columns. It allows you to organize your data in a meaningful way, making it easier to analyze and extract relevant information. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to understanding and using the ORDER BY keyword in SQL, along with examples and code snippets for better comprehension.

Table of Contents

  1. What is ORDER BY keyword in SQL?
  2. Syntax and Usage
  3. Sorting in Ascending Order
  4. Sorting in Descending Order
  5. Sorting by Multiple Columns
  6. Sorting with NULL Values
  7. Case-Insensitive Sorting
  8. Using Expressions in ORDER BY
  9. Limiting the Number of Results
  10. Conclusion
  11. FAQs

1. What is ORDER BY keyword in SQL?

The ORDER BY keyword in SQL is a clause that is used to sort the result set of a query based on one or more columns. It allows you to arrange the data in a specific order, either in ascending (default) or descending order. By default, the ORDER BY keyword sorts the data in ascending order.

2. Syntax and Usage

The basic syntax for using the ORDER BY keyword in SQL is as follows:

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
ORDER BY column1 [ASC|DESC], column2 [ASC|DESC], ...

Here, column1, column2, etc., represent the columns by which you want to sort the result set. The optional ASC or DESC keyword specifies whether the sorting should be in ascending or descending order, respectively. If no sorting order is specified, it defaults to ascending order.

3. Sorting in Ascending Order

To sort the query results in ascending order, you can use the following syntax:

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
ORDER BY column1 ASC;

Example:

SELECT name, age, salary
FROM employees
ORDER BY salary ASC;

4. Sorting in Descending Order

To sort the query results in descending order, you can use the DESC keyword:

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
ORDER BY column1 DESC;

Example:

SELECT name, age, salary
FROM employees
ORDER BY age DESC;

5. Sorting by Multiple Columns

You can sort the result set by multiple columns by specifying them in the ORDER BY clause:

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
ORDER BY column1, column2, ...;

Example:

SELECT name, age, salary
FROM employees
ORDER BY department, salary DESC;

6. Sorting with NULL Values

NULL values can be sorted either at the beginning or the end of the result set, depending

on your requirements.

To sort NULL values at the beginning, use the NULLS FIRST keyword:

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
ORDER BY column1 ASC NULLS FIRST;

To sort NULL values at the end, use the NULLS LAST keyword:

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
ORDER BY column1 ASC NULLS LAST;

Example:

SELECT name, age, salary
FROM employees
ORDER BY department NULLS LAST, salary DESC;

7. Case-Insensitive Sorting

By default, SQL sorting is case-sensitive. However, you can perform case-insensitive sorting using the LOWER() or UPPER() functions:

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
ORDER BY LOWER(column1) ASC;

Example:

SELECT name, age, salary
FROM employees
ORDER BY LOWER(name) ASC;

8. Using Expressions in ORDER BY

You can use expressions in the ORDER BY clause to perform calculations or apply conditions during sorting. Here’s an example:

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
ORDER BY column1 + column2 DESC;

Example:

SELECT name, age, salary
FROM employees
ORDER BY salary * 1.1 DESC;

9. Limiting the Number of Results

To limit the number of results returned by an SQL query, you can use the LIMIT keyword:

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
ORDER BY column1
LIMIT number_of_rows;

Example:

SELECT name, age, salary
FROM employees
ORDER BY salary DESC
LIMIT 10;

10. Conclusion

The ORDER BY keyword in SQL is a powerful tool for sorting query results. It allows you to organize data in ascending or descending order based on one or more columns. By following the syntax and examples provided in this article, you can effectively utilize the ORDER BY keyword in your SQL queries.


11. FAQs

Q: What is ORDER BY keyword in SQL?
The ORDER BY keyword in SQL is used to sort the result set of a query based on one or more columns.

Q: What are the 6 order of keywords in SQL query?
The six order of keywords in an SQL query are: SELECT, FROM, WHERE, GROUP BY, HAVING, and ORDER BY.

Q: Is order a keyword in SQL?
Yes, ORDER is a keyword in SQL, used in the ORDER BY clause to specify the sorting order.

Q: How do you do ORDER BY in SQL?
To use ORDER BY in SQL, include the ORDER BY clause in your SELECT statement and specify the column(s) you want to sort by.

Q: What is ORDER BY clause?
The ORDER BY clause is a SQL clause that is used to sort the result set of a query in ascending or descending order based on one or more columns.


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