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SQL ORDER BY

The SQL ORDER BY clause comes in handy when you want to sort your SQL result sets by some column(s). For example if you want to select all the persons from the already familiar Customers table and order the result by date of birth, you will use the following statement:


SELECT * FROM Customers
ORDER BY DOB

The result of the above SQL expression will be the following:

FirstName LastName Email DOB Phone
John Smith John.Smith@yahoo.com 2/4/1968 626 222-2222
Steven Goldfish goldfish@fishhere.net 4/4/1974 323 455-4545
Paula Brown pb@herowndomain.org 5/24/1978 416 323-3232
James Smith jim@supergig.co.uk 20/10/1980 416 323-8888

As you can see the rows are sorted in ascending order by the DOB column, but what if you want to sort them in descending order? To do that you will have to add the DESC SQL keyword after your SQL ORDER BY clause:


SELECT * FROM Customers
ORDER BY DOB DESC

The result of the SQL query above will look like this:

FirstName LastName Email DOB Phone
James Smith jim@supergig.co.uk 20/10/1980 416 323-8888
Paula Brown pb@herowndomain.org 5/24/1978 416 323-3232
Steven Goldfish goldfish@fishhere.net 4/4/1974 323 455-4545
John Smith John.Smith@yahoo.com 2/4/1968 626 222-2222

If you don't specify how to order your rows, alphabetically or reverse, than the result set is ordered alphabetically, hence the following to SQL expressions produce the same result:


SELECT * FROM Customers
ORDER BY DOB

SELECT * FROM Customers
ORDER BY DOB ASC

You can sort your result set by more than one column by specifying those columns in the SQL ORDER BY list. The following SQL expression will order by DOB and LastName:


SELECT * FROM Customers
ORDER BY DOB, LastName



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