If you want to sort rows in descending order, you use DESC explicitly. Learn how to use SQL ORDER BY clause to sort data in ascending and descending order. This example query returns name in reverse-alphabetical order and shows only the top 3 results: Public Affairs Data Journalism I is taught by Dan Nguyen, Hearst Professional in Residence at Stanford University. More than one columns can be ordered one within another. The order in which rows are returned in a result set are not guaranteed unless an ORDER BY clause is specified. All the examples for this lesson are based on Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and the AdventureWorks2012 database. Just add more column names and ordering keywords – i.e. ORDER BY allows sorting by one or more columns. SQL ORDER BY RANDOM. In the following, we are going to discuss, how an index number for a column can be used to make the result of a query in descending order based on that column. Find out how to order the filtered result using ORDER BY clause.. For this lesson, download the following file, which is a SQLite database built from the U.S. Social Security Administration file of popular baby names: Unzip it, and open the sqlite file using the SQLite client of your choice (e.g. The ORDER BY keywords are only used once. The positional number is the position of the column in the SELECT clause.The position number starts with 1, 2, 3, etc. To specify exactly the order of rows in the result set, you add use an ORDER BY clause in the SELECT statement as follows: In this syntax, the ORDER BY clause appears after the FROM clause. Syntax for using SQL ORDER BY clause to sort data is: SELECT column-list FROM table_name [WHERE condition] [ORDER BY column1 [, column2, .. columnN] [DESC]]; to your user. The SQLTutorial.org is created to help you master the SQL language fast by using simple but practical examples and easy-to-understand explanations. Explanation In the example below we are selecting the LoginID column from the HumanResources.Employee table where the VacationHours column equals 8 and we are ordering the data by the HireDate in ascending order which is implied. The SQL ORDER BY clause is used to impose an order on the result of a query. The ORDER BY command sorts the result set in ascending order by default. GROUP BY and ORDER BY are two important keywords in SQL that we use to organize data. SQL ordering output by column number . Records are sorted first by the first field listed after ORDER BY. How to specify the quantity and arrangement of data rows returned by the SQL database. If we want to sort our Users table by the FirstName column, we'll have to use the following ORDER BY SQL statement: SELECT * FROM Users ORDER BY FirstName To sort the result set by a column, you list that column after the ORDER BY clause.. Using the above table syntax, we could simply ORDER BY currency_rank.This could be useful where the list to sort is too large. The following statement retrieves the employee id, first name, last name, hire date, and salary from the employees table: It seems that the rows appear as they are stored in the  employees table. Sometimes you may want to display random information like articles, links, pages etc. a tie, we can specify more columns to use in the sorting criteria. By default, ORDER BY sorts in ascending order. Use this clause to: Order the result set of a query by the specified column list and, optionally, limit the rows returned to a specified range. For this reason, the order of rows in the result set is undetermined or unpredictable. The default order is ascending. Records that have equal values in that field are then sorted by the value in the second field listed, and so on. Following the column name is a sort order that can be: ASC for sorting in ascending order; DESC for sorting in descending order; By default, the ORDER BY clause sorts rows in ascending order whether you specify ASC or not. SQL Order By is used to sort the data in the ascending or descending order. To sort employees by first names alphabetically, you add an ORDER BY clause to query as follows: The result set now is sorted by the first_name column. Sorts data returned by a query in SQL Server. It sorts the data in ascending order by default. In case the SELECT statement contains a WHERE clause, the ORDER BY clause must appear after the WHERE clause. the least common names: SELECT * FROM baby_names ORDER BY state DESC, count ASC; Watch this video on Order by Clause in SQL For example, the following statement selects employee data and sorts the result set by salary in the descending order: Besides the character and numeric, SQL allows you to sort the result set by date. Returning rows from a SQL statement can be an all or nothing affair. The difference between GROUP BY and ORDER BY is that ORDER BY is more simple than GROUP BY and is usually introduced early in an SQL course. They can also be used in combination with other keywords such as WHERE clause and LIMIT ASC and DESC – separated by commas. Introduction to SQL ORDER BY clause When you use the SELECT statement to query data from a table, the order which rows appear in the result set may not be what you expected. Copyright © 2020 SQL Tutorial. An ORDER BY clause allows you to specify the order in which rows appear in the result set. Notice the change in position of two employees: Alexander Khoo and Alexander Hunold. When you include more than one column in the ORDER BY clause, the database system first sorts the result set based on the first column and then sort the sorted result set based on the second column, and so on. Closing Remarks. 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