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Tip of the Day
Language: SQL
Expertise: Intermediate
Mar 29, 2004

Create a Sortable Column Dynamically

There are times when sorting your resultset by the primary key doesn't accomplish what you need. One way to get around this is to create a sortable column dynamically in your query using the CASE function.

SELECT name, title, priority =
	(CASE title
	when 'President' then 1
				when 'Vice President' then 2			when
'Secretary' then 3
	when 'Treasurer' then 4
	end)
FROM executive
ORDER BY priority
This example gives each title a priority and sorts by it. This could have been accomplished using a second table and joining to it—but why do that if you don't need to?
Ian Lane
 
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