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Sorting by Multiple Columns

It is often necessary to sort data by more than one column. For example, if you are displaying an employee list, you might want to display it sorted by last name and first name (first by last name, and then within each last name sort by first name). This would be useful if there are multiple employees with the same last name.

To sort by multiple columns, simply specify the column names separated by commas (just as you do when you are selecting multiple columns).

The following code retrieves three columns and sorts the results by two of them—first by price and then by name.


SELECT prod_id, prod_price, prod_name
FROM Products
ORDER BY prod_price, prod_name;


prod_id  prod_price  prod_name
-------  ----------  --------------------
BNBG02       3.4900  Bird bean bag toy
BNBG01       3.4900  Fish bean bag toy
BNBG03       3.4900  Rabbit bean bag toy
RGAN01       4.9900  Raggedy Ann
BR01         5.9900  8 inch teddy bear
BR02         8.9900  12 inch teddy bear
RYL01        9.4900  King doll
RYL02        9.4900  Queen doll
BR03        11.9900  18 inch teddy bear

It is important to understand that when you are sorting by multiple columns, the sort sequence is exactly as specified. In other words, using the output in the example above, the products are sorted by the prod_name column only (if the prod_price value is the same). If all the values in the prod_price column had been unique, no data would have been sorted by prod_name.

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