Solved

How to properly sort a varchar column in numeric order

Posted on 2012-03-11
4
437 Views
Last Modified: 2012-03-12
I've been looking for a good solution for the last couple of hours - gotten close but most of what I've seen uses a case to sort integers first and then the varchars or similar. But none actually sort like I want and the things I have seen that purport to work are for Oracle and I'm using MSSQL.

That said, most of my data is int but there are a few rows that have either an 'x' or 'r' or 'c' which causes all sorts of issues with the sort.  a normal sort would return:
1372X
137X
1675X
19412
338X
3508
3543
3549

But, in an ideal world, I would like it to sort numerically - more like:
137X
338X
1372X
1675X
3508
3543
3549
19412

So, I would appreciate some help with this.  The client (or clients in this case) are very insistent that the sort look right - letters or no.  Many thanks in advance as always.
0
Comment
Question by:saabStory
  • 2
4 Comments
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Kamaraj Subramanian
ID: 37708443
0
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:ewangoya
ID: 37708560
try this
declare @T table(id varchar(20))

insert into @T
select '1372X'
union select '137X'
union select '1675X'
union select '19412'
union select '338X'
union select '3508'
union select '3543'
union select '3549'

select *, PATINDEX('%[A-Z]%', id) from @T 
order by case 
		when id is null then
			0
		when PATINDEX('%[A-Z]%', id) > 0 then	
			CAST(LEFT(id, PATINDEX('%[A-Z]%', id)-1) AS int )
		else 
			CAST (id as int)
		end

Open in new window

0
 
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

by:
ewangoya earned 500 total points
ID: 37708565
Here is a cleanedup version

select * 
from YourTable 
order by case 
			when YourField is null then
				0
			when PATINDEX('%[A-Z]%', YourField) > 0 then	
				CAST(LEFT(YourField, PATINDEX('%[A-Z]%', YourField)-1) AS int )
			else 
				CAST (YourField as int)
		end

Open in new window

0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:saabStory
ID: 37709784
Perfect!  Many, many thanks.
0

Featured Post

Optimizing Cloud Backup for Low Bandwidth

With cloud storage prices going down a growing number of SMBs start to use it for backup storage. Unfortunately, business data volume rarely fits the average Internet speed. This article provides an overview of main Internet speed challenges and reveals backup best practices.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Long way back, we had to take help from third party tools in order to encrypt and decrypt data.  Gradually Microsoft understood the need for this feature and started to implement it by building functionality into SQL Server. Finally, with SQL 2008, …
SQL Server engine let you use a Windows account or a SQL Server account to connect to a SQL Server instance. This can be configured immediatly during the SQL Server installation or after in the Server Authentication section in the Server properties …
This Micro Tutorial hows how you can integrate  Mac OSX to a Windows Active Directory Domain. Apple has made it easy to allow users to bind their macs to a windows domain with relative ease. The following video show how to bind OSX Mavericks to …
This tutorial gives a high-level tour of the interface of Marketo (a marketing automation tool to help businesses track and engage prospective customers and drive them to purchase). You will see the main areas including Marketing Activities, Design …

813 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

16 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now