storing IP addresses in SQL database and sorting

developing an app in lightswitch using data stored in SQL server.    one of the fields is IP address and I need to be able to sort by IP address.  

One suggestion was to split the ip into four columns 3 digits each but that is ugly for entry and reporting.

the other was to enter the IP address with zeros such as 192.168.001.001 again not a good option

the third options was try to create a computed column that coverts the IP address to a sortable number by inserting the zeros or converting binary whatever is necessary

I think this is the best option but I have to idea how to do this in SQL I created a computed column but need assistance with the formula
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Zoldy2000Asked:
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Ashley BryantSenior Software EngineerCommented:
Your best bet for padding the IP with 0s is to do it at the time of storage rather than using a computed column.  You could either do this in your code at the time that it's saved, make a trigger that does it for you, or just call a scalar function to get the value.  That being said, to answer your original question of how to do this with a computed column, you would make the column invoke a scalar function like the one below:

CREATE FUNCTION dbo.PadIP 
(
	@IP_IN varchar(15)
)
RETURNS varchar(15)
AS
BEGIN
	DECLARE @IP_OUT varchar(15) = ''
	DECLARE @chunk varchar(3) = ''

	WHILE (CHARINDEX('.',@IP_IN) > 0)
	BEGIN
		SELECT @chunk = LTRIM(RTRIM(SUBSTRING(@IP_IN, 1, CHARINDEX('.', @IP_IN) - 1)))
		SELECT @IP_OUT = @IP_OUT + REPLICATE('0', 3 - LEN(@chunk)) + @chunk + '.'
		SET @IP_IN = SUBSTRING(@IP_IN, CHARINDEX('.', @IP_IN) + 1, LEN(@IP_IN))
	END

	SELECT @IP_OUT = @IP_OUT + REPLICATE('0', 3 - LEN(@IP_IN)) + @IP_IN

	RETURN @IP_OUT
END

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Run that script on your server.  To test it, try running a query like this:

SELECT dbo.PadIP ('8.12.134.10')

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You should get the following output:  008.012.134.010

To make your computed column use the function, if memory serves, you would enter your Formula as dbo.padIP([Name_of_Unpadded_IP_Field]).
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Zoldy2000Author Commented:
I don't really like modify the actual data.   It makes it messy when reporting and viewing.   I will try your suggestion on the computed column and see if that works.
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Ashley BryantSenior Software EngineerCommented:
To be a little more clear, I meant that you should store the padded IP address in another column, not replace the existing one.  That way you could produce the padded IP address once and store it to use for sorting.  The padded IP column would never have to be used for display.
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Zoldy2000Author Commented:
sorry I know this is a dumb question but how do i run that script on server?    Does it then get stored somewhere for use?
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Ashley BryantSenior Software EngineerCommented:
Assuming you are using SQL Server Management Studio:

1. Right-click on your database name.
2. Click on "New Query".
3. Paste the script from above in the query window.
4. Click the "! Execute" button or hit the F5 key.

This will store the function in the database so that it can be used at any time.
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Zoldy2000Author Commented:
Great work...   that worked perfectly thanks....
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