How to order a result set in SQL based on the numeric part of the string value

There are occasions where you would like to search in a varchar column and order the results based on the numeric part of the field.

Imagine the following table:

ABC
ABC1
ABC2
ABC3 and so on...

ABC11
ABC12
ABC13 and so on..

ABC20
ABC21
ABC22 and so on..

So basically what I have is any string value (not always ABC, any string value) that can either be followed by the number or it may just be a string without the number.

When you run

select * from table order by my column asc

you get following results:

ABC
ABC1
ABC11
ABC12
ABC13
ABC2
ABC20
ABC21
ABC22
ABC3
ABC31
ABC32

In this scenario, you would need the results sorted by the numeric value and not alphabetically.
Eg:

ABC
ABC1
ABC2
ABC3
ABC11
ABC12
ABC13
ABC20
ABC21
ABC22
ABC31
ABC32

How can this be accomplished?

You can do it using PATINDEX() function like below :

select * from Test 
order by CAST(SUBSTRING(Name + '0', PATINDEX('%[0-9]%', Name + '0'), LEN(Name + '0')) AS INT)

SQL Fiddle Demo

If you have numbers in middle of the string then you need to create small user defined function to get number from string and sort data based on that number like below :

CREATE FUNCTION dbo.fnGetNumberFromString (@strInput VARCHAR(255)) 
RETURNS VARCHAR(255) 
AS 
BEGIN 
    DECLARE @intNumber int 
    SET @intNumber = PATINDEX('%[^0-9]%', @strInput)

    WHILE @intNumber > 0
    BEGIN 
        SET @strInput = STUFF(@strInput, @intNumber, 1, '')
        SET @intNumber = PATINDEX('%[^0-9]%', @strInput)
    END 

    RETURN ISNULL(@strInput,0) 
END 
GO

You can sort data by :

select Name from Test order by dbo.fnGetNumberFromString(Name), Name
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s