Ordering by the order of values in a SQL IN() clause

65
January 11, 2019, at 1:50 PM

I am wondering if there is away (possibly a better way) to order by the order of the values in an IN() clause.

The problem is that I have 2 queries, one that gets all of the IDs and the second that retrieves all the information. The first creates the order of the IDs which I want the second to order by. The IDs are put in an IN() clause in the correct order.

So it'd be something like (extremely simplified):

SELECT id FROM table1 WHERE ... ORDER BY display_order, name
SELECT name, description, ... WHERE id IN ([id's from first])

The issue is that the second query does not return the results in the same order that the IDs are put into the IN() clause.

One solution I have found is to put all of the IDs into a temp table with an auto incrementing field which is then joined into the second query.

Is there a better option?

Note: As the first query is run "by the user" and the second is run in a background process, there is no way to combine the 2 into 1 query using sub queries.

I am using MySQL, but I'm thinking it might be useful to have it noted what options there are for other DBs as well.

Answer 1

Use MySQL's FIELD() function:

SELECT name, description, ...
FROM ...
WHERE id IN([ids, any order])
ORDER BY FIELD(id, [ids in order])

FIELD() will return the index of the first parameter that is equal to the first parameter (other than the first parameter itself).

FIELD('a', 'a', 'b', 'c')

will return 1

FIELD('a', 'c', 'b', 'a')

will return 3

This will do exactly what you want if you paste the ids into the IN() clause and the FIELD() function in the same order.

Answer 2

See following how to get sorted data.

SELECT ...
  FROM ...
 WHERE zip IN (91709,92886,92807,...,91356)
   AND user.status=1
ORDER 
    BY provider.package_id DESC 
     , FIELD(zip,91709,92886,92807,...,91356)
LIMIT 10
Answer 3

Two solutions that spring to mind:

  1. order by case id when 123 then 1 when 456 then 2 else null end asc

  2. order by instr(','||id||',',',123,456,') asc

(instr() is from Oracle; maybe you have locate() or charindex() or something like that)

Answer 4

Ans to get sorted data.

SELECT ...
FROM ...
ORDER  BY FIELD(user_id,5,3,2,...,50)  LIMIT 10
Answer 5

If you want to do arbitrary sorting on a query using values inputted by the query in MS SQL Server 2008+, it can be done by creating a table on the fly and doing a join like so (using nomenclature from OP).

SELECT table1.name, table1.description ... 
FROM (VALUES (id1,1), (id2,2), (id3,3) ...) AS orderTbl(orderKey, orderIdx) 
LEFT JOIN table1 ON orderTbl.orderKey=table1.id
ORDER BY orderTbl.orderIdx

If you replace the VALUES statement with something else that does the same thing, but in ANSI SQL, then this should work on any SQL database.

Note: The second column in the created table (orderTbl.orderIdx) is necessary when querying record sets larger than 100 or so. I originally didn't have an orderIdx column, but found that with result sets larger than 100 I had to explicitly sort by that column; in SQL Server Express 2014 anyways.

Answer 6

The IN clause describes a set of values, and sets do not have order.

Your solution with a join and then ordering on the display_order column is the most nearly correct solution; anything else is probably a DBMS-specific hack (or is doing some stuff with the OLAP functions in standard SQL). Certainly, the join is the most nearly portable solution (though generating the data with the display_order values may be problematic). Note that you may need to select the ordering columns; that used to be a requirement in standard SQL, though I believe it was relaxed as a rule a while ago (maybe as long ago as SQL-92).

Answer 7

For Oracle, John's solution using instr() function works. Here's slightly different solution that worked - SELECT id FROM table1 WHERE id IN (1, 20, 45, 60) ORDER BY instr('1, 20, 45, 60', id)

Answer 8
SELECT ORDER_NO, DELIVERY_ADDRESS 
from IFSAPP.PURCHASE_ORDER_TAB 
where ORDER_NO in ('52000077','52000079','52000167','52000297','52000204','52000409','52000126') 
ORDER BY instr('52000077,52000079,52000167,52000297,52000204,52000409,52000126',ORDER_NO)

worked really great

Answer 9

Use MySQL FIND_IN_SET function:

  SELECT * 
    FROM table_name 
   WHERE id IN (..,..,..,..) 
ORDER BY FIND_IN_SET (coloumn_name, .., .., ..);
Answer 10

My first thought was to write a single query, but you said that was not possible because one is run by the user and the other is run in the background. How are you storing the list of ids to pass from the user to the background process? Why not put them in a temporary table with a column to signify the order.

So how about this:

  1. The user interface bit runs and inserts values into a new table you create. It would insert the id, position and some sort of job number identifier)
  2. The job number is passed to the background process (instead of all the ids)
  3. The background process does a select from the table in step 1 and you join in to get the other information that you require. It uses the job number in the WHERE clause and orders by the position column.
  4. The background process, when finished, deletes from the table based on the job identifier.
Answer 11

I think you should manage to store your data in a way that you will simply do a join and it will be perfect, so no hacks and complicated things going on.

I have for instance a "Recently played" list of track ids, on SQLite i simply do:

SELECT * FROM recently NATURAL JOIN tracks;
Answer 12

Give this a shot:

SELECT name, description, ...
WHERE id IN
    (SELECT id FROM table1 WHERE...)
ORDER BY
    (SELECT display_order FROM table1 WHERE...),
    (SELECT name FROM table1 WHERE...)

The WHEREs will probably take a little tweaking to get the correlated subqueries working properly, but the basic principle should be sound.

Answer 13

I just tried to do this is MS SQL Server where we do not have FIELD():

SELECT table1.id
... 
INNER JOIN
    (VALUES (10,1),(3,2),(4,3),(5,4),(7,5),(8,6),(9,7),(2,8),(6,9),(5,10)
    ) AS X(id,sortorder)
        ON X.id = table1.id
    ORDER BY X.sortorder

Note that I am allowing duplication too.

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