In this tutorial, we aim to explore how to sort data in alphabetical order in a MySQL database.
Sorting is ordering elements or values in an array or a column based on a particular criterion. In this tutorial, we will set the criterion in alphabetical order and fetch the names of a few students starting from A to Z.
Let us try to understand how to sort this data in alphabetical order.
Create a Table in MySQL
Before we begin, we will create a dummy dataset to work with. Here we will create a table,
student_details, along with a few rows.
-- create the table student_details CREATE TABLE student_details( stu_id int, stu_firstName varchar(255) DEFAULT NULL, stu_lastName varchar(255) DEFAULT NULL, primary key(stu_id) ); -- insert rows to the table student_details INSERT INTO student_details(stu_id,stu_firstName,stu_lastName) VALUES(1,"Preet","Sanghavi"), (2,"Rich","John"), (3,"Veron","Brow"), (4,"Geo","Jos"), (5,"Hash","Shah"), (6,"Sachin","Parker"), (7,"David","Miller");
The above query creates a table with rows containing the students’ first and last names. To view the entries in the data, we use the following code:
SELECT * FROM student_details;
The above code would give the following output:
stu_id stu_firstName stu_lastName 1 Preet Sanghavi 2 Rich John 3 Veron Brow 4 Geo Jos 5 Hash Shah 6 Sachin Parker 7 David Miller
Sort Data in Alphabetical Order in a MySQL Database
Now, we have understood how to create a table and view it. Let us try to understand exactly how to sort data in MySQL.
We mainly use the
ORDER keyword to sort data in alphabetical or numerical order. The syntax for this keyword can be better understood with the help of the following query:
select something from table_name ORDER BY something_else;
Let us explore this statement with our
student_details table and sort the data in the
stu_firstName column with the help of the
ORDER keyword. This can be done with the help of the following query:
select stu_firstName from student_details ORDER BY stu_firstName;
The output of the query mentioned above can be illustrated as follows:
stu_firstName David Geo Hash Preet Rich Sachin Veron
Thus, we have successfully ordered names in ascending order from A to Z.
It is important to note that we can also sort in the reverse order with the help of the
DESC keyword. This can be understood with the help of the following query:
select stu_firstName from student_details ORDER BY stu_firstName DESC;
The output of the query above is the same as before and can be illustrated as follows:
stu_firstName Veron Sachin Rich Preet Hash Geo David
As we can see, we have now reversed the ordering, starting with Z to A. Therefore, we have successfully learned different techniques to sort data in a MySQL database in alphabetical order.