How to: Sort a Query Dataset in Ascending or Descending Order

By default, the rows in the resulting dataset of query are not necessarily arranged in any specific order. You can sort the rows in the dataset in ascending or descending order by one or more selected columns in the query. For example, if the query retrieves the quantity of items in sales orders for each customer, then you could sort the results in alphabetical order by the customer name, or you could sort the results by the quantity of items from the highest value to the lowest value. To sort query results, you modify the OrderBy Property of the query object.

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If you are familiar with SQL select statement syntax, the OrderBy property corresponds to the ORDERBY clause.

To sort query results by a column

  1. In the development environment, on the Tools menu, choose Object Designer.

  2. In Object Designer, choose Queries, select the query that you want to modify, and then choose Design.

  3. Select the first blank line after the last data item or column in the list.

  4. On the View menu, choose Properties.

  5. In the Properties window, in the Value column of the OrderBy property, choose the AssistEdit button.

  6. In the Order By window, in the Column field of the first row, choose the AssistEdit button to open the Column List - Table window.

    The Column List - Table window includes all the columns that are defined in the query.

  7. Select the column that you want, and then choose the OK button.

  8. In the Order By window, set the Direction field for the column to Ascending or Descending.

    • Ascending sorts the column from lowest value to the highest value (A to Z, 0 to 9).

    • Descending sorts the column from highest value to the lowest value (Z to A, 9 to 0).

  9. Repeat the previous step to sort by additional columns.

    When you sort by multiple columns, the sort order is determined by the column’s position in the Order By window, where the query sorts the results by the first listed column, then the second column, and so on.

Example

This section includes a simple example of how you can set the OrderBy property to sort the resulting dataset of a query. For a detailed step-by-step example of sorting a query dataset, see Walkthrough: Creating a Query to Link Two Tables.

This following table shows the results of a query that retrieves the quantity of items in every open sales order for each customer.

Customer Quantity

The Cannon Group

50

New Concepts

15

New Concepts

30

Selangerian Ltd.

20

Selangerian Ltd.

60

To sort the Customer column in ascending order and the Quantity column in descending order, you add the following entries to the Order By window of the OrderBy property of the query.

Column Direction

Name

Ascending

Quantity

Descending

In the Properties window, the OrderBy property is set to Name=Ascending,Quantity=Descending.

The following table shows the query results after sorting.

Customer Quantity

New Concepts

30

New Concepts

15

Selangerian Ltd.

60

Selangerian Ltd.

20

The Cannon Group

50

The following code is the ORDERBY clause of an SQL select statement that corresponds to the OrderBy property in this example.

OrderBy Name,Quantity

See Also

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