What SQL keyword is applied for sorting the result-set?

Understanding the SQL ORDER BY Keyword

SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language, is a language widely used for managing databases and extracting meaningful information from them. One essential part of manipulating and extracting data is the ability to sort data in a way that makes results more understandable and easier to inspect. This is where the SQL keyword, ORDER BY steps in.

The SQL ORDER BY keyword is earlier mentioned in a quiz question and is the correct answer to achieving some specific form of data organization. It is primarily used to sort the results of your query in ascending (ASC) or descending (DESC) order, based on one or more columns.

Practical Examples

Consider a table 'Employees' with columns 'Name', 'Age', and 'Department'. If you want to retrieve all employees, sorted by their names in ascending order, you would write:


It's worth noting that if you do not specify ASC or DESC after the ORDER BY keyword, SQL automatically sorts the results in ascending order. Thus, the SQL statement above can be simplified as:

SELECT * FROM Employees ORDER BY Name;

What if you want to sort the employees by their department first (say alphabetically), and then by their age in descending order within each department? The ORDER BY keyword can be used to sort based on multiple columns, like so:

SELECT * FROM Employees ORDER BY Department, Age DESC;

Best Practices and Additional Insights

When using the ORDER BY keyword, it is crucial to understand that sort operations can consume a lot of processing time, especially when dealing with large datasets. Hence, it would be best if you always consider performance implications while using this keyword.

Regarding the order of SQL commands, always remember, the ORDER BY clause is always placed at the end of your SQL statement.

In summary, the SQL ORDER BY keyword is an essential feature of SQL that allows data to be sorted in a particular order, making it easier to analyze and understand your data. With sensible usage taking into consideration performance implications, ORDER BY can be a potent tool in your SQL toolkit.

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