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Ordering by field index

Applies to ✅ Open Source Edition   ✅ Express Edition   ✅ Professional Edition   ✅ Enterprise Edition

The SQL standard allows for specifying integer literals (literals, not bind values!) to reference column indexes from the projection (SELECT clause). This may be useful if you do not want to repeat a lengthy expression, by which you want to order - although most databases also allow for referencing aliased column references in the ORDER BY clause.

An example of this is given here:

SELECT AUTHOR_ID, TITLE
FROM BOOK
ORDER BY 1 ASC, 2 DESC
 
create.select(BOOK.AUTHOR_ID, BOOK.TITLE)
      .from(BOOK)
      .orderBy(inline(1).asc(), inline(2).desc())
      .fetch();
This practice is generally discouraged as field indexes may shift in the SELECT clause, and developers might forget to update the indexes in ORDER BY. It is mainly useful for quick-and-dirty ad-hoc SQL.

Dialect support

This example using jOOQ:

select(BOOK.ID).from(BOOK).orderBy(1)

Translates to the following dialect specific expressions:

All dialects

SELECT BOOK.ID
FROM BOOK
ORDER BY 1
Generated with jOOQ 3.20. Translate your own SQL on our website

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