Ordering by the order of values in a SQL IN clause

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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.

Feb 4, 2022 in Database by Vaani
• 7,020 points
4,203 views

1 answer to this question.

0 votes

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.

answered Feb 4, 2022 by Neha
• 9,060 points

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