Sort Alphanumeric Data in SQL Server

This post shows how to sort alphanumeric data in SQL Server. You need to use a different approach to get an alphanumeric sort.

Consider the following code


Suppose you want to sort the string based on the alphabets first, followed by a number and if the string does not have any numeric value, then that string should come first in the sort

The following query will sort as explained above

sql alphanumeric sort

Here’s the same query to try at your end

select data from @t
order by case
when data like '%[0-9]%' then 1
else 0

The logic is to see if there are numbers in the string. If the data has numbers, it will be assigned 1 otherwise 0. So the records with 0 will be sorted first, then followed by 1. At the end, the final result will be sorted by data, as shown below. Observe that the string that do not have a number in it appears first, while sorting.

SQL Alphanumeric sort

About The Author

Madhivanan,an MSc computer Science graduate from Chennai-India, works as a works as a Lead Subject Matter Expert at a company that simplifies BIG data. He started his career as a developer working with Visual Basic 6.0, SQL Server 2000 and Crystal Report 8. As years went by, he started working more on writing queries in SQL Server. He now has good level of knowledge in SQLServer, Oracle, MySQL and PostgreSQL as well. He is also one of the leading posters at and a moderator at His T-sql blog is at

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