Sort Elements in a Sequence

Use the OrderBy operator to sort a sequence according to one or more keys.


LINQ to SQL is designed to support ordering by simple primitive types, such as string, int, and so on. It does not support ordering for complex multi-valued classes, such as anonymous types. It also does not support byte datatypes.

Example 1

The following example sorts Employees by date of hire.

IOrderedQueryable<Employee> hireQuery =
    from emp in db.Employees
    orderby emp.HireDate
    select emp;

foreach (Employee empObj in hireQuery)
    Console.WriteLine("EmpID = {0}, Date Hired = {1}",
        empObj.EmployeeID, empObj.HireDate);
Dim hireQuery = _
    From emp In db.Employees _
    Select emp _
    Order By emp.HireDate

For Each empObj As Employee In hireQuery
    Console.WriteLine("EmpID = {0}, Date Hired = {1}", _
        empObj.EmployeeID, empObj.HireDate)

Example 2

The following example uses where to sort Orders shipped to London by freight.

IOrderedQueryable<Order> freightQuery =
    from ord in db.Orders
    where ord.ShipCity == "London"
    orderby ord.Freight
    select ord;

foreach (Order ordObj in freightQuery)
    Console.WriteLine("Order ID = {0}, Freight = {1}",
        ordObj.OrderID, ordObj.Freight);
Dim freightQuery = _
    From ord In db.Orders _
    Where ord.ShipCity = "London" _
    Select ord _
    Order By ord.Freight

For Each ordObj In freightQuery
    Console.WriteLine("Order ID = {0}, Freight = {1}", _
        ordObj.OrderID, ordObj.Freight)

Example 3

The following example sorts Products by unit price from highest to lowest.

IOrderedQueryable<Product> priceQuery =
    from prod in db.Products
    orderby prod.UnitPrice descending
    select prod;

foreach (Product prodObj in priceQuery)
    Console.WriteLine("Product ID = {0}, Unit Price = {1}",
        prodObj.ProductID, prodObj.UnitPrice);
Dim priceQuery = _
    From prod In db.Products _
    Select prod _
    Order By prod.UnitPrice Descending

For Each prodObj In priceQuery
    Console.WriteLine("Product ID = {0}, Unit Price = {1}", _
       prodObj.ProductID, prodObj.UnitPrice)

Example 4

The following example uses a compound OrderBy to sort Customers by city and then by contact name.

IOrderedQueryable<Customer> custQuery =
    from cust in db.Customers
    orderby cust.City, cust.ContactName
    select cust;

foreach (Customer custObj in custQuery)
    Console.WriteLine("City = {0}, Name = {1}", custObj.City,

Dim custQuery = _
    From cust In db.Customers _
    Select cust _
    Order By cust.City, cust.ContactName

For Each custObj In custQuery
    Console.WriteLine("City = {0}, Name = {1}", custObj.City, _

Example 5

The following example sorts Orders from EmployeeID 1 by ShipCountry, and then by highest to lowest freight.

IOrderedQueryable<Order> ordQuery =
    from ord in db.Orders
    where ord.EmployeeID == 1
    orderby ord.ShipCountry, ord.Freight descending
    select ord;

foreach (Order ordObj in ordQuery)
    Console.WriteLine("Country = {0}, Freight = {1}",
        ordObj.ShipCountry, ordObj.Freight);
Dim ordQuery = _
    From ord In db.Orders _
    Where CInt(ord.EmployeeID.Value) = 1 _
    Select ord _
    Order By ord.ShipCountry, ord.Freight Descending

For Each ordObj In ordQuery
    Console.WriteLine("Country = {0}, Freight = {1}", _
        ordObj.ShipCountry, ordObj.Freight)

Example 6

The following example combines OrderBy, Max, and GroupBy operators to find the Products that have the highest unit price in each category, and then sorts the group by category id.

var highPriceQuery =
    from prod in db.Products
    group prod by prod.CategoryID into grouping
    orderby grouping.Key
    select new
        MostExpensiveProducts =
            from prod2 in grouping
            where prod2.UnitPrice == grouping.Max(p3 => p3.UnitPrice)
            select prod2

foreach (var prodObj in highPriceQuery)
    foreach (var listing in prodObj.MostExpensiveProducts)
Dim highPriceQuery = From prod In db.Products _
                     Group prod By prod.CategoryID Into grouping = Group _
                     Order By CategoryID _
                     Select CategoryID, _
                     MostExpensiveProducts = _
                         From prod2 In grouping _
                         Where prod2.UnitPrice = _
                         grouping.Max(Function(p3) p3.UnitPrice)

For Each prodObj In highPriceQuery
    For Each listing In prodObj.MostExpensiveProducts

If you run the previous query against the Northwind sample database, the results will resemble the following:


Côte de Blaye




Sir Rodney's Marmalade


Raclette Courdavault


Gnocchi di nonna Alice


Thüringer Rostbratwurst


Manjimup Dried Apples


Carnarvon Tigers

See also