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Allow use of bind variable in SOQL "ORDER BY" clause

Accounts & Contacts

It is common for fully featured user interfaces to allow user-selectable sorting.  In many cases, when dealing with large data sets, it is desirable to allow the database to handle sorting by using an ORDER BY clause in the SOQL query.  However, using a user-driven sort requires manipulating the query text as a string, in order to update the ORDER BY criteria.

Instead, allow bind variables to be used in a SOQL "ORDER BY" clause.  For example:

string sortBy = 'name';
string sortDirection = 'DESC';
list<Account> accounts = [select id, name from Account order by :sortBy :sortDirection];

Alternatively, you could require both the sort field an sort direction to by passed in a single bind variable, like so:

string sortClause = 'name' DESC;
list<Account> accounts = [select id, name from Account order by :sortClause];

I think the first is more flexible, but either would simplify controllers that provide user-selectable sorting.

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