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Report Definition sorting not working



When a developer uses the Report Definition to show the top N ranked records on screen, the sorting doesn't work.

Error Messages

No error message

Steps to Reproduce

1. Create a Report Definition
2. Select to show top 5 ranked records
3. Run the Report Definition
4. Try to use sorting on the same column

Root Cause

N/A. The behaviour is expected.


The explanation for this behavior is as follows:
In case of simple Top/Bottom N list reports, we will explicitly order the result set only on rank number. The sort order specified for each list field on the report definition will be ignored.

 Please refer below information from Oracle site:

Ranking Functions

A ranking function computes the rank of a record compared to other records in the data set based on the values of a set of measures. The types of ranking function are:

• RANK and DENSE_RANK Functions
• CUME_DIST Function
• NTILE Function
• ROW_NUMBER Function

RANK and DENSE_RANK Functions

The RANK and DENSE_RANK functions allow you to rank items in a group, for example, finding the top three products sold in California last year. There are two functions that perform ranking, as shown by the following syntax:

RANK ( ) OVER ( [query_partition_clause] order_by_clause )
DENSE_RANK ( ) OVER ( [query_partition_clause] order_by_clause )

The difference between RANK and DENSE_RANK is that DENSE_RANK leaves no gaps in ranking sequence when there are ties. That is, if you were ranking a competition using DENSE_RANK and had three people tie for second place, you would say that all three were in second place and that the next person came in third. The RANK function would also give three people in second place, but the next person would be in fifth place.

The following are some relevant points about RANK:

  • Ascending is the default sort order, which you may want to change to descending.

  • The expressions in the optional PARTITION BY clause divide the query result set into groups within which the RANK function operates. That is, RANK gets reset whenever the group changes. In effect, the value expressions of the PARTITION BY clause define the reset boundaries.

  • If the PARTITION BY clause is missing, then ranks are computed over the entire query result set.

  • The ORDER BY clause specifies the measures (<value expression>) on which ranking is done and defines the order in which rows are sorted in each group (or partition). Once the data is sorted within each partition, ranks are given to each row starting from 1.

  • The NULLS FIRST | NULLS LAST clause indicates the position of NULLs in the ordered sequence, either first or last in the sequence. The order of the sequence would make NULLs compare either high or low with respect to non-NULL values. If the sequence were in ascending order, then NULLS FIRST implies that NULLs are smaller than all other non-NULL values and NULLS LAST implies they are larger than non-NULL values. It is the opposite for descending order. See the example in "Treatment of NULLs".

  • If the NULLS FIRST | NULLS LAST clause is omitted, then the ordering of the null values depends on the ASC or DESC arguments. Null values are considered larger than any other values. If the ordering sequence is ASC, then nulls will appear last; nulls will appear first otherwise. Nulls are considered equal to other nulls and, therefore, the order in which nulls are presented is non-deterministic.

Ranking Order

The following example shows how the [ASC | DESC] option changes the ranking order.

Example 21-1 Ranking Order

SELECT channel_desc, TO_CHAR(SUM(amount_sold), '9,999,999,999') SALES$,
   RANK() OVER (ORDER BY SUM(amount_sold)) AS default_rank,
   RANK() OVER (ORDER BY SUM(amount_sold) DESC NULLS LAST) AS custom_rank
FROM sales, products, customers, times, channels, countries
WHERE sales.prod_id=products.prod_id AND sales.cust_id=customers.cust_id
  AND customers.country_id = countries.country_id AND sales.time_id=times.time_id
  AND sales.channel_id=channels.channel_id
  AND times.calendar_month_desc IN ('2000-09', '2000-10')
  AND country_iso_code='US'
GROUP BY channel_desc;

-------------------- -------------- ------------ -----------
Direct Sales              1,320,497            3           1
Partners                    800,871            2           2
Internet                    261,278            1           3

While the data in this result is ordered on the measure SALES$, in general, it is not guaranteed by the RANK function that the data will be sorted on the measures. If you want the data to be sorted on SALES$ in your result, you must specify it explicitly with an ORDER BY clause, at the end of the SELECT statement.

Suggest Edit

Published March 7, 2016 - Updated October 8, 2020

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