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Oracle® Database Reference
11g Release 2 (11.2)

Part Number E17110-04
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NLS_SORT

Property Description
Parameter type String
Syntax NLS_SORT = { BINARY | linguistic_definition }
Default value Derived from NLS_LANGUAGE
Modifiable ALTER SESSION
Range of values BINARY or any valid linguistic definition name

NLS_SORT specifies the collating sequence for ORDER BY queries.

Note:

Setting NLS_SORT to anything other than BINARY causes a sort to use a full table scan, regardless of the path chosen by the optimizer. BINARY is the exception because indexes are built according to a binary order of keys. Thus the optimizer can use an index to satisfy the ORDER BY clause when NLS_SORT is set to BINARY. If NLS_SORT is set to any linguistic sort, the optimizer must include a full table scan and a full sort in the execution plan.

You must use the NLS_SORT operator with comparison operations if you want the linguistic sort behavior.

See Also: