Controlling the sort sequence used to display lists

All lists have a default sort sequence based on the type of fields present in the list.

When a user displays a list for the first time, it is sorted by one of the following items.

  • The ORDERBY arguments found the URL. (See the following section on source order control.)
  • The <table>.db.order and <table>.db.order.direction user preferences.
  • The isOrder dictionary attribute.
  • The Order field if one is present in the table.
  • The Number field if one is present in the table.
  • The Name field if one is present in the table.
  • The field specified as the display field for the table.
Note: The task table is an exception to the preceding sequence. Task and tables extended from task use the Number field when no URL arguments or user preferences are found.

Setting default order with user preferences

The <table>.db.order and <table>.db.order.direction user preferences determine the field and sort direction seen by the user. A default sort can be created by creating user preference records with no value in the User field and checking the System check box. This preference is applied to any users who do not have their own preference.

Setting the default sort order in the system dictionary

An administrator can set the sort order of records displayed for a table in the system dictionary when there is no other sort specified. This is done by adding an attribute called isOrder with a value of true to the dictionary entry of the desired field. This sort is the sort order presented to all users initially. Once a user sorts a list, that user preference is saved, and the list is always sorted for that user based on the previous sorting preference.

Note: isOrder can define which field is used for list sorting, but cannot control the sort direction.