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DataTables multi column and custom sort example

Preamble

As you would expect with a desktop application, DataTables allows you to sort by multiple columns at the same time. This multiple sorting mechanism is always active if the bSort initialiser is true (it is by default) and the end user can activate it by 'shift' clicking on the column they want to add to the sort. You can also pass in an array of information using the aaSorting initialiser, as I have done in the example below there the first column is sorted as the primary column and the second one then used if the elements in the first column match. As many columns as you wish can be added to the sort.

DataTables also provides a method to add your own sorting functions, to extend those built into DataTables. This can be very useful if you wish to sort on data formats such as currency and non-Javascript standard date formats (this natural sort algorithm is a popular useage). This is achieved by extending the jQuery.fn.dataTableExt object with ascending and descending sort functions. In the example below I've added case sensitive sorting functions.

Live example

Rendering engine Browser Platform(s) Engine version CSS grade
Trident Internet Explorer 4.0 Win 95+ 4 X
Trident Internet Explorer 5.0 Win 95+ 5 C
Trident Internet Explorer 5.5 Win 95+ 5.5 A
Trident Internet Explorer 6 Win 98+ 6 A
Trident Internet Explorer 7 Win XP SP2+ 7 A
Trident AOL browser (AOL desktop) Win XP 6 A
Gecko Firefox 1.0 Win 98+ / OSX.2+ 1.7 A
Gecko Firefox 1.5 Win 98+ / OSX.2+ 1.8 A
Gecko Firefox 2.0 Win 98+ / OSX.2+ 1.8 A
Gecko Firefox 3.0 Win 2k+ / OSX.3+ 1.9 A
Gecko Camino 1.0 OSX.2+ 1.8 A
Gecko Camino 1.5 OSX.3+ 1.8 A
Gecko Netscape 7.2 Win 95+ / Mac OS 8.6-9.2 1.7 A
Gecko Netscape Browser 8 Win 98SE+ 1.7 A
Gecko Netscape Navigator 9 Win 98+ / OSX.2+ 1.8 A
Gecko Mozilla 1.0 Win 95+ / OSX.1+ 1 A
Gecko Mozilla 1.1 Win 95+ / OSX.1+ 1.1 A
Gecko Mozilla 1.2 Win 95+ / OSX.1+ 1.2 A
Gecko Mozilla 1.3 Win 95+ / OSX.1+ 1.3 A
Gecko Mozilla 1.4 Win 95+ / OSX.1+ 1.4 A
Gecko Mozilla 1.5 Win 95+ / OSX.1+ 1.5 A
Gecko Mozilla 1.6 Win 95+ / OSX.1+ 1.6 A
Gecko Mozilla 1.7 Win 98+ / OSX.1+ 1.7 A
Gecko Mozilla 1.8 Win 98+ / OSX.1+ 1.8 A
Gecko Seamonkey 1.1 Win 98+ / OSX.2+ 1.8 A
Gecko Epiphany 2.20 Gnome 1.8 A
Webkit Safari 1.2 OSX.3 125.5 A
Webkit Safari 1.3 OSX.3 312.8 A
Webkit Safari 2.0 OSX.4+ 419.3 A
Webkit Safari 3.0 OSX.4+ 522.1 A
Webkit OmniWeb 5.5 OSX.4+ 420 A
Webkit iPod Touch / iPhone iPod 420.1 A
Webkit S60 S60 413 A
Presto Opera 7.0 Win 95+ / OSX.1+ - A
Presto Opera 7.5 Win 95+ / OSX.2+ - A
Presto Opera 8.0 Win 95+ / OSX.2+ - A
Presto Opera 8.5 Win 95+ / OSX.2+ - A
Presto Opera 9.0 Win 95+ / OSX.3+ - A
Presto Opera 9.2 Win 88+ / OSX.3+ - A
Presto Opera 9.5 Win 88+ / OSX.3+ - A
Presto Opera for Wii Wii - A
Presto Nokia N800 N800 - A
Presto Nintendo DS browser Nintendo DS 8.5 C/A1
KHTML Konqureror 3.1 KDE 3.1 3.1 C
KHTML Konqureror 3.3 KDE 3.3 3.3 A
KHTML Konqureror 3.5 KDE 3.5 3.5 A
Tasman Internet Explorer 4.5 Mac OS 8-9 - X
Tasman Internet Explorer 5.1 Mac OS 7.6-9 1 C
Tasman Internet Explorer 5.2 Mac OS 8-X 1 C
Misc NetFront 3.1 Embedded devices - C
Misc NetFront 3.4 Embedded devices - A
Misc Dillo 0.8 Embedded devices - X
Misc Links Text only - X
Misc Lynx Text only - X
Misc IE Mobile Windows Mobile 6 - C
Misc PSP browser PSP - C
Other browsers All others - - U
Rendering engine Browser Platform(s) Engine version CSS grade

Initialisation code

/* Define two custom functions (asc and desc) for string sorting */
jQuery.fn.dataTableExt.oSort['string-case-asc']  = function(x,y) {
	return ((x < y) ? -1 : ((x > y) ?  1 : 0));
};

jQuery.fn.dataTableExt.oSort['string-case-desc'] = function(x,y) {
	return ((x < y) ?  1 : ((x > y) ? -1 : 0));
};

$(document).ready(function() {
	/* Build the DataTable with third column using our custom sort functions */
	$('#example').dataTable( {
		"aaSorting": [ [0,'asc'], [1,'asc'] ],
		"aoColumns": [
			null,
			null,
			{ "sType": 'string-case' },
			null,
			null
		]
	} );
} );

Other examples