Java 8 – Comparator.comparing() method

In this article, we will discuss how to sort list of Objects on the basis of any one parameter/field using Java 8 Comparator’s static method comparing() which accepts Function functional interface

Comparator.comparing() is the overloaded method where 1st variant accepts only-one argument and 2nd variant accepts 2-arguments

Here, in this article we will discuss 1st variant which accepts Function functional interface and in the next article we will discuss about 2nd variant which accepts 2-arguments Function & Comparator

1. Comparator.comparing() method :

  • This static method accepts a function that extracts Comparable sort key from a type T
  • Returns a Comparator<T> that compares by that sort key
  • The returned comparator is serializable if the specified function is also serializable
  • Method signature :-
    • static <T, U extends Comparable<? super U>> Comparator<T> comparing(Function<? super T, ? extends U> keyExtractor)
  • Where
    • T is the type of element to be compared
    • U is the type of the Comparable sort key
    • keyExtractor is the function used to extract the Comparable sort key
  • Exception :- Throws NullPointerException, if the argument is null

2. Comparator.comparing() examples :

  • Product class is defined with 4 attributes namely id, name, quantity and their price
  • Along with 4 attributes, parameterized constructor, getters/setters and toString() method is defined – removed for brevity

Product.java

package net.bench.resources.comparator.comparing;

public class Product {

	// member variables
	private int id;
	private String name;
	private long quantity;
	private double price;

	// 4-arg parameterized constructor

	// getters and setters

	// toString() method
}

2.1 Sort Product list in alphabetical order of its name

  • A list contains Product information for 5 as per insertion-order
  • Sorting :- we are going to sort the Product list according to alphabetial order of its name using Stream‘s sorted() method

SortProductListByName.java

package net.bench.resources.comparator.comparing;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Comparator;
import java.util.List;

public class SortProductListByName {

	// List of Products
	private static List<Product> getProductList() {

		return Arrays.asList(
				new Product(101, "Wheat", 1089L, 36.89),
				new Product(102, "Rice", 502L, 58.19),
				new Product(103, "Lentils", 803L, 102.45),
				new Product(104, "Oil", 208L, 164.75),
				new Product(105, "Vegetables", 303L, 45.50)
				);
	}

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		// 1. get Product list
		List<Product> products = getProductList();


		// 1.1 print to console
		System.out.println("Product list as per Insertion-order :-\n");
		products.forEach(System.out::println); // iterating/printing



		// 2. sorting Product list in alphabetical order by its Name
		System.out.println("\n\nSorted Product list by alphabetical order of Name :-\n");


		// 2.1 sorting/iterating/printing
		products
		.stream() // 1. get sequential stream
		.sorted(Comparator.comparing(Product::getName)) // 2. alphabetical name
		.forEach(System.out::println); // 3. iterate/printing
	}
}

Output:

Product list as per Insertion-order :-

Product [id=101, name=Wheat, quantity=1089, price=36.89]
Product [id=102, name=Rice, quantity=502, price=58.19]
Product [id=103, name=Lentils, quantity=803, price=102.45]
Product [id=104, name=Oil, quantity=208, price=164.75]
Product [id=105, name=Vegetables, quantity=303, price=45.5]


Sorted Product list by alphabetical order of Name :-

Product [id=103, name=Lentils, quantity=803, price=102.45]
Product [id=104, name=Oil, quantity=208, price=164.75]
Product [id=102, name=Rice, quantity=502, price=58.19]
Product [id=105, name=Vegetables, quantity=303, price=45.5]
Product [id=101, name=Wheat, quantity=1089, price=36.89]

2.2 Sort Product list in ascending-order of Product Id

  • A list contains Product information for 5 as per insertion-order
  • Sorting :- we are going to sort the Product list in the ascending order of Product Id using Stream‘s sorted() method

SortProductListById.java

package net.bench.resources.comparator.comparing;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Comparator;
import java.util.List;

public class SortProductListById {

	// List of Products
	private static List<Product> getProductList() {

		return Arrays.asList(

				new Product(102, "Rice", 502L, 58.19),
				new Product(104, "Oil", 208L, 164.75),
				new Product(103, "Lentils", 803L, 102.45),
				new Product(105, "Vegetables", 303L, 45.50),
				new Product(101, "Wheat", 1089L, 36.89)
				);
	}

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		// 1. get Product list
		List<Product> products = getProductList();


		// 1.1 print to console
		System.out.println("Product list as per Insertion-order :-\n");
		products.forEach(System.out::println); // iterating/printing



		// 2. sorting Product list in ascending-order by its Id
		System.out.println("\n\nSorted Product list in ascending-order of Id :-\n");


		// 2.1 sorting/iterating/printing
		products
		.stream() // 1. get sequential stream
		.sorted(Comparator.comparing(Product::getId)) // 2. Id sorting
		.forEach(System.out::println); // 3. iterate/printing
	}
}

Output:

Product list as per Insertion-order :-

Product [id=102, name=Rice, quantity=502, price=58.19]
Product [id=104, name=Oil, quantity=208, price=164.75]
Product [id=103, name=Lentils, quantity=803, price=102.45]
Product [id=105, name=Vegetables, quantity=303, price=45.5]
Product [id=101, name=Wheat, quantity=1089, price=36.89]


Sorted Product list in ascending-order of Id :-

Product [id=101, name=Wheat, quantity=1089, price=36.89]
Product [id=102, name=Rice, quantity=502, price=58.19]
Product [id=103, name=Lentils, quantity=803, price=102.45]
Product [id=104, name=Oil, quantity=208, price=164.75]
Product [id=105, name=Vegetables, quantity=303, price=45.5]

2.3 Sort Product list in ascending-order of its quantity

  • A list contains Product information for 5 as per insertion-order
  • Sorting :- we are going to sort the Product list in the ascending order of its quantity using Collections.sort() method passing Comparator as 2nd argument and original list as 1st argument

SortProductListByQuantity.java

package net.bench.resources.comparator.comparing;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Collections;
import java.util.Comparator;
import java.util.List;

public class SortProductListByQuantity {

	// List of Products
	private static List<Product> getProductList() {

		return Arrays.asList(
				new Product(101, "Wheat", 1089L, 36.89),
				new Product(102, "Rice", 502L, 58.19),
				new Product(103, "Lentils", 803L, 102.45),
				new Product(104, "Oil", 208L, 164.75),
				new Product(105, "Vegetables", 303L, 45.50)
				);
	}

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		// 1. get Product list
		List<Product> productList = getProductList();


		// 1.1 print to console
		System.out.println("Product list as per Insertion-order :-\n");
		productList.forEach(System.out::println); // iterating/printing



		// 2. sorting Product list in ascending-order by its Quantity
		System.out.println("\nSorted Product list in ascending-order of Quantity :-\n");


		// 2.1 sorting using Collections.sort() & Comparator
		Collections.sort(
				productList,  // original list
				Comparator.comparing(Product::getQuantity) // Quantity sorting
				);


		// 2.2 iterate & printing
		productList.forEach(System.out::println); // iterating/printing
	}
}

Output:

Product list as per Insertion-order :-

Product [id=101, name=Wheat, quantity=1089, price=36.89]
Product [id=102, name=Rice, quantity=502, price=58.19]
Product [id=103, name=Lentils, quantity=803, price=102.45]
Product [id=104, name=Oil, quantity=208, price=164.75]
Product [id=105, name=Vegetables, quantity=303, price=45.5]


Sorted Product list in ascending-order of Quantity :-

Product [id=104, name=Oil, quantity=208, price=164.75]
Product [id=105, name=Vegetables, quantity=303, price=45.5]
Product [id=102, name=Rice, quantity=502, price=58.19]
Product [id=103, name=Lentils, quantity=803, price=102.45]
Product [id=101, name=Wheat, quantity=1089, price=36.89]

2.4 Sort Product list in increasing order of its price

  • A list contains Product information for 5 as per insertion-order
  • Sorting :- we are going to sort the Product list on the basis of increasing price using Collections.sort() method passing Comparator as 2nd argument and original list as 1st argument

SortProductListByPrice.java

package net.bench.resources.comparator.comparing;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Collections;
import java.util.Comparator;
import java.util.List;

public class SortProductListByPrice {

	// List of Products
	private static List<Product> getProductList() {

		return Arrays.asList(
				new Product(101, "Wheat", 1089L, 36.89),
				new Product(102, "Rice", 502L, 58.19),
				new Product(103, "Lentils", 803L, 102.45),
				new Product(104, "Oil", 208L, 164.75),
				new Product(105, "Vegetables", 303L, 45.50)
				);
	}

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		// 1. get Product list
		List<Product> productList = getProductList();


		// 1.1 print to console
		System.out.println("Product list as per Insertion-order :-\n");
		productList.forEach(System.out::println); // iterating/printing



		// 2. sorting Product list in increasing-order of price
		System.out.println("\n\nSorted Product list in increasing-order of price :- \n");


		// 2.1 sorting using Collections.sort() & Comparator
		Collections.sort(
				productList,  // original list
				Comparator.comparing(Product::getPrice) // Price sorting
				);


		// 2.2 iterate & printing
		productList.forEach(System.out::println); // iterating/printing
	}
}

Output:

Product list as per Insertion-order :-

Product [id=101, name=Wheat, quantity=1089, price=36.89]
Product [id=102, name=Rice, quantity=502, price=58.19]
Product [id=103, name=Lentils, quantity=803, price=102.45]
Product [id=104, name=Oil, quantity=208, price=164.75]
Product [id=105, name=Vegetables, quantity=303, price=45.5]


Sorted Product list in increasing-order of price :- 

Product [id=101, name=Wheat, quantity=1089, price=36.89]
Product [id=105, name=Vegetables, quantity=303, price=45.5]
Product [id=102, name=Rice, quantity=502, price=58.19]
Product [id=103, name=Lentils, quantity=803, price=102.45]
Product [id=104, name=Oil, quantity=208, price=164.75]

2.5 Throws NullPointerException if argument is NULL

  • If the input argument to Comparator.comparing() method is null then it throws NullPointerException as shown in the below illustration
  • Check How to sort List and Arrays with null values to handle list with null values while sorting

SortProductListWithNullPresent.java

package net.bench.resources.comparator.comparing;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Comparator;
import java.util.List;

public class SortProductListWithNullPresent {

	// List of Products
	private static List<Product> getProductList() {

		return Arrays.asList(

				new Product(102, "Rice", 502L, 58.19),
				new Product(104, "Oil", 208L, 164.75),
				new Product(103, "Lentils", 803L, 102.45),
				new Product(105, "Vegetables", 303L, 45.50),
				new Product(101, "Wheat", 1089L, 36.89)
				);
	}

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		// 1. get Product list
		List<Product> products = getProductList();


		// 2. sorting Product list in ascending-order by its Id
		System.out.println("Exception - Sorted Product list with Null value :-\n");


		// 3. sorting/iterating/printing
		products
		.stream() // 1. get sequential stream
		.sorted(Comparator.comparing(null)) // 2. null
		.forEach(System.out::println); // 3. iterate/printing
	}
}

Output:

Exception - Sorted Product list with Null value :-

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NullPointerException
	at java.util.Objects.requireNonNull(Objects.java:203)
	at java.util.Comparator.comparing(Comparator.java:467)
	at net.bench.resources.comparator.comparing.SortProductListWithNullPresent
.main(SortProductListWithNullPresent.java:35)

References:

Happy Coding !!
Happy Learning !!

Java 8 – Comparator.comparing() method for custom/reverse sorting
Java 8 - Comparator.reversed()