(annoying? No. A honest quest for knowledge is always a good thing :-) )
Not an easy one..(at least for me). Maybe you could write an UDF (User
defined function) that parses and recreates the string in a sorted order.
Also, beginning V5R4 there are several recursive and ranking functions in
SQL, that could be of help. Unfortunately, in our shop our 520 was stopped
at V5R3 :-(
IBM Certified Systems Expert — eServer i5 iSeries