# Sort an array of string of dates in ascending order

Given an array of strings dates[], the task is to sort these dates in ascending order.
Note: Each date is of the form dd mmm yyyy where:

• Domain of dd is [0-31].
• Domain of mmm is [Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec].
• And, yyyy is a four digit integer.

Examples:

Input: dates[] = {“01 Mar 2015”, “11 Apr 1996”, “22 Oct 2007”}
Output:
11 Apr 1996
22 Oct 2007
01 Mar 2015

Input: dates[] = {“03 Jan 2018”, “02 Jan 2018”, “04 Jan 2017”}
Output:
04 Jan 2017
02 Jan 2018
03 Jan 2018

## Recommended: Please try your approach on {IDE} first, before moving on to the solution.

Approach: Extract the days, months and years as sub-strings from the string then compare two strings by years, if years for two dates are equal then compare their months. If months are also equal than the days will decide which date appears earlier in the calendar.

Below is the implementation of the above approach:

 `// C++ program to sort the dates in a string array ` `#include ` `using` `namespace` `std; ` ` `  `// Map to store the numeric value of each month depending on ` `// its occurrence i.e. Jan = 1, Feb = 2 and so on. ` `unordered_map monthsMap; ` ` `  `// Function which initializes the monthsMap ` `void` `sort_months() ` `{ ` `    ``monthsMap[``"Jan"``] = 1; ` `    ``monthsMap[``"Feb"``] = 2; ` `    ``monthsMap[``"Mar"``] = 3; ` `    ``monthsMap[``"Apr"``] = 4; ` `    ``monthsMap[``"May"``] = 5; ` `    ``monthsMap[``"Jun"``] = 6; ` `    ``monthsMap[``"Jul"``] = 7; ` `    ``monthsMap[``"Aug"``] = 8; ` `    ``monthsMap[``"Sep"``] = 9; ` `    ``monthsMap[``"Oct"``] = 10; ` `    ``monthsMap[``"Nov"``] = 11; ` `    ``monthsMap[``"Dec"``] = 12; ` `} ` ` `  `// Comparator function to sort an array of dates ` `bool` `comp(string a, string b) ` `{ ` ` `  `    ``// Comparing the years ` `    ``string str1 = a.substr(7, 5); ` `    ``string str2 = b.substr(7, 5); ` `    ``if` `(str1.compare(str2) != 0) { ` `        ``if` `(str1.compare(str2) < 0) ` `            ``return` `true``; ` `        ``return` `false``; ` `    ``} ` ` `  `    ``// Comparing the months ` `    ``string month_sub_a = a.substr(3, 3); ` `    ``string month_sub_b = b.substr(3, 3); ` ` `  `    ``// Taking numeric value of months from monthsMap ` `    ``int` `month_a = monthsMap[month_sub_a]; ` `    ``int` `month_b = monthsMap[month_sub_b]; ` `    ``if` `(month_a != month_b) { ` `        ``return` `month_a < month_b; ` `    ``} ` ` `  `    ``// Comparing the days ` `    ``string day_a = a.substr(0, 2); ` `    ``string day_b = b.substr(0, 2); ` `    ``if` `(day_a.compare(day_b) < 0) ` `        ``return` `true``; ` `    ``return` `false``; ` `} ` ` `  `// Utility function to print the contents ` `// of the array ` `void` `printDates(string dates[], ``int` `n) ` `{ ` `    ``for` `(``int` `i = 0; i < n; i++) { ` `        ``cout << dates[i] << endl; ` `    ``} ` `} ` ` `  `// Driver code ` `int` `main() ` `{ ` `    ``string dates[] = { ``"24 Jul 2017"``, ``"25 Jul 2017"``, ``"11 Jun 1996"``, ` `                       ``"01 Jan 2019"``, ``"12 Aug 2005"``, ``"01 Jan 1997"` `}; ` `    ``int` `n = ``sizeof``(dates) / ``sizeof``(dates); ` ` `  `    ``// Order the months ` `    ``sort_months(); ` ` `  `    ``// Sort the dates ` `    ``sort(dates, dates + n, comp); ` ` `  `    ``// Print the sorted dates ` `    ``printDates(dates, n); ` `} `

Output:

```11 Jun 1996
01 Jan 1997
12 Aug 2005
24 Jul 2017
25 Jul 2017
01 Jan 2019
```

My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up Check out this Author's contributed articles.

If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using contribute.geeksforgeeks.org or mail your article to contribute@geeksforgeeks.org. See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.

Please Improve this article if you find anything incorrect by clicking on the "Improve Article" button below.