left function

how do i do a left function in oracle..
 left([stra],5) =abcde(I would do it this way in vba but inoracle how do i do it

also how do it do multiple if consitions in oracle..
decode works for 1 or 2 but for 10 it does not..
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

substr(stra, 1, 5)

If you are on a recent version of Oracle, you can use the CASE statement for multiple conditions.

select case
  when x = 1 then ...
  when user = 'XYZ'  then ...
from ...

select case empno
  when 1 then ...
  when 2 then ...
from ...

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Of course decode works for more than 1 or 2 conditions, check this out:


SQL> select decode(decode(decode(sysdate,'16-NOV-04','OK','NOT OK'),'OK',SYSDATE,SYSDATE-1),SYSDATE,DUMMY,'Y') FROM DUAL;


Give me 500 points and I'll nest 20 decodes for you...
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
>> how do i do a left function in oracle..

Use substring:
  select 'Got it' from dual where  substr('abcdefghijkl',1,5) = 'abcde';

>>also how do it do multiple if consitions in oracle.

Could you provide a little more detail on the specifics of this requirement?
eileenbanikAuthor Commented:
All the solutions solve the problem,Thanks to all of You. I would max points to everybodys answer thank you
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Oracle Database

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.