Select from comma delimited list in MSSQL

Hi There,

I have a field containing a comma delimited list of numbers associating the records to n-categories and want to return all the records in a given category (there are reasons why I'm not breaking this out into a joining table).

So, a given item may have a CategoryList field of 1,7,12,41 and I want SQL to return all items where X (e.g. 1) is in the category list. Of course, if an item has a CategoryList of 12,13 it should NOT show up in categories 1,2 or 3 - only in 12 and 13.

Right now I have the following SQL:
select * from SFC_DataCard
where DataCardCategory LIKE '#attributes.CatID#'
or DataCardCategory LIKE '%,#attributes.CatID#'
or DataCardCategory LIKE '#attributes.CatID#,%'
or DataCardCategory LIKE '%,#attributes.CatID#,%'

This works fine, but must be even more horrible than necessary from a processing perspective.

Was looking for a simple clean and efficient (performance enhancing) way to pull a value from a comma delimited list in a select statement. Key is that performance must be better than the above solution.

Any help much appreciated.

Best Wishes,
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select * from SFC_DataCard
where  ',' +DataCardCategory+',' like   ('%,'+cast( attributes.CatID as varchar(8000) )+ ',%' )

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In terms of simple and clean, you can try this:

select * from SFC_DataCard
where ',' + DataCardCategory + ',' LIKE '%,#attributes.CatID#,%'

Regardless which option you choose, it will still perform a full table scan.
freshstartusaAuthor Commented:
Hi Guys,

Appreciate comments, but don't see how they would work. They assume the category is always prepended and followed by a comma.

Some possible cases:
CategoryList = 12
CategoryList = 11,12
CategoryList = 12,13
CategoryList = 11,12,13

So the SQL needs to pick up:
LIKE '12'
LIKE '%,12'
LIKE '12,%'
and LIKE '%,12,%' to cover all of the bases which is the code I already have.

What I'm looking for is something like a ListFind function that finds a number within a comma delimited list without falsely picking out partial numbers (so 14,123,411 wouldn't come up as category 12 by reading the partial of 123).

Any input much appreciated!

Best Wishes,

freshstartusaAuthor Commented:
Ohhhh, sorry - just re-read posts more carefully. You are right. Ignore me. Points awarded to first response. Many thanks for your input.

Best Wishes,
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Microsoft SQL Server

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