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tokenizing strings in sql

Posted on 2006-06-15
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Last Modified: 2008-03-10
Hi,

I have data in an 'Address' column which needs to be migrated to new table whose
columns are now 'Address1', 'Address2', 'Address3' and 'Address4'.

could anyone help me write an sql query that can cut up a string into four component strings.
The cut token would be a new line character with any whitespace character(including other newline) to the left or right.

ie
Address =

"Jon smith
Melbourne University
Australia"

would be cut up into
address1="Jon Smith"
address2="Melbourne Unversity"
address3="australia"
address4=<null>

ie
Address =
"Henry Smith

Economics Faculty


Melbourne University
Victoria
Australia.
Earth."

would be cup into
Address1="Henry Smith"
address2="Economics Faculty"
Address3="Melbourne University"
Address4=
"Victoria
Australia.
Earth"

Any help on this would be much appreciated
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Question by:santuon
  • 2
3 Comments
 
LVL 2

Accepted Solution

by:
ewahner earned 2000 total points
ID: 16910449
First you want to replace the data with something a little easier to parse like this and then run it through this function:

CREATE FUNCTION dbo.fnArray ( @Str varchar(1000), @Delim varchar(1) = ' ' )
returns  @tmpTable table ( arrValue varchar(25))
as
begin
   declare @pos integer
   declare @lastpos integer
   declare @arrdata varchar(1000)
   declare @data varchar(25)
   
   set @arrdata = replace(replace(replace(replace(upper(@Str),@Delim,'|'),'-','|'),'/','|'),'\','|')
   set @arrdata = @arrdata + '|'
   set @lastpos = 1
   set @pos = 0
   set @pos = charindex('|', @arrdata)
   while @pos <= len(@arrdata) and @pos <> 0
   begin
      set @data = substring(@arrdata, @lastpos, (@pos - @lastpos))
      if rtrim(ltrim(@data)) > ''
      begin
         if not exists( select top 1 arrValue from @tmpTable where arrValue = @data )
         begin  
            insert into @tmpTable ( arrValue ) values ( @data )
         end
      end
      set @lastpos = @pos + 1
      set @pos = charindex('|', @arrdata, @lastpos)
   end
   return
end

declare @str varchar(255)
set @str = 'Henry Smith
Economics Faculty
Melbourne University
Victoria
Australia.
Earth'

set @str = replace(replace(@str,char(13),'|'),char(10),'')
select * from dbo.fnArray(@str,'|')
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:ksbhat
ID: 16910622
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:ewahner
ID: 17030199
Mine is more efficient as it uses the charindex to move to the next delimiter, whereas the devx one loops thru each character...very inefficient.  Also you can take out the if and just do the insert:

--        if not exists( select top 1 arrValue from @tmpTable where arrValue = @data )
--        begin  
            insert into @tmpTable ( arrValue ) values ( @data )
--        end

If you don't care about non-unique values.
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