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What is the Oracle equivalent of the DIFFERENCE function in MS SQL Server?

MTecho asked
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
What is the equivalent SQL statement in Oracle for the following SQL statement in MS SQL Server using the DIFFERENCE function (related to SOUNDEX coding)?

SELECT     *
FROM         table
WHERE     DIFFERENCE(Surname, 'Smith') = 4

Some websites I have looked at point to UTL_MATCH functions, but when I try these, my system does not recognise the keywords.
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Mark GeerlingsDatabase Administrator
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Thank you for your responses.

The DIFFERENCE function in SQL Server compares the SOUNDEX values of two strings and assigns a difference value from 0 to 4 based on their similarity.
A value of 0 is very dissimilar (about the first letter same)
A value of 4 is the highest value, representing strings that are quite similar.

A difference value of 4 represents string quite similar, but still less similar than the
method, giving a wider selection of names returned by the query.

Is it possible to use substrings of the SOUNDEX values or are the UTL_MATCH functions the only alternative?
What are the prerequisites for the Oracle database server to be able to use UTL_MATCH functions? (four functions included in the "package" in http://www.psoug.org/reference/utl_match.html)

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