SQL query using case statement and string comparision for informix DB

Hey guys,
Im trying to populate a new column in a database query based on the content of an exisitng column.
Basically if the existing column entry has a certain format, i.e. if its an IP address the new column has a flag set to True.

Can this be done through sql?

Am i heading in the right direction with the following?


update table
set isIPAddress=
case host
when "sql that tests format of host field" then 'Y'
else 'N'
end
mcgettiuAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
MilleniumaireCommented:
A quick search of the web has confirmed my theory that you can build stored functions i.e. functions stored in the database.  The following link shows the syntax in case you aren't familiar with this concept:

http://www.dbcenter.cise.ufl.edu/triggerman/infoshelf/sqlt/14.fm2.html#153225
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MilleniumaireCommented:
"Im trying to populate a new column in a database query"
I assume you mean by this you are trying to update a column in a database table.

"based on the content of an exisitng column"
Is this existing column in the same table or a different table?

If the same table then you can use the case statement as you have identified, however there wouldn't be any need for a nested sql statement as in "sql that tests format of host field" as you would simply be referencing a column in the table being updated.

If you need to reference a column in a different table then your solution is fine.
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mcgettiuAuthor Commented:
The existing column is in the same table
I need to tests if the entry in the existing column is an IP Address or a host name.
I need sql that will parse the existing entry,  split it on decimal character, and test that each octet is actually a number in the range 1......255
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MilleniumaireCommented:
It sounds like you need to use a function to perform the testing of the format.  My experience is with Oracle so I'm not sure if you can do this with informix but I'd be surprised if you couldn't.

If you build a database function which accepts a parameter and returns 'Y' or 'N' then you could use it as follows:

update table
set isIPAddress= myfunction(host)

The function would then perform the parsing and testing of the value of host.
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TheLastStrawCommented:
Only way I see you doing this in one pass is by formatting update statement something like below.

update table set isIPAddress= IsAHost(Table.HostFieldColumnName)

Create a Stored procedure in database using DDL something like

CREATE STORED PROCEDURE IsAHost(HostArg AS CHAR(50))
      IF HostArg LIKE "*.*.*" THEN
             RETURN 'Y'
      ELSE
            RETURN 'N'
      END IF
END PROCEDURE

Alternatively, you could just use SQL by creating  a temp table of valid hosts then run two updates one for updating the records with vaues in host table and one where they don't exist in host table. Informix like some other databases does not  allow you update a table with a subquery listing same table.

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mcgettiuAuthor Commented:
Hey guys,
Thanks for your help.  No longer need to do this, but you gave me a crash course on DBs which was much appreciated :)
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