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What is the SQL split command?

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
What is the SQL split command?  I need to break out a field that is parsed by commas to create 5 fields.  This is coming from a description field in an accounting package.

Thanks!
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Question by:kgittinger
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3 Comments
 
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sdstuber earned 250 total points
ID: 33510469
there isn't really a "split",  but you can replicate it with SUBSTR  or SUBSTRING depending on the specific platform.

The reason you can't simply "split" is because SQL requires fixed output at parse time,  if you split a single column into multiple columns the number of columns could vary per row which isn't legal.
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LVL 40

Assisted Solution

by:Kyle Abrahams
Kyle Abrahams earned 250 total points
ID: 33510471
select * from dbo.fn_txt_split(my_field, ',')
/****** Object:  UserDefinedFunction [dbo].[fn_Txt_Split]    Script Date: 08/24/2010 09:10:21 ******/
IF  EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.objects WHERE object_id = OBJECT_ID(N'[dbo].[fn_Txt_Split]') AND type in (N'FN', N'IF', N'TF', N'FS', N'FT'))
DROP FUNCTION [dbo].[fn_Txt_Split]
GO

/****** Object:  UserDefinedFunction [dbo].[fn_Txt_Split]    Script Date: 08/24/2010 09:10:21 ******/
SET ANSI_NULLS ON
GO

SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
GO


Create Function [dbo].[fn_Txt_Split]( 
    @sInputList varchar(8000) -- List of delimited items 
  , @Delimiter char(1) = ',' -- delimiter that separates items 
) 
RETURNS @list table (Item varchar(8000)) 
as begin 
DECLARE @Item Varchar(8000) 
  
  

WHILE CHARINDEX(@Delimiter,@sInputList,0) <> 0 
BEGIN 
SELECT 
@Item=RTRIM(LTRIM(SUBSTRING(@sInputList,1,CHARINDEX(@Delimiter,@sInputList,0 
)-1))), 
@sInputList=RTRIM(LTRIM(SUBSTRING(@sInputList,CHARINDEX(@Delimiter,@sInputList,0)+1,LEN(@sInputList)))) 
  
IF LEN(@Item) > 0 
INSERT INTO @List SELECT @Item 
  
END 

  
IF LEN(@sInputList) > 0 
INSERT INTO @List SELECT @sInputList -- Put the last item in 
  
return 
END 

GO

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