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SQL Server - string parsing

Posted on 2010-11-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi,

I am passing a string to SQL Server 2005 that I want broken down into constituent words, where the delimiter is a comma.

For example, the input string might be "the, cat, in, the, hat", which I want broken down into the components to be inserted into a table.

Any thoughts on how to do this?
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Question by:GroganJ
9 Comments
 
LVL 143

Expert Comment

by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
ID: 34135433
please read this article on how to do the split part.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/A_1536.html

can be easily put with a INSERT ... SELECT ... FROM dbo.ParmsToList( ... ) as needed
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Alpesh Patel
ID: 34135445
You have to write function for that.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Rajkumar Gs
ID: 34135492
This is the funciton I am using.
set ANSI_NULLS ON
set QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
go

--select * from [fn_Split]('str,asf',',')
ALTER function [dbo].[fn_Split](
 @String nvarchar (4000),
 @Delimiter nvarchar (10)
 )
returns @ValueTable table ([Value] nvarchar(4000))
begin
 declare @NextString nvarchar(4000)
 declare @Pos int
 declare @NextPos int
 declare @CommaCheck nvarchar(1)
 
 --Initialize
 set @NextString = ''
 set @CommaCheck = right(@String,1) 
 --print @CommaCheck
 --Check for trailing Comma, if not exists, INSERT
 --if (@CommaCheck <> @Delimiter )
 set @String = @String + @Delimiter
 
 --Get position of first Comma
 set @Pos = charindex(@Delimiter,@String)
 set @NextPos = 1
 
 --Loop while there is still a comma in the String of levels
 while (@pos <>  0)  
 begin
  set @NextString = substring(@String,1,@Pos - 1)
 
  insert into @ValueTable ( [Value]) Values (@NextString)
 
  set @String = substring(@String,@pos +1,len(@String))
  
  set @NextPos = @Pos
  set @pos  = charindex(@Delimiter,@String)
 end
 
 return
end

Open in new window


SELECT * FROM [fn_Split]('the, cat, in, the, hat',',')
will return splited string as a table

Raj
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Accepted Solution

by:
subhashpunia earned 2000 total points
ID: 34135584
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:dan_mason
ID: 34135838
The above functions will work, but performance-wise it is much quicker to do it with the help of a Numbers table in your database. For large datasets I've found there's a huge difference in performance. The principle is explained on the following webpage, and the example of what you want to do is under the heading 'parsing a string':

http://sqlserver2000.databases.aspfaq.com/why-should-i-consider-using-an-auxiliary-numbers-table.html 
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Author Closing Comment

by:GroganJ
ID: 34135906
Excellent link - that solved my problem perfectly.
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LVL 143

Expert Comment

by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
ID: 34135923
so, my link didn't help :)

glad we could help !
CHeers
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:expert_dharam
ID: 34136182
declare @string varchar(100)
set @string = 'the, cat, in, the, hat'

declare @position int
declare @piece varchar(100)

if right(rtrim(@string),1) <> ','
set @string = @string  + ','

set @position =  patindex('%,%' , @string)
while @position <> 0
begin
set @piece = left(@string, @position - 1)
 
print cast(@piece as varchar(100))

set @string = stuff(@string, 1, @position, '')
set @position =  patindex('%,%' , @string)
end
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Rajkumar Gs
ID: 34136209
I also feel to comment like AngelIII did :)

Rajkumar
http:#34135492
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