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MS SQL - Find and Replace text within field

Posted on 2011-03-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi,

I have written this simply query

SELECT *
FROM table
WHERE field_name like '%123%'

Open in new window


I need to extend this query to replace the text "123" with "1/2/3".

This text will be part of a bigger text string in the column 'field_name' with type as 'text'.

Whats the best way to do this?

Thanks for any input.
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Comment
Question by:SM17CH
9 Comments
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Ephraim Wangoya
ID: 35195488
try
UPDATE table
SET field_name = REPLACE(field_name, '123', '1/2/3')
WHERE field_name like '%123%'

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0
 

Expert Comment

by:adamianf
ID: 35195495
Hi SM17CH,
How about this:

UPDATE table
SET field_name = REPLACE(field_name,'123','1/2/3')
WHERE field_name like '%123%'

0
 
LVL 2

Author Comment

by:SM17CH
ID: 35195575
Can I have multiple SET conditions eg:

UPDATE table
SET field_name = REPLACE(field_name,'123','1/2/3')
SET field_name = REPLACE(field_name,'XYZ','ABC')
WHERE.....
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:SM17CH
ID: 35195599
Looks like the REPLACE() command doesnt work on a TEXT field

"Argument data type text is invalid for argument 1 of replace function."
0
 

Expert Comment

by:adamianf
ID: 35195600
You could try using a CASE statment.
EG:

UPDATE table
SET field_name =
CASE WHEN field_name LIKE '%123%' THEN REPLACE(field_name,'123','1/2/3')
WHEN field_name like 'XYZ' THEN REPLACE (field_name,'XYZ','ABC)
ELSE field_name
END

Take Note: Don't forget the 'ELSE field_name' clause at the end. Otherwise, anything that doesn't match the criteria you are searching for will be changed to NULL.


You should create a copy of your table before you run this, just to be safe!

Good luck - if you need this explainied more clearly, drop me a line.
adam
0
 

Expert Comment

by:adamianf
ID: 35195680
Oh really? I don't use Text field type, so I didn't know that.
What about converting the type to varchar, using the CONVERT function?
SOmething like
field_name = convert(text, (REPLACE (convert(varchar(255),field_name),'XYZ','ABC))
Not sure if that will work, but worth a try.
0
 
LVL 2

Accepted Solution

by:
SM17CH earned 0 total points
ID: 35195684
I just succesffuly used this to solve my issue

UPDATE <Table> set textcolumn= REPLACE(SUBSTRING(textcolumn,1,DATALENGTH(textcolumn)),'findtext','replacetext')  WHERE <Condition>

HOWEVER
it apparently wont work on fields greater the 8000 characters as it will truncate the data.

Solution was found here - http://stackoverflow.com/questions/289688/t-sql-replace-on-text-field
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LVL 75

Expert Comment

by:Anthony Perkins
ID: 35200870
>>it apparently wont work on fields greater the 8000 characters as it will truncate the data<<
Than that is not a very good solution, would you not agree.  Would you not prefer one that did not have that limitation?

P.S.  You do know that the text data type is deprecated, right?
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LVL 2

Author Closing Comment

by:SM17CH
ID: 35225521
Correct answer found on another forum.
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