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Fuzzy search component/plugin/stored procedure/function, etc. available for MS SQL Server?

Is there some sort of product, free or otherwise, out there that will allow a fuzzy search on the description field of a database table? There are a lot of articles and so forth, but most of them are too complex for me to really understand, or use effectively. I was hoping to find something easy to setup and install, like other types of website searches, but I haven't come up with anything. Perhaps nothing like that exists, but I thought I would ask here.

Thank you!
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bbdesign
Asked:
bbdesign
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1 Solution
 
ValentinoVBI ConsultantCommented:
If you've got SQL Server then you've already got a couple of options.  SSIS contains a couple of components, such as the Fuzzy Lookup component.

However, if you'd like the option to perform a fuzzy search by just using a SELECT statement, that's possible as well!  But you will need to install Master Data Services first, which ships freely with SQL Server 2012 (and 2008 R2).

Here's an article on the SIMILARITY function to which you'll have access once MDS is installed: http://blog.hoegaerden.be/2011/02/05/finding-similar-strings-with-fuzzy-logic-functions-built-into-mds/
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bbdesignAuthor Commented:
I am on SQL Server 2005... are any of these same options available?
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Anthony PerkinsCommented:
Which Edition?
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bbdesignAuthor Commented:
I'm not sure, does the attached screenshot help?
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bbdesignAuthor Commented:
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ValentinoVBI ConsultantCommented:
Not really... To know what edition you've got, try running the following statement:

select @@VERSION

For the Fuzzy Lookup component in SSIS, you'll need to have Enterprise Edition (ref. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143761(v=sql.90).aspx)
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ValentinoVBI ConsultantCommented:
Another method to find out your edition: select SERVERPROPERTY('edition')
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bbdesignAuthor Commented:
It says: Workgroup Edition
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ValentinoVBI ConsultantCommented:
Hmm, unfortunately that edition does not contain the more advanced SSIS components, such as the fuzzy logic ones...

Probably the easiest method available is to try get your hands on a version/edition of SQL Server that contains the fuzzy logic algorithms, either the Similarity function or the fuzzy SSIS components (depends also on how you'd like to use this functionality).

Another option, though more difficult, is to implement your own CLR method in .NET.  But as you've asked for an easy method, custom development is probably one bridge too far?  Just let me know if you'd like some links to get you started...
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