Concatenate multiple rows using XML PATH leaves special characters

Posted on 2014-02-20
Last Modified: 2014-02-20
I am trying to find a way to concatenate comments from multiple rows in a view. The best way I can get it to work is using XML PATH, but it converts special characters to "&#gt;" or "
", & ";&".

Is there a way to either clean up the special characters (not using replace - I want to know that I got them all) or is there another way to do this in a view?

          Stuff((SELECT Comments
                     FROM TableName A
                     WHERE B.ID = A.ID
                     FOR XML PATH ('')),1,0,'')
FROM   TableName B
Question by:Lensolo
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Surendra Nath
ID: 39875179
No, there is no way to clean the special characters without using the replace function.
is there an other way to do this on a view, yes definetly but it may not be a as performant as the XML path thing.

the old school method:

declare @T CURSOR FOR
SELECT Comments
                     FROM TableName A,TableName B
                     WHERE B.ID = A.ID

FETCH @T INTO @Comments


SELECT @CONCAT = @CONCAT + @comments
FETCH @T INTO @Comments


Close @T

now the above method certainly works, but it will hit a performance bottleneck when there is a huge load..

so we suggest to go with the replace + xm path instead.

Author Comment

ID: 39875199
Thanks. Is there a list of all possible values I have to clean up (or if you can tell me what these are called I can google it)? If that's the cleanest option, I'll do it. I just need to make sure I have a full list.

Author Comment

ID: 39875202
Also, I found commenst that TYPE can be added to the end of atleast XML AUTO to fix this, but I can't seem to find a way to get this added to the end of XML PATH
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Surendra Nath
ID: 39875221

Author Comment

ID: 39875226
yeah. That's what I thought they should be, but if you look above, that's not the characters sql returns.
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

Surendra Nath earned 500 total points
ID: 39875228

Author Comment

ID: 39875232
Wow. Excellent. Thank you very much!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39875237
Very thorough, helpful & quick to respond. Thank you very much.

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