SQL - Count keyword in string

Posted on 2014-10-10
Last Modified: 2014-10-15
Trying to google this, but can't find it anywhere.  In my string, I have a set of symbols and I would like to count how many times it repeats.

Example the field is description.  The description field would have the following:


If the # shows once, I want it to count once.  If it shows twice, it'll count twice.  It's always from left to right with the special symbol.  How could I count if there's 0 # for the first line, 1 count for the 2nd line etc?  The last example, if it's not consecutive, I don't want to count the rest of the repeating "Keyword" or symbol.  Is this even possible?
Question by:holemania
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LVL 74

Accepted Solution

sdstuber earned 250 total points
ID: 40373959
I'm assuming the output for the sample data above would be


Is that correct?

if so, try this...


Assisted Solution

santanu30in earned 250 total points
ID: 40375791

You can do  like below

DECLARE @sString VARCHAR(1000)
SET @sString = '##Testing###'

SELECT LEN(@sString) - LEN(REPLACE(@sString, '#', ''))

Or you can do like below

SELECT (LEN(ColumnName) - LEN(REPLACE(BILLNO, '#', ''))) AS sCount FROM TableName

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40381013
Thank you.  Both solution works equally well.
LVL 74

Expert Comment

ID: 40382114
Actually they don't both work equally well.

The second answer doesn't work.

 It returns the total number of # in the string, not the length of the first consecutive set

select patindex('%[^#]%',str)-1 sdstuber,
       LEN(str) - LEN(REPLACE(str, '#', '')) santanu30in 
(select '##Test String###' str
union all
select '#a#b#c#d#e' str
) x
sdstuber    santanu30in
----------- -----------
2           5
1           5

(2 row(s) affected

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