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Help with updating an entire table with one query

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Last Modified: 2014-12-17
I have a table where some old code was being used to store quotes, and I have fixed the code so it stores data correctly.  But, now I need to clean up the table.  Basically, I need to search the entire table, all fields, and replace ~~ with " wherever it is found.

I can do this one at a time like Update Table Set Field = replace(Field, '~~', '"'), but I dont' want to do this 100 times with different field names.

Any ideas on how to do it at once?
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Jim HornSQL Server Data Dude
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Most Valuable Expert 2013
Author of the Year 2015

Commented:
Do all of these 100+ fields have some kind of common prefix/suffix/whatever?
Are these 100+ fields the only char/varchar fields in the table?

Either way, we're talking dynamic SQL and a loop, whether it's looping through all columns that meet the above logic, or you build a table with all of these columns, and dynamic SQL uses that table.
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Top Expert 2016

Commented:
do it using recordset

dim rs as dao.recordset, j as integer
set rs=currentdb.openrecordset("tablex")
do until rs.eof
     rs .edit
       
            for j=0 to rs.fields.count-1
               rs(rs(j).name)=replace(rs(j),"~~","''")
            next
     rs.update
     
rs.movenext
loop
rs.close
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Commented:
This one is on us!
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Dale FyeOwner, Dev-Soln LLC
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Top Expert 2010

Commented:
is the table linked to Access from SQL Server,or is it an Access table?

In Access you could set up a loop, something like:

Dim rs as DAO.Recordset
Dim fld as DAO.Field
Dim strSQL as string

'This will open an empty recordset but will contain all of the field names and types
set RS = "SELECT * FROM yourTableName WHERE 0 = 1"

For each fld in rs.fields

    if fld.Type = 10 or fld.Type = 12 Then   'text or memo

        strSQL = "UPDATE yourTableName " _
                   & "SET [" & fld.name & "] = Replace([" & fld.name & "],'~~', '') " _
                   & "WHERE InStr([" & fld.name & "],'~~')>0
       currentdb.execute strsql, dbfailonerror

    end if

Next fld

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This should loop through all of the fields in your table and only execute the update on those fields that are text or memo fields.

NOTE: do this with a copy of the table, not the original
Dale FyeOwner, Dev-Soln LLC
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Commented:
That's what I get for walking away for a couple of minutes.
Scott PletcherSenior DBA
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
I suggest dynamically generating the SQL statement, like this:

DECLARE @table_name varchar(257)
DECLARE @sql varchar(max)
DECLARE @sql2 varchar(max)
SET @table_name = 'dbo.<your_table_name>'

SET @sql = 'UPDATE ' + @table_name + CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) + 'SET '

SELECT @sql2 = STUFF((
    SELECT
        CAST(', [' AS varchar(max)) + CAST(c.name AS varchar(128)) + '] = ' +
            'REPLACE([' + CAST(c.name AS varchar(128)) + '], ''~~'', ''"'')'
    FROM sys.columns c
    INNER JOIN sys.types t ON
        t.system_type_id = c.system_type_id AND
        t.user_type_id = c.user_type_id
    WHERE
        c.object_id = OBJECT_ID(@table_name) AND
        --c.name NOT IN ('col1', 'col2', ...) --list of col names to exclude from UPDATE
        t.name LIKE '%char%' AND
        c.max_length >= 4
    ORDER BY c.object_id, c.column_id
    FOR XML PATH('')
), 1, 1, '')

SET @sql = @sql + @sql2

SELECT @sql
--EXEC(@sql) --uncomment when ready to run
Vitor MontalvãoIT Engineer
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Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
Try this script (replace TableNameHere with your real table name):
DECLARE @CommUPD NVARCHAR(MAX)=N'UPDATE TableNameHere SET '

SELECT @CommUPD = @CommUPD + N'' + c.name + ' = REPLACE(' + c.name + ',''~~'',''''),' + CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) 
FROM sys.objects o
	INNER JOIN sys.columns c ON c.object_id=o.object_id
WHERE o.name='TableNameHere' AND c.system_type_id IN (167, 175) -- varchar and char


SET @CommUPD = LEFT(@CommUPD, LEN(@CommUPD)-3) --Get rid of the last comma
EXEC sp_executesql @CommUPD 

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Vitor MontalvãoIT Engineer
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Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
dim db as dao.databse, rs as dao.recordset, usql as string, j as integer, strFld as string
 set rs=db.openrecordset("select * from tablex")
 for j=0 to rs.fields.count-1
       strfld=rs(j).name
       usql="Update tableX set [" & strfld & "]= replace([" & strfld & "],'~~','''')
       db.execute usql,dbfailonerror

 next

 rs.close
This solution, apart from not being the best performance (need to select all rows to know the fields name and then will execute one update for each column) it's also not preventing error. How will deal with non text fields?
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Top Expert 2016

Commented:
<(need to select all rows to know the fields name and then will execute one update for each column)>

first of all the codes was typed in directly to the page.
to get only the field names without opening the whole rtable as recordst
change this
 set rs=db.openrecordset("select * from tablex")
with
 set rs=db.openrecordset("select * from tablex where 1=0")
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