return data to left of dash excluding the dash

I have a database of inventory items that have prefixes based on manufacturers.  We want to compile a list of these prefixes.  I need to return only the data to the left of the first dash in the ItemNumber.  There could be items with no dash.  Any help you can provide is much appreciated.  Thanks,
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Mark WillsTopic AdvisorCommented:
Something like :
Select itemNumber, left(itemnumber,charindex('-',itemnumber) -1) as manufacturer
from yourtable

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Some samples might make it easier :)
Mark WillsTopic AdvisorCommented:
Oh and forgot to check for length first, or, can replace '-'

Select itemNumber, replace(left(itemnumber,charindex('-',itemnumber) ),'-','') as manufacturer
from yourtable

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Or check for '-' using IIF() which was introduced in SQL2012
Select itemNumber, iif(charindex('-',itemnumber)>1,left(itemnumber,charindex('-',itemnumber) -1),'') as manufacturer
from yourtable

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pre sql2012 you would need to use a CASE instead
Select itemNumber, case when charindex('-',itemnumber)>1 then left(itemnumber,charindex('-',itemnumber) -1) else '' end as manufacturer
from yourtable

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Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
SELECT LEFT(ItemNumber, CHARINDEX('-', ItemNumber + '-') - 1) AS TrimmedItemNumber

FROM ...
Mark WillsTopic AdvisorCommented:
G'day Scott,

Yeah, was thinking of that except it would return the entire itemnumber when all we need is the Manufacturer code - which may not exist. So, thought it best not to return the entire itemnumber where there is no manufacturer code / prefix...

Seem to recall a similar question about prefixes but in a trigger from Mike...

Just a thought......

mike247Author Commented:
Sorry, I thought I had closed this out the day the answer came in.  I guess I didn't click through all the "next" buttons.
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