When importing data I need to remove a set of characters from a string to allow comparison with a column. The database is 9.0.2, so regular expressions are not available (at least to my knowledge).

Example: String is 'A.628.164-09/11'
Remove all occurrences of '.,;-/'
Result 'A6281640911'

My first approach was to loop over all characters of the original string, using CHARINDEX to determine if it is to be skipped.

But I wonder, if there's a better solution. Any ideas?

asked 25 Oct '10, 14:20

Reimer%20Pods's gravatar image

Reimer Pods
accept rate: 11%

edited 15 Mar '13, 18:11

Mark%20Culp's gravatar image

Mark Culp

What about the replace() function ? If you have only a small number of characters to remove you can use a few hard coded calls which should be faster as a loop.

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answered 25 Oct '10, 15:36

Thomas%20Duemesnil's gravatar image

Thomas Dueme...
accept rate: 17%


That's the way I would do this, too, when there are not too many characters - usually as a chain of REPLACE() calls. And for performance reasons, I would think about using a LIKE '%[..]%' comparison beforehand to find out if any unwanted character exists in the string.

(25 Oct '10, 19:26) Volker Barth

Thank you both for your proposal. See my comment on Volkers's answer.

(26 Oct '10, 15:35) Reimer Pods

Reimer, a similar question can be found here (more in the question than in answers), as an example of using several nested REPLACE() calls, like Thomas has suggested.

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answered 25 Oct '10, 19:31

Volker%20Barth's gravatar image

Volker Barth
accept rate: 34%

Comment Text Removed

I've used nested REPLACE-calls in some cases. For this one the string with chars to cut out should be a configurable string. So some kind of loop seems unavoidable to me. But I could try looping over the string with skip-chars calling REPLACE for each single-char substring and measure, which version well be faster with the customers data.

(26 Oct '10, 15:34) Reimer Pods

Perhaps you can post your results.

(27 Oct '10, 10:31) Thomas Dueme...
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question asked: 25 Oct '10, 14:20

question was seen: 6,110 times

last updated: 15 Mar '13, 18:11