SQL Server Replace

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Replacing text in SQL Server is easy. SQL Server has the REPLACE function to perform this task.

SQL Server REPLACE
The REPLACE function in SQL Server has 3 parameters.

  1. Text to search
  2. Text to find
  3. Text to replace with

The output is: Full text to replace in

In the above example, we are searching “Text to search in” for the word “search” and we are replacing it with the word “replace”. Pretty simple, right? Now let’s take it a step further.

SQL Server Case Sensitive Replace
Above we went over how to do a case insensitive replace on a string. (The REPLACE function actually uses the default collation of the input text that it is searching). To turn it in to a SQL Server case sensitive replace, we just need to add one small thing to the end. We need to change the collation of the text we are searching. Learn more about text collation here.

The output is: Full text to search in

This example shows how the “SEARCH” text was not found because we are changing the input text to search collation to SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CS_AS (which is case sensitive). The input string has “search” in lower case and we were searching for an upper case “SEARCH”.

 
Reference: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms186862(v=sql.120).aspx

SQL Server Zero Pad Left

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In a recent project, I had the task of padding a number with zeros. SQL Server doesn’t have a built in Zero Pad Left function. SQL Server does have a Right function. You can use this to create a zero padded left string.

In the code above, I am take 10 zeros, appending a text value to it, then taking the right 10 characters. The end result is the same as padding the left with zeros.

 
SQL Server Zero Pad Left Function
You can take this a step further and create a scalar function out of it.

SQL Server Truncate Date

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A common function that people need to do when dealing with datetimes is extracting the date from the datetime.  Oracle has a built-in function to do this called TRUNC.  SQL Server does not have this (yet).  However… you can accomplish this very easily.  Here are a few ways to perform a truncate date function in SQL Server.

 

SQL Server Trim

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SQL Server trim function does not exist!  Although this seems a bit odd, SQL Server does somewhat have support for trimming data.  SQL Server has built in functions for Right Trim and for Left Trim.  Using these functions, you can accomplish a full trim.  I’ll first show you how to trim the different sides of the text and then show how to trim the full thing.

 
Trim Text Inline

The functions to trim text are RTrim() and LTrim().

 
If a full trim is something that you do often, you can create a SQL Server Trim function to make the process a little simpler.

You can use this new fancy SQL Server Trim function by calling it like this:

How To Format A Number With Commas

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SQL Server 2012 makes it a lot easier to format a number with commas, but let’s face it… previous versions haven’t been so nice to us.  Here are the easiest ways that I know to format a number with commas.

SQL Server 2012+

SQL Server 2008 And Previous