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Tip of the Day
Language: SQL
Expertise: Intermediate
Apr 4, 2006

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Dealing with Wildcard Characters in Oracle

Developers generally tend to use characters such as % as a delimiter for storing data in an Oracle database. But because Oracle views the % character as a Wildcard character, it can't use it as a delimiter effectively. Fortunately, Oracle provides a way out for such a problem—the ESCAPE character.

The ESCAPE keyword comes handy when you have a character in your data which is same as a Wildcard character.

Assume that a field called ObjectID in a table ObjectTable has a value:


1%4-t
1%52-t
2%145-t
2%31-t
Now, suppose you want to retrieve all the values starting with 1% followed by any other characters. Your query will look like this:

SELECT ObjectID FROM ObjectTable WHERE ObjectID LIKE '1\%%' ESCAPE '\'
Here the keyword ESCAPE and the character in the quotes (\) specifies that there is a escape character and the character is specified in the quotes.

This allows you to retrieve the following from the above query:


1%4-t
1%52-t

MS Sridhar
 
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