This function can be used to filter sets of data with lists (strings) from any kind of application/Web. I personally use the table that is created to make joins with it on one or more datasets for the purpose of filtering. This function is also useful when modified slightly when you want to split a string and then rebuild with diffrent dilimiters and formats. An example of this may be if you get a string in a non-standard format that your stored procedure doesn't recognize. You can take the string and rebuild it in the correct format.
I realise there are plenty of things you can do with SQL Server 2000 to do this, for those of us still using SQL Server 7, there isn't a obvious solution. I personally find this really useful when sending large sets of lists from the net for filtering information in a database
CREATE procedure stp_parse_string ( @table_name varchar(50), --table you want created @delim_string varchar(8000), --delimited string @delimiter varchar(10), @table_column_size int = 10 --size of column in table ) AS declare @table_spec varchar(3000) declare @current_pos int --current position in list declare @next_delimiter int --next delimiter in list position in the string declare @element_length int -- length of current element declare @strSQL varchar(3000) set @current_pos = 0 -- current postiion in the string set @table_spec = 'create table ' + @table_name + ' ( string_elements varchar(' + cast(@table_column_size as varchar(10)) + ')
)' exec (@table_spec) while @current_pos < len(rtrim(@delim_string)) begin set @next_delimiter = charindex(rtrim(@delimiter), @delim_string, @current_pos + 1) if @next_delimiter = 0 begin set @next_delimiter = len(rtrim(@delim_string)) set @element_length = len(rtrim(@delim_string)) - @current_pos end else set @element_length = @next_delimiter - @current_pos - 1 set @strSQL = 'insert into ' + @table_name + ' (string_elements) values ("' + ltrim(substring(@delim_string, @current_pos + 1 , @element_length)) + '")' --instead insert this string into table execute (@strSQL) set @current_pos = @next_delimiter end
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This was first published in October 2002