> Excuse me? Somebody suggested a PHP loop to solve a query problem and you are 
> saying that REGEXP should not be used?
> MySQL caches queries and 100 SELECT with a REGEXP will cost zero after the 
> first one if nothing changed inside the table.

Even if the REGEXP has to change with every query?

Performance aside, I think REGEXP() could be used here, but not in the
way you've suggested. As the OP has described his table, your regex
("^[a-zA-Z0-9]+$") won't match any rows, because all of his product
IDs have non-alphanumeric characters in them.

Suppose this table:

pk  | prod_id
1   | 07-ABCD-98
2   | 98-ZCXQ-21

And now suppose the OP's scenario, where a user tries to search on
product id, but enters "07ABCD98".

If the aim is to use REGEXP() to return row 1, I suppose you could
intersperse the search string with ".?" sequences and end up with this

SELECT * FROM table WHERE prod_id REGEXP '^0.?7.?A.?B.?C.?D.?9.?8$'

I think just stripping the alphanumeric characters would end up being
more flexible, though.


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