On Thu, Sep 03, 2009 at 12:12:40PM -0700, sono...@fannullone.us wrote: > Thanks to everyone who has responded. After reading everyone's > response, I think I have a very simple way to solve my "problem". > > Using my original example, if someone wants to find item # > 4D-2448-7PS, no matter what they type in, I'll take the input, strip > out all non-alphanumeric characters to make it 4D24487PS, add the > wildcard character between each of the remaining characters like so, > 4*D*2*4*4*8*7*P*S, and then do the search.
Your expression, if used to directly search in your SQL table, won't work. The '*' character isn't a valid wildcard for SQL. In PostgreSQL, the wildcard for any number of characters is '%', and for a single character is '_'. I don't know that MySQL understands this same convention. And who knows about Oracle. As others have mentioned, it would be ideal (though not very "normalized") to create a new table column which contains the alphanumerics without the punctuation characters ('-'). In nearly any SQL dialect, you could do a simple SELECT using LIKE to find your item, if you're searching on this extra field. If you want do the searching in PHP, then it becomes more complicated. You'll have to strip out the dashes from the user input, and then query all the keys from your table, and test them using a regular expression. As mentioned before, this is time-consuming for a large table. Here's something else to consider: Could there ever be two items which only differ by the placement of their dashes? Like 4D-2448-7PS versus 4D2-44-87PS? If not, then you should store the item number without punctuation, and use that as the primary key on your table. Have an "extra" field which shows the item number with dashes. You can use this extra field in printing inventory labels or whatever (I don't recall the context of your original post). Paul -- Paul M. Foster -- PHP General Mailing List (http://www.php.net/) To unsubscribe, visit: http://www.php.net/unsub.php