SQL WILDCARD Characters


A wildcard character can be used to compare a value to similar values or substitute for any other character(s) in a string.

To match a pattern from a word, special characters and wildcards characters may have used with SQL LIKE operator.

The SQL LIKE operator can be used with in any valid SELECT SQL statement.

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SQL Wildcard Characters

The following characters are used in as wildcard character with SQL LIKE operator.

Wildcard Character Description
% The percent sign character (%) substitute zero or more characters.
_ The underscore character ( _ ) substitute a single character.
[charlist]
Characters are seperated by comma(,)
We can sets and ranges of characters and It represents only a single character from the charlist at once.
[^charlist] or [!charlist] Matches only a character NOT represents(other than the charlist) within the brackets.

Sample Database Table - Books

BookId BookName BookPrice RelYear DomainName AuthorName
1 MySql All-in-One For Dummies 80 2014 Security Siva Kumar
2 SQL in Easy Steps 145 2015 Performance Hanumanthan
3 A Visual Introduction To Sql 205 2008 Optimization Vinoth Kumar
4 Programming With Sql Server T-Sql 200 2007 Database Dharan
5 Oracle 11g PL/SQL Programming 70 2008 Database Vinoth Kumar
6 Foundations Of Sql Server 2008 110 2009 Optimization Padmavathi

Using the SQL "%" Wildcard

The following SQL SELECT statement selects the all books with a BookName starting "M", in the "Books" table:


SELECT * FROM Books 
WHERE 
BookName LIKE 'M%';

The result of above query is:

BookId BookName BookPrice RelYear DomainName AuthorName
1 MySql All-in-One For Dummies 80 2014 Security Siva Kumar

The following SQL SELECT statement selects the all books with a BookName ending "ing", in the "Books" table:


SELECT * FROM Books 
WHERE 
BookName LIKE '%ing';

The result of above query is:

BookId BookName BookPrice RelYear DomainName AuthorName
5 Oracle 11g PL/SQL Programming 70 2008 Database Vinoth Kumar

The following SQL SELECT statement selects the all books with a BookName contains(anywhere in the bookname) "one", in the "Books" table:


SELECT * FROM Books 
WHERE 
BookName LIKE '%one%';

The result of above query is:

BookId BookName BookPrice RelYear DomainName AuthorName
1 MySql All-in-One For Dummies 80 2014 Security Siva Kumar

SQL LIKE Operator Example Using the SQL "_" Wildcard

The following SQL SELECT statement selects the all books with a BookPrice starting "1_0", in the "Books" table:


SELECT * FROM Books 
WHERE 
BookPrice LIKE '1_0';

The result of above query is:

BookId BookName BookPrice RelYear DomainName AuthorName
6 Foundations Of Sql Server 2008 110 2009 Optimization Padmavathi

The following SQL SELECT statement selects the all books with a BookPrice starting (first any 2 characters then "5") "__5", in the "Books" table:


SELECT * FROM Books 
WHERE 
BookPrice LIKE '__5';

The result of above query is:

BookId BookName BookPrice RelYear DomainName AuthorName
2 SQL in Easy Steps 145 2015 Performance Hanumanthan
3 A Visual Introduction To Sql 205 2008 Optimization Vinoth Kumar

Note: There are 2 underscore(_) in above statement.


SQL LIKE Operator Example Using the SQL "[charlist]" Wildcard

The following SQL SELECT statement selects the all books with a AuthorName starting "[PS]", in the "Books" table:


SELECT * FROM Books 
WHERE 
AuthorName LIKE '[PS]%';

The result of above query is:

BookId BookName BookPrice RelYear DomainName AuthorName
1 MySql All-in-One For Dummies 80 2014 Security Siva Kumar
6 Foundations Of Sql Server 2008 110 2009 Optimization Padmavathi

Note: The above results based on "MS Access" and "Sql Server" database only.

The following SQL SELECT statement selects the all books with a AuthorName starting "A", "B", "C", and "D", in the "Books" table:


SELECT * FROM Books 
WHERE 
AuthorName LIKE '[A-D]%';

The result of above query is:

BookId BookName BookPrice RelYear DomainName AuthorName
4 Programming With Sql Server T-Sql 200 2007 Database Dharan

Note: The above results based on "MS Access" and "Sql Server" database only.

The following SQL SELECT statement selects the all books with a Domain name not starting "D", "S", and "P", in the "Books" table:


SELECT * FROM Books 
WHERE 
DomainName LIKE '[!DSP]%';

The result of above query is:

BookId BookName BookPrice RelYear DomainName AuthorName
3 A Visual Introduction To Sql 205 2008 Optimization Vinoth Kumar
6 Foundations Of Sql Server 2008 110 2009 Optimization Padmavathi

Note: The above results based on "MS Access" and "Sql Server" database only.

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