Looping through a delimited string in SQL.

… and before I forget about this one too:


SET @list = 'abc, 123/tab/ABC/crlf/XYZ,890';
-- /tab/ and /crlf/ represent actual tabs and cr/lf in data.
-- SET @list = REPLACE(REPLACE(@list,'/tab/',CHAR(10)),'/crlf/', CHAR(13) + CHAR(10));

DECLARE @dx        INT;
DECLARE @delimiter CHAR(1);

SELECT @dx = 1
       , @delimiter = ','
       , @list = REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(@list, CHAR(13) + CHAR(10), @delimiter), CHAR(10), @delimiter), CHAR(9), @delimiter) + @delimiter; 

WHILE ( @dx < LEN(@list) ) 
      SELECT @item = RTRIM(LTRIM(SUBSTRING(@list, @dx, CHARINDEX(@delimiter, @list, @dx) - @dx)))
             , @dx = CHARINDEX(@delimiter, @list + @delimiter, @dx) + 1; 
      SELECT @item;

Edit: The method above is still a valid and useful way to loop through entries in a list, but if you want to use the entries as a set in a query, then reference this entry

2 thoughts on “Looping through a delimited string in SQL.”

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