Functions for Searching in Strings 

The search is case-sensitive by default in all these functions. There are separate variants for case insensitive search.

position(haystack, needle), locate(haystack, needle) 

Returns the position (in bytes) of the found substring in the string, starting from 1.

Works under the assumption that the string contains a set of bytes representing a single-byte encoded text. If this assumption is not met and a character can’t be represented using a single byte, the function doesn’t throw an exception and returns some unexpected result. If character can be represented using two bytes, it will use two bytes and so on.

For a case-insensitive search, use the function positionCaseInsensitive.

Syntax

position(haystack, needle)

Alias: locate(haystack, needle).

Parameters

  • haystack — string, in which substring will to be searched. String.
  • needle — substring to be searched. String.

Returned values

  • Starting position in bytes (counting from 1), if substring was found.
  • 0, if the substring was not found.

Type: Integer.

Examples

The phrase “Hello, world!” contains a set of bytes representing a single-byte encoded text. The function returns some expected result:

Query:

SELECT position('Hello, world!', '!')

Result:

┌─position('Hello, world!', '!')─┐
│                             13 │
└────────────────────────────────┘

The same phrase in Russian contains characters which can’t be represented using a single byte. The function returns some unexpected result (use positionUTF8 function for multi-byte encoded text):

Query:

SELECT position('Привет, мир!', '!')

Result:

┌─position('Привет, мир!', '!')─┐
│                            21 │
└───────────────────────────────┘

positionCaseInsensitive 

The same as position returns the position (in bytes) of the found substring in the string, starting from 1. Use the function for a case-insensitive search.

Works under the assumption that the string contains a set of bytes representing a single-byte encoded text. If this assumption is not met and a character can’t be represented using a single byte, the function doesn’t throw an exception and returns some unexpected result. If character can be represented using two bytes, it will use two bytes and so on.

Syntax

positionCaseInsensitive(haystack, needle)

Parameters

  • haystack — string, in which substring will to be searched. String.
  • needle — substring to be searched. String.

Returned values

  • Starting position in bytes (counting from 1), if substring was found.
  • 0, if the substring was not found.

Type: Integer.

Example

Query:

SELECT positionCaseInsensitive('Hello, world!', 'hello')

Result:

┌─positionCaseInsensitive('Hello, world!', 'hello')─┐
│                                                 1 │
└───────────────────────────────────────────────────┘

positionUTF8 

Returns the position (in Unicode points) of the found substring in the string, starting from 1.

Works under the assumption that the string contains a set of bytes representing a UTF-8 encoded text. If this assumption is not met, the function doesn’t throw an exception and returns some unexpected result. If character can be represented using two Unicode points, it will use two and so on.

For a case-insensitive search, use the function positionCaseInsensitiveUTF8.

Syntax

positionUTF8(haystack, needle)

Parameters

  • haystack — string, in which substring will to be searched. String.
  • needle — substring to be searched. String.

Returned values

  • Starting position in Unicode points (counting from 1), if substring was found.
  • 0, if the substring was not found.

Type: Integer.

Examples

The phrase “Hello, world!” in Russian contains a set of Unicode points representing a single-point encoded text. The function returns some expected result:

Query:

SELECT positionUTF8('Привет, мир!', '!')

Result:

┌─positionUTF8('Привет, мир!', '!')─┐
│                                12 │
└───────────────────────────────────┘

The phrase “Salut, étudiante!”, where character é can be represented using a one point (U+00E9) or two points (U+0065U+0301) the function can be returned some unexpected result:

Query for the letter é, which is represented one Unicode point U+00E9:

SELECT positionUTF8('Salut, étudiante!', '!')

Result:

┌─positionUTF8('Salut, étudiante!', '!')─┐
│                                     17 │
└────────────────────────────────────────┘

Query for the letter é, which is represented two Unicode points U+0065U+0301:

SELECT positionUTF8('Salut, étudiante!', '!')

Result:

┌─positionUTF8('Salut, étudiante!', '!')─┐
│                                     18 │
└────────────────────────────────────────┘

positionCaseInsensitiveUTF8 

The same as positionUTF8, but is case-insensitive. Returns the position (in Unicode points) of the found substring in the string, starting from 1.

Works under the assumption that the string contains a set of bytes representing a UTF-8 encoded text. If this assumption is not met, the function doesn’t throw an exception and returns some unexpected result. If character can be represented using two Unicode points, it will use two and so on.

Syntax

positionCaseInsensitiveUTF8(haystack, needle)

Parameters

  • haystack — string, in which substring will to be searched. String.
  • needle — substring to be searched. String.

Returned value

  • Starting position in Unicode points (counting from 1), if substring was found.
  • 0, if the substring was not found.

Type: Integer.

Example

Query:

SELECT positionCaseInsensitiveUTF8('Привет, мир!', 'Мир')

Result:

┌─positionCaseInsensitiveUTF8('Привет, мир!', 'Мир')─┐
│                                                  9 │
└────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘

multiSearchAllPositions 

The same as position but returns Array of positions (in bytes) of the found corresponding substrings in the string. Positions are indexed starting from 1.

The search is performed on sequences of bytes without respect to string encoding and collation.

  • For case-insensitive ASCII search, use the function multiSearchAllPositionsCaseInsensitive.
  • For search in UTF-8, use the function multiSearchAllPositionsUTF8.
  • For case-insensitive UTF-8 search, use the function multiSearchAllPositionsCaseInsensitiveUTF8.

Syntax

multiSearchAllPositions(haystack, [needle1, needle2, ..., needlen])

Parameters

  • haystack — string, in which substring will to be searched. String.
  • needle — substring to be searched. String.

Returned values

  • Array of starting positions in bytes (counting from 1), if the corresponding substring was found and 0 if not found.

Example

Query:

SELECT multiSearchAllPositions('Hello, World!', ['hello', '!', 'world'])

Result:

┌─multiSearchAllPositions('Hello, World!', ['hello', '!', 'world'])─┐
│ [0,13,0]                                                          │
└───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘

multiSearchAllPositionsUTF8 

See multiSearchAllPositions.

multiSearchFirstPosition(haystack, [needle1, needle2, …, needlen]) 

The same as position but returns the leftmost offset of the string haystack that is matched to some of the needles.

For a case-insensitive search or/and in UTF-8 format use functions multiSearchFirstPositionCaseInsensitive, multiSearchFirstPositionUTF8, multiSearchFirstPositionCaseInsensitiveUTF8.

multiSearchFirstIndex(haystack, [needle1, needle2, …, needlen]) 

Returns the index i (starting from 1) of the leftmost found needlei in the string haystack and 0 otherwise.

For a case-insensitive search or/and in UTF-8 format use functions multiSearchFirstIndexCaseInsensitive, multiSearchFirstIndexUTF8, multiSearchFirstIndexCaseInsensitiveUTF8.

multiSearchAny(haystack, [needle1, needle2, …, needlen]) 

Returns 1, if at least one string needlei matches the string haystack and 0 otherwise.

For a case-insensitive search or/and in UTF-8 format use functions multiSearchAnyCaseInsensitive, multiSearchAnyUTF8, multiSearchAnyCaseInsensitiveUTF8.

match(haystack, pattern) 

Checks whether the string matches the pattern regular expression. A re2 regular expression. The syntax of the re2 regular expressions is more limited than the syntax of the Perl regular expressions.

Returns 0 if it doesn’t match, or 1 if it matches.

Note that the backslash symbol (\) is used for escaping in the regular expression. The same symbol is used for escaping in string literals. So in order to escape the symbol in a regular expression, you must write two backslashes (\) in a string literal.

The regular expression works with the string as if it is a set of bytes. The regular expression can’t contain null bytes.
For patterns to search for substrings in a string, it is better to use LIKE or ‘position’, since they work much faster.

multiMatchAny(haystack, [pattern1, pattern2, …, patternn]) 

The same as match, but returns 0 if none of the regular expressions are matched and 1 if any of the patterns matches. It uses hyperscan library. For patterns to search substrings in a string, it is better to use multiSearchAny since it works much faster.

multiMatchAnyIndex(haystack, [pattern1, pattern2, …, patternn]) 

The same as multiMatchAny, but returns any index that matches the haystack.

multiMatchAllIndices(haystack, [pattern1, pattern2, …, patternn]) 

The same as multiMatchAny, but returns the array of all indicies that match the haystack in any order.

multiFuzzyMatchAny(haystack, distance, [pattern1, pattern2, …, patternn]) 

The same as multiMatchAny, but returns 1 if any pattern matches the haystack within a constant edit distance. This function is also in an experimental mode and can be extremely slow. For more information see hyperscan documentation.

multiFuzzyMatchAnyIndex(haystack, distance, [pattern1, pattern2, …, patternn]) 

The same as multiFuzzyMatchAny, but returns any index that matches the haystack within a constant edit distance.

multiFuzzyMatchAllIndices(haystack, distance, [pattern1, pattern2, …, patternn]) 

The same as multiFuzzyMatchAny, but returns the array of all indices in any order that match the haystack within a constant edit distance.

extract(haystack, pattern) 

Extracts a fragment of a string using a regular expression. If ‘haystack’ doesn’t match the ‘pattern’ regex, an empty string is returned. If the regex doesn’t contain subpatterns, it takes the fragment that matches the entire regex. Otherwise, it takes the fragment that matches the first subpattern.

extractAll(haystack, pattern) 

Extracts all the fragments of a string using a regular expression. If ‘haystack’ doesn’t match the ‘pattern’ regex, an empty string is returned. Returns an array of strings consisting of all matches to the regex. In general, the behavior is the same as the ‘extract’ function (it takes the first subpattern, or the entire expression if there isn’t a subpattern).

like(haystack, pattern), haystack LIKE pattern operator 

Checks whether a string matches a simple regular expression.
The regular expression can contain the metasymbols % and _.

% indicates any quantity of any bytes (including zero characters).

_ indicates any one byte.

Use the backslash (\) for escaping metasymbols. See the note on escaping in the description of the ‘match’ function.

For regular expressions like %needle%, the code is more optimal and works as fast as the position function.
For other regular expressions, the code is the same as for the ‘match’ function.

notLike(haystack, pattern), haystack NOT LIKE pattern operator 

The same thing as ‘like’, but negative.

ngramDistance(haystack, needle) 

Calculates the 4-gram distance between haystack and needle: counts the symmetric difference between two multisets of 4-grams and normalizes it by the sum of their cardinalities. Returns float number from 0 to 1 – the closer to zero, the more strings are similar to each other. If the constant needle or haystack is more than 32Kb, throws an exception. If some of the non-constant haystack or needle strings are more than 32Kb, the distance is always one.

For case-insensitive search or/and in UTF-8 format use functions ngramDistanceCaseInsensitive, ngramDistanceUTF8, ngramDistanceCaseInsensitiveUTF8.

ngramSearch(haystack, needle) 

Same as ngramDistance but calculates the non-symmetric difference between needle and haystack – the number of n-grams from needle minus the common number of n-grams normalized by the number of needle n-grams. The closer to one, the more likely needle is in the haystack. Can be useful for fuzzy string search.

For case-insensitive search or/and in UTF-8 format use functions ngramSearchCaseInsensitive, ngramSearchUTF8, ngramSearchCaseInsensitiveUTF8.

Original article

Rating: 5 - 2 votes

Was this content helpful?
★★★★★