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SQLScript Regular Expression for Numeric or Letter Characters in String on SAP HANA


SQLScript developers can use regular expressions to find numeric characters or alpha-numeric characters within a given string variable or database table field. I use SQLScript LOCATE_REGEXPR string function to identify characters that match the regular expression for finding numeric or non-numeric characters in a given string value.


Regular Expression for Numeric Characters using SQL on SAP HANA Database

If as a database developer, you need to filter out only the numeric characters from a given string expressions using SQLScript SQL developers can use regular expression p{N} using Locate_RegExpr function as below in this tutorial.

Here is a sample SQLScript code sample that HANA database developers can use to see how SQL regular expression LOCATE_REGEXPR function is used within WHILE loop

do
begin

declare vResult nvarchar(100) default N'';
declare vString nvarchar(100);
declare vCharInd int default -1;

vString = N'1Kodyaz.com26N7a0ES0';

while vCharInd <> 0 do

select locate_regexpr(START '[\p{N}]' IN :vString ) into "VCHARIND" from dummy; -- numbers

if (:vCharInd > 0) then
select concat(:vResult, substring(:vString, :vCharInd, 1)) into "VRESULT" from dummy;
select substring(:vString, :vCharInd+1) into "VSTRING" from dummy;
end if;

end while;

select :vResult as "Numbers In String" from dummy;

end;

The output of the above SQLScript code block will be as follows returning only the numeric characters contained within the input string

HANA SQLScript function Locate_RegExpr to find numeric characters

Unfortunately, it is not always handy to use a SQL script or SQL code block as above.
I tried to create a user-defined function.
Using SAP HANA Studio, I got following warning on on premise S/4HANA system: java.sql.SQLWarning: Not recommended feature: Using SELECT INTO in Scalar UDF
Although this seems to be a warning, it prevent me to get the results I expect from the user-defined function.
On cloud, when I create the same SQL function code I got no errors such "java.sql.SQLWarning: Not recommended feature: Using SELECT INTO in Scalar UDF", the execution of the UDF did not success to produce expected data.


Find Unicode Letter Characters using SQLScript

By replacing the p{N} (for numeric) with p{L} (for case-insensitive letters including unicode) in the regular expression, SQLScript developers can build an SQL code to identify letters (no numbers or special characters like punctuations) in a given string.

declare vResult nvarchar(100) default N'';
declare vString nvarchar(100);
declare vCharInd int default -1;

vString = N'7Kodyaz6.com1!';

while vCharInd <> 0 do
select locate_regexpr(START '[\p{L}]' IN :vString ) into "VCHARIND" from dummy; -- letters
if (:vCharInd > 0) then
select concat(:vResult, substring(:vString, :vCharInd, 1)) into "VRESULT" from dummy;
select substring(:vString, :vCharInd+1) into "VSTRING" from dummy;
end if;
end while;
select :vResult as "Only Letters In String" from dummy;

As SQL programmers can see in below screenshot, the output "Kodyazcom" if fetched by filtering out all characters except letters including numeric characters and punctuation

SQLScript Locate_SQLExpr function for letters in a string


Use RegExp for Alpha-Numeric Characters with SQLScript

To get the alpha-numeric characters from a given string variable, SQLScript developer can use regular expression [^\p{N}] to filter all characters except numeric ones.
So the SELECT statement where Locate_RegExpr() function can be altered as follows to get only the alphanumeric characters within a given string variable.

select locate_regexpr(START '[^\p{N}]' IN :vString ) into "VCHARIND" from dummy; -- alphanumeric





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