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There are times when we want to match on a string pattern. To do that, we will need to employ the concept of wildcard. In SQL, there are two wildcards:
- % (percent sign) represents zero, one, or more characters.
- _ (underscore) represents exactly one character.
Wildcards are used with the LIKE keyword in SQL.
Below are some wildcard examples:
- 'A_Z': All string that starts with 'A', another character, and end with 'Z'. For example, 'ABZ' and 'A2Z' would both satisfy the condition, while 'AKKZ' would not (because there are two characters between A and Z instead of one).
- 'ABC%': All strings that start with 'ABC'. For example, 'ABCD' and 'ABCABC' would both satisfy the condition.
- '%XYZ': All strings that end with 'XYZ'. For example, 'WXYZ' and 'ZZXYZ' would both satisfy the condition.
- '%AN%': All strings that contain the pattern 'AN' anywhere. For example, 'LOS ANGELES' and 'SAN FRANCISCO' would both satisfy the condition.
- '_AN%': All strings that contain a character, then 'AN', followed by anything else. For example, 'SAN FRANCISCO' would satisfy the condition, while 'LOS ANGELES' would not satisfy the condition.
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