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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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MySQL REGEXP operator

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Prerita Agarwal
Data Specialist @
23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

MySQL is a popular choice for managing data thanks to its robust set of tools and functionalities. Among these tools is the REGEXP operator, which allows us to match text values against patterns using regular expressions.

MYSQL REGEX operator

 Let's delve into this essential aspect of MySQL and learn how to harness its capabilities.

Understanding REGEXP

What is REGEXP?

In MySQL, REGEXP is an operator that helps perform complex searches based on specific patterns. Regular expressions (regex) are powerful tools that allow you to match, locate, and manage text.

Why Use REGEXP?

REGEXP is incredibly versatile and allows you to:

Find patterns within text.

Validate the format of input data.

Extract specific portions of a text string.

Basic Syntax of REGEXP

The syntax for using the REGEXP operator is straightforward:

SELECT column1, column2,... 
FROM table_name 
WHERE column_name REGEXP pattern;

Here, pattern is the regular expression pattern that you are matching the column data against.

Practical Application of REGEXP

Now that we have understood the syntax, let's look at a few examples.

Example 1: Finding Specific Words

Suppose we have a table 'Books' with the following data:

Book_ID Title

1 Learning MySQL

2 Advanced Java Programming

3 Python for Beginners

4 Mastering MySQL REGEXP

5 Java for Beginners

Insert query
output

Let's find all the books with 'Beginners' in the title:

SELECT * FROM Books WHERE Title REGEXP 'Beginners';

The output will be:

Book_ID Title
3 Python for Beginners
5 Java for Beginners
Output

Example 2: Finding Any of the Specified Words

We can use the '|' operator in REGEXP to find any of the specified words. For example, to find the books which are either on 'MySQL' or 'Java':

SELECT * FROM Books WHERE Title REGEXP 'MySQL|Java';

This will yield:

Book_ID Title
1 Learning MySQL
2 Advanced Java Programming
4 Mastering MySQL REGEXP
5 Java for Beginners
output
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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the REGEXP operator case-sensitive in MySQL?

Yes, the REGEXP operator is case-sensitive. You can use REGEXP BINARY for case-sensitive matches, or REGEXP_LIKE with a case-insensitive collation for case-insensitive matches.

How to negate REGEXP in MySQL?

You can negate the REGEXP operator by using NOT REGEXP, which returns rows that do not match the regular expression.

Can I use REGEXP for numeric data in MySQL?

Yes, you can use REGEXP with numeric data. However, the numeric data will be implicitly converted to a string format first.

Conclusion

In this guide, we explored the MySQL REGEXP operator, its usage, and applications. By mastering this operator, you can perform advanced searches and data management tasks, making your work with MySQL more efficient. It's one of the many powerful tools in MySQL that can greatly assist in managing and manipulating data effectively.
Here are some more related articles:

Happy Learning!!

Topics covered
1.
Introduction
2.
Understanding REGEXP
2.1.
What is REGEXP?
2.2.
Why Use REGEXP?
2.3.
Find patterns within text.
2.4.
Basic Syntax of REGEXP
2.5.
Practical Application of REGEXP
3.
Frequently Asked Questions
3.1.
Is the REGEXP operator case-sensitive in MySQL?
3.2.
How to negate REGEXP in MySQL?
3.3.
Can I use REGEXP for numeric data in MySQL?
4.
Conclusion