Parsing a delimeted string in T-SQL is fairly simple to do, but it does take a nice little chunk of code. I most commonly use this chunk of code when I need to pass an array from an application into a SQL Stored Procedure. The best way to implement this code into an application would be to create a SQL Function that you pass in a delimted string and it returns a table of values. This way you don’t have to duplicate the code everytime you want to use it.
The following example parses the delimeted string and places each value into a variable of type Table. Once the values are placed into the table you can do anything you need to save/process these values.
--declare the list of Cities DECLARE @CityList varchar(8000) SET @CityList = 'Milwaukee|Chicago|New York|Seattle|San Francisco' --declare the delimeter between each City DECLARE @Delimeter char(1) SET @Delimeter = '|' --Parse the string and insert each city into the @tblCity table DECLARE @tblCity TABLE(City varchar(50)) DECLARE @City varchar(50) DECLARE @StartPos int, @Length int WHILE LEN(@CityList) > 0 BEGIN SET @StartPos = CHARINDEX(@Delimeter, @CityList) IF @StartPos < 0 SET @StartPos = 0 SET @Length = LEN(@CityList) - @StartPos - 1 IF @Length < 0 SET @Length = 0 IF @StartPos > 0 BEGIN SET @City = SUBSTRING(@CityList, 1, @StartPos - 1) SET @CityList = SUBSTRING(@CityList, @StartPos + 1, LEN(@CityList) - @StartPos) END ELSE BEGIN SET @City = @CityList SET @CityList = '' END INSERT @tblCity (City) VALUES(@City) END --Show all Cities in the @tblCity table SELECT * FROM @tblCity