Tag Archives: Null

TRY_PARSE – Conversion function in SQL Server 2012

In this article I will discuss about the TRY_PARSE function in SQL Server 2012. Conversion functions helps us avoid errors when dealing with different data types. Let us understand TRY_PARSE with an example.

SELECT TRY_PARSE ('12-18-2013' AS datetime) AS Alpha
SELECT TRY_PARSE ('2013' AS decimal) AS Beta
SELECT TRY_PARSE ('2013.00' AS decimal) AS Gamma
SELECT TRY_PARSE ('2013.0000' AS float) AS Theta
SELECT TRY_PARSE ('Arsenal' AS float) AS Delta

The TRY_PARSE() function can convert any string value to a Numeric or Date/Time format. If the passed string value cannot be converted to Numeric or Date/Time format, it will result to a NULL.

Lets have a look at the output of the above
TP2In the above case it would not convert ‘Arsenal’ to a date time or Numeric value and hence it results in NULL output. TRY_PARSE function is not a native SQL SERVER function, instead it is a CLR dependent function.

CONCAT() function in SQL Server 2012

In this article I will discuss the new function concat() in SQL Server 2012. This function performs a concatenation operation. We need to pass CONCAT() a number of string arguments and it will concatenate, or join them together and return an output string.
The basic syntax is as follows:
CONCAT ( string_value1, string_value2 [, string_valueN ] )

Let us now understand with an example how we can use this function and how it is different from the concatenation operator. Let us create a new table and insert some values in the table and then use a query that will use this function

CREATE TABLE MyConcatTable
(
FirstName varchar(20) NOT NULL,
MiddleName varchar(20) NULL,
LastName varchar(20) NOT NULL
)
INSERT INTO MyConcatTable
VALUES
('Sachin', 'Ramesh', 'Tendulkar'),
('Diego', 'Armando', 'Maradona')
,('Diego', Null, 'Maradona')
SELECT CONCAT(FirstName + ' ', MiddleName + ' ', LastName) AS
CustomerName
FROM MyConcatTable

The output of the above as shown below
concat1The concat function joins the columns and returns a single string. Now the big question is how is it different from the below

SELECT FirstName + ' ' + MiddleName + ' ' + LastName AS CustomerName
FROM MyConcatTable

Let us run the above code and see the outcome
concat2The 3rd value in the table has a null in the middle name column. Normal concatenation would not handle that thus resulting in a null output but the concat() would automatically remove the null and join the next corresponding string value.

I hope this short article was helpful in understanding the new function in SQL Server 2012 called concat().

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