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How to find the occurrence of particular character in string – CHARINDEX

Many times while writing SQL, we need to find if particular character is present in the column data. SQL server possesses an in-built function to do this job –


CHARINDEX(character_to_search, string [, starting_position])

Returns the position of the first occurrence of the character in the string.

NOTE – index starts with 1. So, if character is at the starting position, this function would return 1.

Returns 0 if character is not found.

Returns 0 if ‘string’ is empty.

Returns NULL if string is NULL.


SELECT CHARINDEX('a', fname) a_First_occurence,

CHARINDEX('a', fname, CHARINDEX('a', fname)) a_Second_occurrence

FROM Users

WHERE fname = 'aka unknown'


This article is part of the GWB Archives. Original Author: Vipin Agarwal

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