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Using the Locate Command in MySQL

Thursday Feb 6th 2020 by Sridhar M S

Language: MySQL, Expertise: Intermediate - Finding a particular string in a large data set can be extremely tedious. Fortunately, MySQL has a command called locate to help you find what you need.

Amid tons of data, finding a particular string's presence in the data is extremely tedious. MySQL has a command named LOCATE that can be used with certain conditions and the yield is truly useful.

Using the LOCATE Command

LOCATE ("<search string>", column_name, <start index - Optional>)

For example, if we are trying to look for a string called "JAMES" in the column NAME from a table named EMPLOYEE_DETAILS, the following SQL will be able to make the needed query.

SELECT LOCATE("JAMES", NAME) FROM EMPLOYEE_DETAILS; 

Assuming there are 5 records in the table and the values JAMES is present in row # 3, the output will be as follows.

+ -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- +
|LOCATE("JAMES", NAME) |
+ -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- +
| 0 |
| 0 |
| 1 |
| 0 |
| 0 |
+ -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- +
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