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Apostrophes in input

I am having trouble with users entering apostrophes as part of the input, as this causes probelms with my SQL statement,...

e.g., "SELECT lname FROM client WHERE lname='O'Regan';"

Some databases allow you to alternate single and double quotes --

SELECT lname FROM client WHERE lname="O'Regan"

However, this might cause you problems, because I notice that your entire query is already wrapped in double quotes. (You're using ASP, right?) In this case, you can try using two consecutive single quotes, which the database will interpret as a single quote that's part of the string --

SELECT lname FROM client WHERE lname='O''Regan'

Unfortunately, this means that you have to edit the input from your users and replace each occurrence of a single quote with two. Luckily, there are usually good string functions available in most programming languages. (I would say what they are in ASP, but I don't know ASP.)

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This was last published in May 2001

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