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Matching one column value to part of another in SQL

I have a table with values such as these:

GLAccountID     GLAccountDesc
7100            7512 - LINEN DISPOSABLES
7143            7141 - DISPOSABLE SUPPLIES
7102            7100 - GENERAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES
7102            7102 - IV TUBING
7104            7104 - SUTURES
7130            7130 - IMPLANTS - FIXATION
7145            7145 - DISPOSABLE SUPPLIES

In this table, GLAccountDesc value should always start with its corresponding GLAccountID, a hyphen and then the description. How do I pull out all the rows where GLAccountDesc does not start with its corresponding GLAccountID?

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This seems fairly straightforward:

select GLAccountID
     , GLAccountDesc
  from daTable
 where GLAccountID <> 
       substring(GLAccountDesc from 1 for 4)

Presumably it isn't quite so obvious if you have never used the SUBSTRING function in a comparison before.

To me, a more interesting solution is this one:

update daTable
   set GLAccountDesc = 
       substring(GLAccountDesc from 5)

Much more satisfying, don't you think? <wink>

This was first published in May 2007

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