Access, VB and SQL Server wildcard characters

Visual Basic gives you several ways to provide pattern-matches in a
search string. Typically, you use pattern-matching characters for two
purposes: to search for strings in a VB application's GUI or variable,
or to look for items within a database, such as Access or SQL. When you
search for pattern matches in a database, however, depending on which
database you're using, different characters perform different matches.

The following list shows the different characters used by each database:

Required Match
Any single character
               Access/VB: ? SQLServer: _
Zero or more characters
               Access/VB: * SQLServer: %
Any single digit (0-9)
               Access/VB: # SQLServer: n/a
Any single character in charlist
               Access/VB: [charlist] SQLServer: [charlist]
Any single character not in charlist
               Access/VB: [!charlist] SQLServer: [^charlist]

Keep in mind that when you use Visual Basic's SQL Builder to create SQL
statements, it only accepts SQL Server pattern-matching characters--even
when you're pulling data from an Access database.

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James Crowley James first started this website when learning Visual Basic back in 1999 whilst studying his GCSEs. The site grew steadily over the years while being run as a hobby - to a regular monthly audience ...

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