05
May
10

= my string Sorta

 

Don’t let the name of this chapter fool you, this function is here to make your life easier not more difficult. And Tom van Stiphout walks you through this topic.

Simil: an algorithm to look for similar strings

I have to admit when I saw this chapter on the list there was a couple hesitations to review this chapter. First, I recall using SOUNDEX a number of versions ago, or maybe I should say I recall trying to use SOUNDEX a number of versions ago and had no success at all with it. Then I looked at the chapter name and saw the term algorithm and I knew for sure that It was going to require a master’s degree just to get to the end of the chapter with a bit of understanding.

So what does this mean?

Well most of us are aware that a database is going to filter the results on an exact match based on the information that you give it. There is no crystal ball here, If you want to look for all the people who live in the state of Colorado then a where statement that looks like WHERE state = ‘CO’ is to be expect. So if you are at all human or expect the users of your database to be human at all then mistakes can lead to unexpected results. If a value of CC were to be passed in for state there would not be a match. There is no state with the abbreviation CC.

The first example highlights the basic example of what does and does not fit an exact match. But what happens when you meet someone who is spelling challenged like me? Is there a way that the database can assist them the way that word does with the red wavy underline when I misspell something? There is, As you are reading this jump up in your cube and at the top of your lungs yell the word Atoms (this appears silly, but it is important). Now that everyone around you is aware and wondering what you are doing jump up and say Adams. If you did the exercise correctly you will see the two words sound very similar, and if you can get the database to return Adams when you search for Atoms then Tom has achieved his goal.

This is only one of the options that Tim covers in this chapter, there are many others even an example on how to correct my many misspellings.

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