HL8 HL8 - 6 days ago 6
SQL Question

SQL Server 2008 - separating Address field

I have an address column that contains address, state and postcode. I would like to extract the address, suburb, state, and postcode into separate columns, how can a do this as the length of the address is variable, there is a ^ to separate the address and "other" details. The State can be 2 or 3 characters long and the postcode is always 4 characters long.

PostalAddress TO BE Address Suburb State Postcode
28 Smith Avenue^MOOROOLBARK VIC 3138^ 28 Smith Avenue MOOROOLBARK VIC 3138
16 Farr Street^HEYFIELD VIC 3858^ 16 Farr Street HEYFIELD VIC 3858
17 Terry Road^LOWER PLENTY VIC 3093^ 17 Terry Road LOWER PLENTY VIC 3093

Answer

String parsing in SQL is messy and tends to be brittle. I usually think it's best to do these sort of tasks outside of SQL altogether. That said, given the mini-spec above, it is possible to parse the data into the fields you want like so:

select 
  left(PostalAddress, charindex('^', PostalAddress) - 1) as street_address,
  left(second_part, len(second_part) - charindex(' ', reverse(second_part))) as suburb,
  right(second_part, charindex(' ', reverse(second_part))) as state,
  reverse(substring(reverse(PostalAddress), 2, 4)) as postal_code
from (
  select
    PostalAddress,
    rtrim(reverse(substring(reverse(PostalAddress), 6, len(PostalAddress) - charindex('^', PostalAddress) - 5))) as second_part
  from Addresses
) as t1

Note that you'll need so substitute your table name for what I've called addresses in the subquery above.

You can see this in action against your sample data here.

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