Paul Ellery Paul Ellery - 4 months ago 24
SQL Question

What does a caret (^) do in a SQL query?

What is the caret (^) doing in the following SQL Server query?

SELECT 1^2, 1^3;


which gives the results:

3 2


I came across this before I found the SQUARE() function.

Answer

The caret (^) translates to the XOR operator, which is a "bitwise exclusive or". In plain english it means "either, but not both". Here's what it does:

decimal 1 = binary 001                     decimal 1 = binary 001
XOR                                        XOR
decimal 2 = binary 010                     decimal 3 = binary 011
=                                          =
decimal 3 = binary 011                     decimal 2 = binary 010

More info on the MSDN page for bitwise operations.

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