Searching all columns without using column name


I am developing a search engine for my application and I need to grab the entire row from the table if I found the search field in any of the columns and the search is not defined to one table. Please let me know how to search all columns in table without using column names indivdually.
12/30/2003 11:23:02 PM 29906 articles. 0 followers. Follow

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If the data is in a DataSet, you can access rows and columns using indexes:

will get the first row, first column. .Rows and .Columns have a .Count property that can allow you to get all columns and rows:

if ( myDS.Tables.Count>0 )
for ( int loop=0 ; loop<myDS.Tables.Count ; loop++ )
this.textBox1.Text+="\r\nTable: " + myDS.Tables[loop].TableName + "\r\n";
for ( int row=0 ; row<myDS.Tables[loop].Rows.Count ; row++ )
for ( int col=0 ; col<myDS.Tables[loop].Columns.Count ; col++ )
this.textBox1.Text+=myDS.Tables[loop].Columns[col].ColumnName + " : " ;

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12/31/2003 1:32:06 PM
Exec sp_columns @table_name = 'customers'

Returns column information for the specified tables or views that can be queried in the current environment.
sp_columns [ @table_name = ] object
[ , [ @table_owner = ] owner ]
[ , [ @table_qualifier = ] qualifier ]
[ , [ @column_name = ] column ]
[ , [ @ODBCVer = ] ODBCVer ]
[@table_name =] object
Is the name of the table or view used to return catalog information. object_name is nvarchar(384), with no default. Wildcard pattern matching is not supported.
[@table_owner =] owner
Is the object owner of the table or view used to return catalog information. owner is nvarchar(384), with a default of NULL. Wildcard pattern matching is not supported. If owner is not specified, the default table or view visibility rules of the underlying DBMS apply.
In Microsoft® SQL Server™, if the current user owns a table or view with the specified name, that table's columns are returned. If owner is not specified and the current user does not own a table or view with the specified object, sp_columns looks for a table or view with the specified object owned by the database owner. If one exists, that table's columns are returned.
[@table_qualifier =] qualifier
Is the name of the table or view qualifier. qualifier is sysname, with a default of NULL. Various DBMS products support three-part naming for tables ( In SQL Server, this column represents the database name. In some products, it represents the server name of the table's database environment.
[@column_name =] column
Is a single column and is used when only one column of catalog information is wanted. column is nvarchar(384), with a default of NULL. If column is not specified, all columns are returned. In SQL Server, column represents the column name as listed in the syscolumns table. column can include wildcard characters using the underlying DBMS's wildcard matching patterns. For maximum interoperability, the gateway client should assume only SQL-92 standard pattern matching (the % and _ wildcard characters).
[@ODBCVer =] ODBCVer
Is the version of ODBC being used. ODBCVer is int, with a default of 2, indicating ODBC Version 2. Valid values are 2 or 3. Refer to the ODBC SQLColumns specification for the behavior differences between versions 2 and 3.
Return Code Values
Result Sets
The sp_columns catalog stored procedure is equivalent to SQLColumns in ODBC. The results returned are ordered by TABLE_QUALIFIER, TABLE_OWNER, and TABLE_NAME.

Kay Lee -
Infrastructure Group

- Code to live, but Live to code.
12/31/2003 5:49:36 PM
I need the same thing that snellog does, although I'm willing to be constrained to a single table.  But I'd rather keep the logic in a stored procedure if possible.

I could use a sp like...
CREATE PROCEDURE sprSelectPeople_Text
@strSearch nvarchar(255)
LastName LIKE '%' + @strSearch + '%'
OR FirstName LIKE '%' + @strSearch + '%'
OR Salutation LIKE '%' + @strSearch + '%'
....but that only searches the string fields. I could do this previously with a sql string compiled in page code, like...
Dim scmPeople As SqlCommand
scmPeople = New SqlCommand( _
"SELECT tblPeople.* FROM tblPeople " + _
"WHERE tblPeople.LastName LIKE ""%" + strSearch + "%"" + _
"OR tblPeople.FirstName LIKE ""%" + strSearch + "%"" + _
"OR tblPeople.Salutation LIKE ""%" + strSearch + "%"" + _
"OR tblPeople.BirthDate = #" + strSearch + "# " + _
"OR tblPeople.BillAmount = " + strSearch, _
scnCnn _
....but I'm trying to give up my bad old ways. Isn't there some stored procedure syntax (short of a full text search that indexes every table column) that will either (1) accept the @strSearch parameter, convert it appropriately and search for it every column, like...
SELECT tblPeople.* FROM tblPeople
WHERE tblPeople.* = strSearch
.... or (2) a more manual approach where I can test each column individually and code the appropriate data type conversion in the sp, like...
... OR BirthDate = cast( strSearch, SmallDate )
OR BillAmount = cast( strSearch, Money )
What's the best way to do this?
3/20/2004 1:42:13 PM
Two questions here subtly different. The more generic question about seatch any table on all columns has been answered, well a strong clue with sp_columns...I'm not about to spoon feed either ;)

The 2nd question about using a stored proc for a specific table is pretty easy too. The stored proc will implement your "bad old days" method, there is no short cut.
An alternative is to use Full Text/Index searching. That's a different technique and will require a bit of reading up on.
3/20/2004 7:41:03 PM

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