Netezza / PureData – How to Substring on a Character

PureData Powered by Netezza

PureData Powered by Netezza


I had a reason this week to perform a substring on a character in Netezza this week, something I have not had a need to do before.  The process was not as straightforward as I would have thought, since the command is explained as a static position command, and the IBM documentation, honestly, wasn’t much help.  Knowing full well, that text strings are variable having to provide a static position is not terribly useful in and of itself.  So, we need to use an expression to make the substring command flexible and dynamic.

I did get it work the way I needed, but it took two commands to make it happen:

  • The First was the ’instr’ command to identify the field and character I wanted to substring on: instr(<<FIELD_NAME>>,’~’) as This provides the position number of the tilde (~).
  • The second was the ‘substr’ command in which I embedded the ‘instr’ command: substr(<<FIELD_NAME>>,0,instr(<<FIELD_NAME>>,’~’) )

This worked nicely for what I needed, which was to pick out a file name from the beginning of a string, which was delimited with a tilde (~)

Substring on a Character Command Format

  • This format example starts with position zero (0) as position 1 of substring command and goes to the first tilde (~) as position 2 of the substring command.
Select  <<FIELD_NAME>>

, instr(<>,’~’) as pos2

, substr(<<FIELD_NAME>>,0,instr(<<FIELD_NAME>>,’~’) ) as Results

From <<Table_Name>>

where  <<Where_Clause>>;



Related references

IBM Knowledge Center, Home, PureData System for Analytics 7.2.1, IBM Netezza database user documentation, Netezza SQL basics, Netezza SQL extensions, Character string functions

IBM Knowledge Center, Home PureData System for Analytics 7.0.3, IBM Netezza Database User’s Guide, Netezza SQL basics, Netezza SQL extensions, Character functions