Pattern matching

You can use a number of search expressions, called wildcards, in definition forms and dialog boxes. The wildcard then searches for the information you entered in the From field only and extracts it.

For example, inserting the % percent sign before and after a string of data searches for and extracts those items that match the data string. If you enter %Comp% in a Filter From and Filter To field, all data that includes the letters Comp in the description is extracted.


SQL LIKE search works for text based data but not numeric values, periods or dates. Query & Analysis requires a prefix to perform Extended SQL LIKE (*=) and NOT LIKE (*!) search with the wildcards: _, [ ] and [^]. The SQL LIKE search is automatically implemented with the wildcard % so a prefix is not required. The wildcard filters are summarized below:
Prefix Wildcard Filter Action
- % Any string of zero or more characters.
SQL LIKE *= - Any single character.
or Any single character within the specified range (for example, [a-f]) or set (for example, [abcdef]). -
SQL NOT LIKE *! Any single character not within the specified range (for example, [^a-f]) or set (for example, [^abcdef]). -

In the event that the requested data ends with blank characters, place % at the end of the search expression. For example, Software would not be returned by *=Softwa_e because the last character is blank. The search expression *=Softwa_e% would successfully return data.

Note: The wildcards [ ] and [^] are not supported for Oracle databases since there is no equivalent filter in Oracle.
Below are some wildcard filter examples:
Expression Meaning
*=%ZX__ All codes with unlimited characters before the Z and two characters after the X.
>>%bearing% All codes with unlimited upper and lower case characters before and after the word ?bearing?.
*=M[^c]% All codes beginning with the letter M that do not have the ?c? as the second letter, as in MacSkimming. Any codes beginning with the letter M and that have the ?c? as the second letter would be excluded, for example, McSkimming.

Ignore Case

Use >> to define the search as case insensitive. This can be used in conjunction with all other wildcards.