[thelist] MSSQL: full-text or 'like' to search text fields?

Joel D Canfield joel at spinhead.com
Tue Sep 26 17:17:00 CDT 2006

I have a very specific set of circumstances for our search needs and it
appears that in these conditions, 'like' will work just as well as
full-text searches such as 'contains' - but I'm looking for

The Circs: company is closing its doors end of year; I'm out the door 10
October. After that, non-technical types need a simple way to find
things in our homegrown work order system (web front end, MSSQL back
end.) I'm looking for the simplest way to modify our existing search
form (a single word or phrase is used in a 'like' search with an 'OR'
between two text fields.)

The Data: MSSQL 2000; we have less than 30,000 lines in the table.

The Searches: it is highly likely that even multiple search terms would
be numeric, or a very very small set of words. These folks will be
searching for SSNs, member IDs, a network user name referenced in other
documentation, etc. Stemming and other 'kinda like this' concepts are
almost certainly immaterial. A typical search would be for this SSN or
member ID, that user name/ID, this date range. The SSNs/IDs etc. would
be in those two fields; the dates are easily managed by other means.

Is there any reason to spend time and effort implementing full-text
searching, or will a small expansion of existing 'like' and 'or' queries
be enough?



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