parsing using sql help please

  • From: Eugene Pipko <eugene.pipko@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2012 10:58:37 -0800

Hi all,
I need to be able to parse list of customers by first/last names.
The problems is that each name can come in many different ways.
For instance:
'Eugene Pipko'
'Eugene     Pipko'  -- many blanks in between
'Eugene A Pipko'  -- mid initial with one space in between
'Eugene  A.  Pipko'  -- mid initial with a dot and multiple spaces

I am thinking of getting first name using substr('Eugene 
Pipko',1,instrt('Eugene Pipko',' ',1,1)) to start searching from the beginning 
of the name.
Now, the last name can be found by looking backwards till the first blank, but 
... I don't know how to do it. I can user substr() to search backwards, but I 
need to find first blank starting from the end.
Can instr() be used to search in reverse?



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