Applies to ✅ Open Source Edition ✅ Express Edition ✅ Professional Edition ✅ Enterprise Edition
LIKE predicates are popular for simple wildcard-enabled pattern matching. Supported wildcards in all SQL databases are:
- _: (single-character wildcard)
- %: (multi-character wildcard)
With jOOQ, the
LIKE predicate can be created from any column expression as such:
TITLE LIKE '%abc%' TITLE NOT LIKE '%abc%'
A common practice is to conatenate wildcards to the actual expression. While concatenation is dangerous in plain SQL, it is safe when creating dynamic bind values using the DSL API:
-- Generated SQL is using a bind variable TITLE LIKE '%abc%' TITLE NOT LIKE '%abc%'
// abc might be user input BOOK.TITLE.like("%" + abc "%") BOOK.TITLE.notLike("%" + abc + "%")
Often, your pattern may contain any of the wildcard characters
"%", in case of which you may want to escape them. jOOQ does not automatically escape patterns in
notLike() methods. Instead, you can explicitly define an escape character as such:
TITLE LIKE '%The !%-Sign Book%' ESCAPE '!' TITLE NOT LIKE '%The !%-Sign Book%' ESCAPE '!'
BOOK.TITLE.like("%The !%-Sign Book%", '!') BOOK.TITLE.notLike("%The !%-Sign Book%", '!')
In the above predicate expressions, the exclamation mark character is passed as the escape character to escape wildcard characters
"!%", as well as to escape the escape character itself:
Please refer to your database manual for more details about escaping patterns with the
jOOQ also provides a few convenience methods for common operations performed on strings using the
LIKE predicate. Typical operations are "contains predicates", "starts with predicates", "ends with predicates", etc.
-- case insensitivity LOWER(TITLE) LIKE LOWER('%abc%') LOWER(TITLE) NOT LIKE LOWER('%abc%') -- contains and similar methods TITLE LIKE '%' || 'abc' || '%' TITLE LIKE 'abc' || '%' TITLE LIKE '%' || 'abc'
// case insensitivity BOOK.TITLE.likeIgnoreCase("%abc%") BOOK.TITLE.notLikeIgnoreCase("%abc%") // contains and similar methods BOOK.TITLE.contains("abc") BOOK.TITLE.startsWith("abc") BOOK.TITLE.endsWith("abc")
Note, that jOOQ escapes
_ characters in values in some of the above predicate implementations. For simplicity, this has been omitted in this manual.
In addition to the above, jOOQ also provides the synthetic
[NOT] LIKE ANY and
[NOT] LIKE ALL operators, which can be used to (positively resp. negatively) match a string against multiple patterns without having to manually string together multiple
[NOT] LIKE predicates with
OR (learn about other synthetic sql syntaxes). The following examples show how these synthetic predicates translate to SQL:
(TITLE LIKE '%abc%' OR TITLE LIKE '%def%') (TITLE NOT LIKE '%abc%' OR TITLE NOT LIKE '%def%') (TITLE LIKE '%abc%' AND TITLE LIKE '%def%') (TITLE NOT LIKE '%abc%' AND TITLE NOT LIKE '%def%')
BOOK.TITLE.like(any("%abc%", "%def%")) BOOK.TITLE.notLike(any("%abc%", "%def%")) BOOK.TITLE.like(all("%abc%", "%def%")) BOOK.TITLE.notLike(all("%abc%", "%def%"))
All corresponding Java methods Field.like(QuantifiedSelect) and Field.notLike(QuantifiedSelect) return an instance of LikeEscapeStep, which can be used to specify an
ESCAPE clause that will be applied to all patterns in the list. For brevity the examples above don't show this.
Note that both the
LIKE ANY and
LIKE ALL predicates allow matching a string against an empty list of patterns. For example, in the case of
LIKE ANY this is equivalent to a
1 = 0 predicate and in the case of
NOT LIKE ALL this behaves like
1 = 1.
This example using jOOQ:
Translates to the following dialect specific expressions:
-- All dialects BOOK.TITLE LIKE '%abc%'