In this step by step SQL Tutorial I will show you how to use SQL LEFT function. For the purpose of this tutorial I will use SQL Server 2012.
Other Versions of SQL Server:
- SQL Server 2012
- This blog post has been written using SQL Server 2012
- SQL Server 2008 / R2
- The examples we used should work in SQL Server 2008 and R2
- SQL Server 2005
- We suspect that this will work in SQL Server 2005 as well
Who is it for?
- People who would like to learn basics of using functions.
- Those who are preparing for Microsoft certifications and need to cover this topic.
LEFT Function - returns the specified number of characters from a given string starting from the very beginning (left side)
LEFT(<<String Value>>, <<Number of Characters>>)
<<String Value>> - Provide string value (field name or expression) that will be used as your input.
<<Number of Characters>> Provide number of characters that you would like to receive from the <<String Value>> you provided.
SELECT LEFT('ABC-123-BCD', 3)
Result = 'ABC'
LEFT Function Microsoft Documentation
In this example I will use AdventureWorks2012 database dbo.DimCustomer table.
In this example I will show you how to use LEFT to return first two characters string of PostalCode.
I hope that will help you