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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    Question Searching w/ Comma Delimited Field

    I'm trying to search a table based on categories. I currently have categories stored in a mediumtext field with their ids separated by commas.

    Ex. categories = '01,02,03'

    I have a search box that allows a person to select the categories to filter by (using checkboxes). Once those categories are selected, I need to run a query to see which users have at least one of those categories in their categories field.

    The issue I have is that I need to do this within the query and the categories field contains multiple values instead of just one. For each category that was checked in the form, I need to see if that id exists within the categories field.

    I tried placing the id first and then comparing it to the field:

    Ex. '$id' IN (categories)

    That didn't seem to work although it didn't give any MySQL errors. I thought that maybe it didn't recognize that categories was actually the field vs a string.

    Is there a special function I could use to accomplish what I'm looking to do?

    Mark

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member
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    if all the categories ids are 2 digits (00-99) this could work : categories LIKE '%$id%'

    --
    Mario

  3. #3
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    your basic problem is the design of the table

    any time you have a comma-delimited list inside a column, you're going to end up with inefficient sql that won't scale

    if someone chooses categories 4, 9, and 37 from the checkboxes, you have to actually do three queries (inside a loop)

    and each one will do a table scan

    i advise you to redesign into a proper many-to-many relationship

    then you can use table indexes, and your queries will not only be incredibly simple, but extremely efficient
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
    Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
    "giving out my real stuffs"

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard stereofrog's Avatar
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    evolutionm

    The function you're looking for is FIND_IN_SET(). Id better listen to Rudy's advice though.


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