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SQL Concatenate


In (standard ANSI/ISO) SQL, the operator for string concatenation is ||. This syntax is supported by all major databases except SQL Server:

SELECT 'Hello' || 'World' || '!'; --returns HelloWorld!

Many databases support a CONCAT function to join strings:

SELECT CONCAT('Hello', 'World'); --returns 'HelloWorld'

Some databases support using CONCAT to join more than two strings (Oracle does not):

SELECT CONCAT('Hello', 'World', '!'); --returns 'HelloWorld!'

In some databases, non-string types must be cast or converted:

SELECT CONCAT('Foo', CAST(42 AS VARCHAR(5)), 'Bar'); --returns 'Foo42Bar'

Some databases (e.g., Oracle) perform implicit lossless conversions. For example, a CONCAT on a CLOB and NCLOB yields a NCLOB. A CONCAT on a number and a varchar2 results in a varchar2, etc.:

SELECT CONCAT(CONCAT('Foo', 42), 'Bar') FROM dual; --returns Foo42Bar

Some databases can use the non-standard + operator (but in most, + works only for numbers):

SELECT 'Foo' + CAST(42 AS VARCHAR(5)) + 'Bar';

On SQL Server < 2012, where CONCAT is not supported, + is the only way to join strings.