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SSMS Regular Expressions

Tim Mitchell looks at regular expressions in SQL Server Management Studio:

Regular expressions (or simply regex for short) have long been used by system administrators and data professionals for searching and manipulating text. Regular expressions allow the user to find, replace, and manipulate text based on the pattern they define in the expression. While every text editor allows simple search-and-replace capabilities, regex allows for searching for partial matches, using wildcards, and even integrating special characters (such as newlines and tabs) into the search or replacement text.

Regular expressions have been a part of SSMS for as long as I can remember, and make the process of pattern-based SQL code search much easier. In this tip, I’ll show you a couple of brief examples of the use of regular expressions for working with SQL code in Management Studio.

Regular expressions have been in the product for a long time, but the set of available regular expressions changed when SSMS moved over to the Visual Studio shell. And in some ways (particularly around capture groups), that was a change for the worse.