Using "like" wildcard in prepared statement

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I am using prepared statements to execute mysql database queries. And I want to implement a search functionality based on a keyword of sorts.

For that I need to use LIKE keyword, that much I know. And I have also used prepared statements before, but I do not know how to use it with LIKE because from the following code where would I add the 'keyword%'?

Can I directly use it in the pstmt.setString(1, notes) as (1, notes+"%") or something like that. I see a lot of posts on this on the web but no good answer anywhere.

PreparedStatement pstmt = con.prepareStatement(
      "SELECT * FROM analysis WHERE notes like ?");
pstmt.setString(1, notes);
ResultSet rs = pstmt.executeQuery();

You need to set it in the value itself, not in the prepared statement SQL string.

So, this should do for a prefix-match:

notes = notes
    .replace("!", "!!")
    .replace("%", "!%")
    .replace("_", "!_")
    .replace("[", "![");
PreparedStatement pstmt = con.prepareStatement(
        "SELECT * FROM analysis WHERE notes LIKE ? ESCAPE '!'");
pstmt.setString(1, notes + "%");

or a suffix-match:

pstmt.setString(1, "%" + notes);

or a global match:

pstmt.setString(1, "%" + notes + "%");

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Code it like this:

PreparedStatement pstmt = con.prepareStatement(
    "SELECT * FROM analysis WHERE notes like ?");
pstmt.setString(1, notes + "%");`

Make sure that you DO NOT include the quotes ' ' like below as they will cause an exception.

pstmt.setString(1,"'%"+ notes + "%'");

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PreparedStatement ps = cn.prepareStatement("Select * from Users where User_FirstName LIKE ?");
ps.setString(1, name + '%');

Try this out.

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String fname = "Sam\u0025";

PreparedStatement ps= conn.prepareStatement("SELECT * FROM Users WHERE User_FirstName LIKE ? ");

ps.setString(1, fname);

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we can simplly do this, by using the CONCATE SQL function.

PreparedStatement pstmt = con.prepareStatement(
      "SELECT * FROM analysis WHERE notes like CONCAT( '%',?,'%')";
pstmt.setString(1, notes);
ResultSet rs = pstmt.executeQuery();

this is work perfectly for my case.

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Comments
  • +1 The OP could "set" it in the SQL — as by ... LIKE '%' || ? || '%' or similar — but that's much less flexible.
  • how do i do it with NON-CASE SENSITIVE mode? :)
  • Non-case-sensitive can still use WHERE UPPER(?) LIKE UPPER(?) when using pstmt.setString(2, "%" + notes + "%")
  • @Alain: Thank you. Just wondering, does this apply to all RDBMS the world is aware of? Perhaps '%' || ? || '%' as mentioned in 1st comment was better, after all? I don't have the opportunity to experiment right now.
  • @BalusC this applies to MSSQL, Postgres, and MySQL in my testing. The String being made into a parameter is itself interpreted as a mix of data and control instructions. SQL concatenation occurs before it is interpreted and preserves the vulnerability. The IEEE Center for Secure Design says to Strictly Separate Data and Control Instructions, and Never Process Control Instructions Received from Untrusted Sources.
  • Though it sounds like someone won't run into this assumption, it's actually very valid especially when working with Oracle. Thanks for pointing out!
  • Could you elaborate the answer rather than just giving the answer? See: stackoverflow.com/help/how-to-answer
  • it is unsafe, kindly use parametrized preparedstatement.