String searching

AQL permits the use of string searching (sometimes called wildcards), that allows introducing variables into the selection criteria. Consider the sentence:

 list entity with city = "irv]" city

The right-bracket specifies that any character, or characters, may follow the literal string, irv. This means that both irvine and irving are selected. Consider the sentence:

list entity with name "[inc."

Any item whose name attribute ended with inc. is eligible for processing.

The bracket (string searching) characters may also state an including or containing condition, as in the form:

list entity with name = "[rain]"

This includes in the report any item whose name attribute contains the string rain. This includes Raining, All Terrain Vehicles, and The First Rain.


In this selection criteria, only those items whose name field begins with ar are selected.

list entity with name "ar]" name

This example shows two selection clauses connected with an and, which means that both conditions must be evaluated as true in order for the items to be selected for processing.

list entity with name "mi]" and with phone "804]"

This example shows a mutually exclusive set of selection criteria connected with an or. Either condition evaluating to true accepts the item for processing. That is, if the name attribute begins with ar, or the city attribute begins with irv, the item is selected for output.

list entity with name "re]" or with city "irv]" name city

There is virtually no limit to compound selection criteria in an AQL sentence, with the exception of the fact that AQL limits a sentence to a maximum of 9 and clauses.

list entity with name "ar]" and with city "irv]" or with city "san]" and with
contact "[joe]"

Wildcard characters may be used to select item-IDs and attributes based on common characters. Wildcards can be used in selection criteria or complex item-lists as follows:

[ Matches characters following the bracket. Ignores characters to the left of the bracket.
] Matches characters from the beginning of the string to the bracket. Ignores the characters to the right of the bracket.
^ Matches any character in the position occupied by the caret.

Retrieves any item containing at least five characters, the first two beginning with sm, followed by any character, and ending with th. This retrieves smith as well as smyth.

select invoices with name = "[sm^th]"

Lists entity file items whose name attribute contains a string beginning with i, followed by any character, and ending with m.

list entity with name = "i^m"

 The example below lists entity items whose name attribute searches for values containing a string beginning with a and followed by two characters. Any two characters following the a meet the selection criteria:

list entity with name = "a^^"