match Relational Operator

The match relational operator tests a string and determines if it matches a predefined pattern of alphabetical, numeric, wildcard, or literal characters.


str.exp1 match str.exp2





String to test.


A composite of literals and/or match operators, appended to length specifications. String operators are:


Accepts only m alphabetical characters. No spaces allowed


Accepts only m numeric characters. (+,- and . are not considered numeric.)


Accepts m wildcards (any character).


Accepts any literal string enclosed in single quotation marks.

When combinations of match strings and literals are present, the entire match string must be enclosed in double quotation marks.  The m parameter, which specifies the length of the match operator string, if 0 (zero) will match 0 or more of the specified match operator. This means that the null string will match any 0 length pattern match.


The match operator compares a string value to a predefined pattern and evaluates to 1 (true) or 0 (false).

The iconv() function, using the p (pattern match) processing code, provides similar functionality to the match operator. The difference is that iconv() can perform multiple pattern matches at once, where the match requires multiple statements.


The results of a nondeterministic match operator are undefined and should be avoided. For instance, if response matches ’0na’.


This statement takes the then path if the answer is 3 numerics.

if answer matches "3n" then print "ok"

This checks that the value of the variable soc.sec.num has the pattern of 3 numerics,- , 2 numerics,- , and 4 numerics.

if soc.sec.num matches "3n’-’2n’-’4n" then...

The then clause is taken if response is not any number of numerics.

if not(response matches "0n") then...

This accepts any length of numerics, a comma, any length of numerics, a comma, and any length of numerics.

if response = "0n’,’0n’,’0n" then...

See Also

alpha() Function, case Statement, iconv() Function, if Statement, ifr Statement, num() Function, p (Pattern Match) Processing Code, then Clause, then/else Statement Blocks