MS SQL Azure – CONCAT_WS Working with addresses and nicely formatting separated fields

I recently came across a very useful function that I am told was introduced in SQL Server 2017 called CONCAT_WS
I have never used it in any other application other than SQL Server I hope it exists in MYSQL and PostgreSQL

This will join together a series of fields with chosen separators and by combining it with NULLIF can be used to remove spaces and format address nicely.
For applications that will at some point need addresses either for post or for information this function allows the display of addresses in a format the most clearly reflects the requirements of most postal systems. Needless to say it is likely that most of my systems will at some point transition to the use of this function.

Here is a link to Microsofts documentation on the function CONCAT_WS

Firstly let me review what I am starting to standardise on with regard to address fields which should be a balance between enough detail to store any address on the planet but not so much that it is overly complicated. I’ve expanded their descriptions somewhat. In my experience someone will have created an excel spreadsheet to start the process of recording information, often they standardise on column names such as address01/02/03 etc. If that breakdown exists then I have indicated the fields that I would normally expect to map those fields too.

flatno-buildingdivision
houseno-buildno
housename-buildname
streetfirst-address01
streetsecond
locality-address02
towncity-address03
stateoradminlocality
postcode-address04
country-address05

And here is an example of the code implemented.

CREATE VIEW v001formattedaddress AS SELECT pkid,
email,
CONCAT_WS(' ',NULLIF(dbo.t001addresstable.firstname,' '), NULLIF(dbo.t001addresstable.surname,' ')) AS fullname,
CONCAT_WS(CHAR(13) + CHAR(10),
NULLIF(dbo.t001addresstable.flatno, ' '), 
NULLIF(dbo.t001addresstable.houseno,' '), 
NULLIF(dbo.t001addresstable.housename,' '),
NULLIF(dbo.t001addresstable.streetfirst,' '),
NULLIF(dbo.t001addresstable.streetsecond,' '),
NULLIF(dbo.t001addresstable.locality,' '),
NULLIF(dbo.t001addresstable.towncity,' '),
NULLIF(dbo.t001addresstable.stateoradminlocality,' '),
NULLIF(dbo.t001addresstable.postcode,' '),
NULLIF(dbo.t001addresstable.country,' '),
REPLICATE('-', 30) ) AS addressconcat FROM dbo.t001addresstable;

Additionally on reflection for a recent project I made up a list of countries that covers most in the world. For my project I put an include field next to them to allow system administrators to include whether these would be visible in the drop down. Clearly while overtime more and more countries may be added there I would expect it to be years or possibly decades before some of the values of the smaller nations are needed. (For my particular application anyway)

I standardised on the following the 2 digit codes are the ISO Country code standard

AD Andorra
AE United Arab Emirates
AF Afghanistan
AG Antigua and Barbuda
AI Anguilla
AL Albania
AM Armenia
AO Angola
AQ Antarctica
AR Argentina
AT Austria
AU Australia
AW Aruba
AX Aland Islands
AZ Azerbaijan
BA Bosnia and Herzegovina
BB Barbados
BD Bangladesh
BE Belgium
BF Burkina Faso
BG Bulgaria
BH Bahrain
BI Burundi
BJ Benin
BL Saint Barthélemy
BM Bermuda
BN Brunei Darussalam
BO Bolivia, Plurinational State of
BQ Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
BR Brazil
BS Bahamas
BT Bhutan
BV Bouvet Island
BW Botswana
BY Belarus
BZ Belize
CA Canada
CC Cocos (Keeling) Islands
CD Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
CF Central African Republic
CG Congo
CH Switzerland
CI Cote d’Ivoire
CK Cook Islands
CL Chile
CM Cameroon
CN China*
CO Colombia
CR Costa Rica
CU Cuba
CV Cape Verde
CW Curaçao
CX Christmas Island
CY Cyprus
CZ Czech Republic
DE Germany
DJ Djibouti
DK Denmark
DM Dominica
DO Dominican Republic
DZ Algeria
EC Ecuador
EE Estonia
EG Egypt
EH Western Sahara
ER Eritrea
ES Spain
ET Ethiopia
FI Finland
FJ Fiji
FK Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
FO Faroe Islands
FR France
GA Gabon
GB United Kingdom
GB United Kingdom Northern Ireland
GD Grenada
GE Georgia
GF French Guiana
GG Guernsey
GH Ghana
GI Gibraltar
GL Greenland
GM Gambia
GN Guinea
GP Guadeloupe
GQ Equatorial Guinea
GR Greece
GS South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
GT Guatemala
GW Guinea-Bissau
GY Guyana
HK Hong Kong SAR China
HM Heard Island and McDonald Islands
HN Honduras
HR Croatia
HT Haiti
HU Hungary
ID Indonesia
IC Spain Canary Islands
IE Ireland Republic
IL Israel
IM Isle of Man
IN India
IO British Indian Ocean Territory
IQ Iraq
IR Iran, Islamic Republic of
IS Iceland
IT Italy
JE Jersey
JM Jamaica
JO Jordan
JP Japan
KE Kenya
KG Kyrgyzstan
KH Cambodia
KI Kiribati
KM Comoros
KN Saint Kitts and Nevis
KP Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of
KR Korea, Republic of
KW Kuwait
KY Cayman Islands
KZ Kazakhstan
LA Lao People’s Democratic Republic
LB Lebanon
LC Saint Lucia
LI Liechtenstein
LK Sri Lanka
LR Liberia
LS Lesotho
LT Lithuania
LU Luxembourg
LV Latvia
LY Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
MA Morocco
MC Monaco
MD Moldova, Republic of
ME Montenegro
MF Saint Martin (French part)
MG Madagascar
MK Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of
ML Mali
MM Myanmar
MN Mongolia
MO Macau SAR China
MQ Martinique
MR Mauritania
MS Montserrat
MT Malta
MU Mauritius
MV Maldives
MW Malawi
MX Mexico
MY Malaysia
MZ Mozambique
NA Namibia
NC New Caledonia
NE Niger
NF Norfolk Island
NG Nigeria
NI Nicaragua
NL Netherlands
NO Norway
NP Nepal
NR Nauru
NU Niue
NZ New Zealand
OM Oman
PA Panama
PE Peru
PF French Polynesia
PG Papua New Guinea
PH Philippines
PK Pakistan
PL Poland
PM Saint Pierre and Miquelon
PN Pitcairn
PS Palestine
PT Portugal
PY Paraguay
QA Qatar
RE Reunion
RO Romania
RS Serbia
RU Russian Federation
RW Rwanda
SA Saudi Arabia
SB Solomon Islands
SC Seychelles
SD Sudan
SE Sweden
SG Singapore
SH Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
SI Slovenia
SJ Svalbard and Jan Mayen
SK Slovakia
SL Sierra Leone
SM San Marino
SN Senegal
SO Somalia
SR Suriname
SS South Sudan
ST Sao Tome and Principe
SV El Salvador
SX Sint Maarten (Dutch part)
SY Syrian Arab Republic
SZ Swaziland
TC Turks and Caicos Islands
TD Chad
TF French Southern Territories
TG Togo
TH Thailand
TJ Tajikistan
TK Tokelau
TL Timor-Leste
TM Turkmenistan
TN Tunisia
TO Tonga
TR Turkey
TT Trinidad and Tobago
TV Tuvalu
TW Taiwan
TZ Tanzania United Republic of
UA Ukraine
UG Uganda
US United States
UY Uruguay
UZ Uzbekistan
VA Holy See (Vatican City State)
VC Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
VE Venezuela Bolivarian Republic of
VG Virgin Islands, British
VN Vietnam
VU Vanuatu
WF Wallis and Futuna
WS Samoa
YE Yemen
YT Mayotte
ZA South Africa
ZM Zambia
ZW Zimbabwe

Author: Mark

Mark Brooks a forty something individual working and living in and around Edinburgh