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UTF8 String User-Defined Data Type (UDT)

The UTF8String sample for SQL Server demonstrates the implementation of a user-defined data type. This sample shows the implementation of a UTF8 user-defined data type that extends the type system of the database to provide storage for UTF8-encoded values. This type also implements code to convert Unicode strings to and from UTF8.

To create and run this project the following the following software must be installed:

  • SQL Server or SQL Server Express. You can obtain SQL Server Express free of charge from the SQL Server Express Documentation and Samples Web site

  • The AdventureWorks database that is available at the SQL Server Developer Web site

  • .NET Framework SDK 2.0 or later or Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or later. You can obtain .NET Framework SDK free of charge.

  • In addition, the following conditions must be met:

  • The SQL Server instance you are using must have CLR integration enabled.

  • In order to enable CLR integration, perform the following steps:

    Enabling CLR Integration

    • Execute the following Transact-SQL commands:

    sp_configure 'clr enabled', 1

    GO

    RECONFIGURE

    GO

    Note Note

    To enable CLR, you must have ALTER SETTINGS server level permission, which is implicitly held by members of the sysadmin and serveradmin fixed server roles.

  • The AdventureWorks database must be installed on the SQL Server instance you are using.

  • If you are not an administrator for the SQL Server instance you are using, you must have an administrator grant you CreateAssembly permission to complete the installation.

Create and run the sample by using the following instructions:

  1. Open a Visual Studio or .NET Framework command prompt.

  2. If necessary, create a directory for your sample. For this example, we will use C:\MySample.

  3. In c:\MySample, create Utf8String.vb (for the Visual Basic sample) or Utf8String.cs (for the C# sample) and copy the appropriate Visual Basic or C# sample code (below) into the file.

  4. Compile the sample code from the command line prompt by executing one of the following, depending on your choice of language.

  5. Vbc /reference:C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\System.Data.dll,C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\System.dll,C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\System.Xml.dll /target:library Utf8String.vb

  6. Csc /reference:C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\System.Data.dll /reference:C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\System.dll /reference:C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\System.XML.dll /target:library Utf8String.cs

  7. Copy the Transact-SQL installation code into a file and save it as Install.sql in the sample directory.

  8. If the sample is installed in a directory other then C:\MySample\, edit the file Install.sql as indicated to point to that location.

  9. Deploy the assembly and stored procedure by executing

    • sqlcmd -E -I -i install.sql

  10. Copy Transact-SQL test command script into a file and save it as test.sql in the sample directory.

  11. Execute the test script with the following command

    • sqlcmd -E -I -i test.sql

  12. Copy the Transact-SQL cleanup script into a file and save it as cleanup.sql in the sample directory.

  13. Execute the script with the following command

    • sqlcmd -E -I -i cleanup.sql

The following are the code listings for this sample.

C#

using System;
using System.Xml;
using System.Data.Sql;
using System.Data.SqlTypes;
using System.Globalization;
using Microsoft.SqlServer.Server;
using System.Runtime.CompilerServices;
using System.Reflection;

    [Serializable]
    [Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SqlUserDefinedType(Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.Format.UserDefined, IsByteOrdered = true, MaxByteSize = 8000)]
    public class Utf8String : INullable, IComparable, Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.IBinarySerialize
    {
        #region conversion to/from Unicode strings
        /// <summary>
        /// Parse the given string and return a utf8 representation for it.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="sqlString"></param>
        /// <returns></returns>
        public static Utf8String Parse(SqlString sqlString)
        {
            if (sqlString.IsNull)
                return Utf8String.Null;

            return new Utf8String(sqlString.Value);
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Get/Set the utf8 bytes for this string.
        /// </summary>
        public SqlBinary Utf8Bytes
        {
            get
            {
                if (this.IsNull)
                    return SqlBinary.Null;

                if (this.m_Bytes != null)
                    return this.m_Bytes;

                if (this.m_String != null)
                {
                    this.m_Bytes = System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(this.m_String);
                    return new SqlBinary(this.m_Bytes);
                }

                throw new NotSupportedException("cannot return bytes for empty instance");
            }
            set
            {
                if (value.IsNull)
                {
                    this.m_Bytes = null;
                    this.m_String = null;
                }
                else
                {
                    this.m_Bytes = value.Value;
                    this.m_String = null;
                }
            }
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Return a unicode string for this type.
        /// </summary>
        [Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SqlMethod(IsDeterministic = true, IsPrecise = true, DataAccess = Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.DataAccessKind.None, SystemDataAccess = Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SystemDataAccessKind.None)]
        public override string ToString()
        {
            if (this.IsNull)
                return null;

            if (this.m_String != null)
                return this.m_String;

            if (this.m_Bytes != null)
            {
                this.m_String = System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetString(this.m_Bytes);
                return this.m_String;
            }

            throw new NotSupportedException("don't know how to return string from empty instance");
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Return a SqlStr
        /// </summary>
        public SqlString ToSqlString()
        {
            if (this.IsNull)
                return SqlString.Null;

            return new SqlString(this.ToString());
        }


        private SqlString GetSortKeyUsingCultureInternal(CultureInfo culture, bool ignoreCase,
            bool ignoreNonSpace, bool ignoreWidth)
        {
            if (this.IsNull)
                return SqlString.Null;
            
            SqlCompareOptions compareOptions = SqlCompareOptions.None;
            if (ignoreCase) 
                compareOptions = compareOptions | SqlCompareOptions.IgnoreCase;

            if (ignoreNonSpace) 
                compareOptions = compareOptions | SqlCompareOptions.IgnoreNonSpace;

            if (ignoreWidth) 
                compareOptions = compareOptions | SqlCompareOptions.IgnoreWidth;

            return new SqlString(this.ToString(), culture.LCID, compareOptions);
        }

        [Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SqlMethod(IsDeterministic = true, IsPrecise = true)]
        public SqlString GetSortKeyUsingCulture(string cultureName, bool ignoreCase,
            bool ignoreNonSpace, bool ignoreWidth)
        {
            CultureInfo culture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture(cultureName);
            if (culture == null)
                throw new ArgumentException(string.Format(
                    CultureInfo.InvariantCulture,
                    "Culture {0} not recognized.", cultureName));

            return this.GetSortKeyUsingCultureInternal(culture, ignoreCase, 
                ignoreNonSpace, ignoreWidth);
        }

        [Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SqlMethod(IsDeterministic = false)]
        public SqlString GetSortKey(bool ignoreCase, bool ignoreNonSpace, bool ignoreWidth)
        {
            return this.GetSortKeyUsingCultureInternal(CultureInfo.CurrentCulture,
                ignoreCase, ignoreNonSpace, ignoreWidth);
        }

        #endregion

        #region comparison operators
        public override bool Equals(object obj)
        {
            return this.CompareTo(obj) == 0;
        }

        public static bool operator ==(Utf8String utf8String, Utf8String other)
        {
            if (utf8String.IsNull) throw new ArgumentException(string.Empty);
            return utf8String.Equals(other);
        }

        public static bool operator !=(Utf8String utf8String, Utf8String other)
        {
            return !(utf8String == other);
        }

        public static bool operator <(Utf8String utf8String, Utf8String other)
        {
            if (utf8String == null) throw new ArgumentException(string.Empty);
            return (utf8String.CompareTo(other) < 0);
        }

        public static bool operator >(Utf8String utf8String, Utf8String other)
        {
            if (utf8String == null) throw new ArgumentException(string.Empty);
            return (utf8String.CompareTo(other) > 0);
        }  

        private int CompareUsingCultureInternal(Utf8String other, CultureInfo culture, bool ignoreCase,
            bool ignoreNonSpace, bool ignoreWidth)
        {
            // By definition
            if (other == null) 
                return 1;

            if (this.IsNull)
                if (other.IsNull)
                    return 0;
                else
                    return -1;

            if (other.IsNull) 
                return 1;

            return this.GetSortKeyUsingCultureInternal(culture, ignoreCase, ignoreNonSpace,
                ignoreWidth).CompareTo(other.GetSortKeyUsingCultureInternal(culture, ignoreCase,
                ignoreNonSpace, ignoreWidth));
        }

        public int CompareUsingCulture(Utf8String other, string cultureName, bool ignoreCase,
            bool ignoreNonSpace, bool ignoreWidth)
        {
            CultureInfo culture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture(cultureName);
            if (culture == null)
                throw new ArgumentException(string.Format(
                    CultureInfo.InvariantCulture, 
                    "Culture {0} not recognized.", cultureName));

            return this.CompareUsingCultureInternal(other, culture, ignoreCase,
                ignoreNonSpace, ignoreWidth);
        }

        public int Compare(Utf8String other, bool ignoreCase,
            bool ignoreNonSpace, bool ignoreWidth)
        {
            return this.CompareUsingCultureInternal(other, CultureInfo.CurrentCulture, ignoreCase,
                ignoreNonSpace, ignoreWidth);
        }

        public override int GetHashCode()
        {
            if (this.IsNull)
                return 0;

            return this.ToString().GetHashCode();
        }

        public int CompareTo(object obj)
        {
            if (obj == null)
                return 1; //by definition

            Utf8String s = obj as Utf8String;

            if (s == null)
                throw new ArgumentException("the argument to compare is not a Utf8String");

            if (this.IsNull)
            {
                if (s.IsNull)
                    return 0;

                return -1;
            }

            if (s.IsNull)
                return 1;

            return this.ToString().CompareTo(s.ToString());
        }

        #endregion

        #region private state and constructors
        private string m_String;

        private byte[] m_Bytes;

        public Utf8String(string value)
        {
            this.m_String = value;
        }

        public Utf8String(byte[] bytes)
        {
            this.m_Bytes = bytes;
        }
        #endregion

        #region UserDefinedType boilerplate code

        public bool IsNull
        {
            get
            {
                return this.m_String == null && this.m_Bytes == null;
            }
        }

        public static Utf8String Null
        {
            get
            {
                Utf8String str = new Utf8String((string)null);

                return str;
            }
        }

        public Utf8String()
        {
        }
        #endregion

        #region IBinarySerialize Members
        public void Write(System.IO.BinaryWriter w)
        {
            if (w == null) throw new ArgumentException(string.Empty);
            byte header = (byte)(this.IsNull ? 1 : 0);

            w.Write(header);
            if (header == 1)
                return;

            byte[] bytes = this.Utf8Bytes.Value;

            w.Write(bytes.Length);
            w.Write(bytes);
        }

        public void Read(System.IO.BinaryReader r)
        {
            if (r == null) throw new ArgumentException(string.Empty);
            byte header = r.ReadByte();

            if ((header & 1) > 0)
            {
                this.m_Bytes = null;
                return;
            }

            int length = r.ReadInt32();

            this.m_Bytes = r.ReadBytes(length);
        }
        #endregion
    }

Visual Basic

Imports Microsoft.SqlServer.Server
Imports Microsoft.VisualBasic
Imports System
Imports System.Collections
Imports System.Data
Imports System.Data.SqlTypes
Imports System.Diagnostics
Imports System.Globalization
<Serializable(), Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SqlUserDefinedType(Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.Format.UserDefined, IsByteOrdered:=True, MaxByteSize:=8000), CLSCompliant(False)> _
Public Class Utf8String
    Implements INullable, IComparable, Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.IBinarySerialize
#Region "Conversion to/from Unicode strings"
    ''' <summary>
    ''' Parse the given string and return a utf8 representation for it.
    ''' </summary>
    ''' <param name="sqlString"></param>
    ''' <returns></returns>
    Public Shared Function Parse(ByVal sqlString As SqlString) As Utf8String
        If sqlString.IsNull Then
            Return Utf8String.Null
        End If

        Return New Utf8String(sqlString.Value)
    End Function

    ''' <summary>
    ''' Get/Set the utf8 bytes for this string.
    ''' </summary>
    Public Property Utf8Bytes() As SqlBinary
        Get
            If Me.IsNull Then
                Return SqlBinary.Null
            End If

            If Not (Me.privBytes Is Nothing) Then
                Return Me.privBytes
            End If

            If Not (Me.privString Is Nothing) Then
                Me.privBytes = System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(Me.privString)
                Return New SqlBinary(Me.privBytes)
            End If

            Throw New NotSupportedException("Cannot return bytes for empty instance")
        End Get
        Set(ByVal value As SqlBinary)
            If value.IsNull Then
                Me.privBytes = Nothing
                Me.privString = Nothing
            Else
                Me.privBytes = value.Value
                Me.privString = Nothing
            End If
        End Set
    End Property

    ''' <summary>
    ''' Return a unicode string for this type.
    ''' </summary>
    <Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SqlMethod(IsDeterministic:=True, IsPrecise:=True, DataAccess:=Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.DataAccessKind.None, SystemDataAccess:=Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SystemDataAccessKind.None)> _
    Public Overrides Function ToString() As String
        If Me.IsNull Then
            Return Nothing
        End If

        If Not (Me.privString Is Nothing) Then
            Return Me.privString
        End If

        If Not (Me.privBytes Is Nothing) Then
            Me.privString = System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetString(Me.privBytes)
            Return Me.privString
        End If

        Throw New NotSupportedException("dont know how to return string from empty instance")
    End Function

    ''' <summary>
    ''' Return a SqlStr
    ''' </summary>
    Public Function ToSqlString() As SqlString
        If Me.IsNull Then
            Return SqlString.Null
        End If

        Return New SqlString(Me.ToString())
    End Function

    Private Function GetSortKeyUsingCultureInternal(ByVal culture As CultureInfo, ByVal ignoreCase As Boolean, _
    ByVal ignoreNonSpace As Boolean, ByVal ignoreWidth As Boolean) As SqlString
        If Me.IsNull Then
            Return SqlString.Null
        End If
        Dim compareOptions As SqlCompareOptions = SqlCompareOptions.None
        If ignoreCase Then
            compareOptions = compareOptions Or SqlCompareOptions.IgnoreCase
        End If
        If ignoreNonSpace Then
            compareOptions = compareOptions Or SqlCompareOptions.IgnoreNonSpace
        End If
        If ignoreWidth Then
            compareOptions = compareOptions Or SqlCompareOptions.IgnoreWidth
        End If
        Return New SqlString(Me.ToString(), culture.LCID, compareOptions)
    End Function

    <Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SqlMethod(IsDeterministic:=True, IsPrecise:=True)> _
    Public Function GetSortKeyUsingCulture(ByVal cultureName As String, ByVal ignoreCase As Boolean, _
    ByVal ignoreNonSpace As Boolean, ByVal ignoreWidth As Boolean) As SqlString
        Dim culture As CultureInfo = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture(cultureName)
        If culture Is Nothing Then
            Throw New ArgumentException(String.Format(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture, _
            "Culture {0} not recognized.", cultureName))
        End If

        Return Me.GetSortKeyUsingCultureInternal(culture, ignoreCase, ignoreNonSpace, ignoreWidth)
    End Function

    <Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SqlMethod(IsDeterministic:=True, IsPrecise:=True)> _
    Public Function GetSortKey(ByVal ignoreCase As Boolean, ByVal ignoreNonSpace As Boolean, _
    ByVal ignoreWidth As Boolean) As SqlString
        Return Me.GetSortKeyUsingCultureInternal(CultureInfo.CurrentCulture, ignoreCase, ignoreNonSpace, ignoreWidth)
    End Function

#End Region

#Region "Comparison operators"
    Public Overrides Function Equals(ByVal obj As Object) As Boolean
        Return Me.CompareTo(obj) = 0
    End Function

    Public Shared Operator =(ByVal utf8StringValue As Utf8String, ByVal other As Utf8String) As Boolean
        If utf8StringValue Is Nothing Then
            Throw New ArgumentException(String.Empty)
        End If
        Return utf8StringValue.Equals(other)
    End Operator

    Public Shared Operator <>(ByVal utf8StringValue As Utf8String, ByVal other As Utf8String) As Boolean
        Return Not (utf8StringValue = other)
    End Operator

    Public Shared Operator <(ByVal utf8StringValue As Utf8String, ByVal other As Utf8String) As Boolean
        If utf8StringValue Is Nothing Then
            Throw New ArgumentException(String.Empty)
        End If
        Return (utf8StringValue.CompareTo(other) < 0)
    End Operator

    Public Shared Operator >(ByVal utf8StringValue As Utf8String, ByVal other As Utf8String) As Boolean
        If utf8StringValue Is Nothing Then
            Throw New ArgumentException(String.Empty)
        End If
        Return (utf8StringValue.CompareTo(other) > 0)
    End Operator

    Private Function CompareUsingCultureInternal(ByVal other As Utf8String, ByVal culture As CultureInfo, _
        ByVal ignoreCase As Boolean, ByVal ignoreNonSpace As Boolean, _
        ByVal ignoreWidth As Boolean) As Integer
        'By definition
        If other Is Nothing Then
            Return 1
        End If

        If Me.IsNull Then
            If other.IsNull Then
                Return 0
            Else
                Return -1
            End If
        End If

        If other.IsNull Then
            Return 1
        End If

        Return Me.GetSortKeyUsingCultureInternal(culture, ignoreCase, ignoreNonSpace, _
        ignoreWidth).CompareTo(other.GetSortKeyUsingCultureInternal(culture, ignoreCase, _
        ignoreNonSpace, ignoreWidth))
    End Function

    Public Function CompareUsingCulture(ByVal other As Utf8String, ByVal cultureName As String, _
        ByVal ignoreCase As Boolean, ByVal ignoreNonSpace As Boolean, _
        ByVal ignoreWidth As Boolean) As Integer
        Dim culture As CultureInfo = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture(cultureName)
        If culture Is Nothing Then
            Throw New ArgumentException(String.Format(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture, _
            "Culture {0} not recognized.", cultureName))
        End If

        Return Me.CompareUsingCultureInternal(other, culture, ignoreCase, _
        ignoreNonSpace, ignoreWidth)
    End Function

    Public Function Compare(ByVal other As Utf8String, ByVal ignoreCase As Boolean, ByVal ignoreNonSpace As Boolean, _
        ByVal ignoreWidth As Boolean) As Integer
        Return Me.CompareUsingCultureInternal(other, CultureInfo.CurrentCulture, ignoreCase, _
        ignoreNonSpace, ignoreWidth)
    End Function

    Public Overrides Function GetHashCode() As Integer
        If Me.IsNull Then
            Return 0
        End If

        Return Me.ToString().GetHashCode()
    End Function

    Public Function CompareTo(ByVal obj As Object) As Integer Implements IComparable.CompareTo
        If obj Is Nothing Then
            Return 1 'by definition
        End If

        Dim s As Utf8String = CType(obj, Utf8String)

        If s Is Nothing Then
            Throw New ArgumentException("the argument to compare is not a Utf8String")
        End If

        If Me.IsNull Then
            If s.IsNull Then
                Return 0
            End If
            Return -1
        End If

        If s.IsNull Then
            Return 1
        End If

        Return Me.ToString().CompareTo(s.ToString())
    End Function
#End Region

#Region "Private state and constructors"
    Private privString As String
    Private privBytes() As Byte

    Public Sub New(ByVal value As String)
        Me.privString = value
        'Me.privBytes = Nothing
    End Sub

    Public Sub New(ByVal bytes() As Byte)
        Me.privBytes = bytes
        'Me.privString = Nothing
    End Sub
#End Region

#Region "UserDefinedType boilerplate code"
    Public ReadOnly Property IsNull() As Boolean Implements INullable.IsNull
        Get
            Return Me.privString Is Nothing AndAlso Me.privBytes Is Nothing
        End Get
    End Property

    Public Shared ReadOnly Property Null() As Utf8String
        Get
            Dim str As New Utf8String(CStr(Nothing))

            Return str
        End Get
    End Property

    Public Sub New()
    End Sub
#End Region

#Region "IBinarySerialize Members"
    Public Sub Write(ByVal w As System.IO.BinaryWriter) Implements Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.IBinarySerialize.Write
        If w Is Nothing Then
            Throw New ArgumentException(String.Empty)
        End If
        Dim header As Byte
        If (Me.IsNull) Then
            header = 1
        Else
            header = 0
        End If

        w.Write(header)

        If header = 1 Then
            Return
        End If

        Dim bytes As Byte() = Me.Utf8Bytes.Value

        w.Write(bytes.Length)
        w.Write(bytes)
    End Sub

    Public Sub Read(ByVal r As System.IO.BinaryReader) Implements Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.IBinarySerialize.Read
        If r Is Nothing Then
            Throw New ArgumentException(String.Empty)
        End If
        Dim header As Byte = r.ReadByte()

        If (header And 1) > 0 Then
            Me.privBytes = Nothing
            Return
        End If

        Dim length As Integer = r.ReadInt32()

        Me.privBytes = r.ReadBytes(length)
    End Sub
#End Region
End Class

This is the Transact-SQL installation script (Install.sql), which deploys the assembly and creates the UDT in the database.

USE AdventureWorks;
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.objects WHERE ([name] = N'ResumeFullName') AND ([type] = 'FN'))
DROP FUNCTION [dbo].[ResumeFullName];
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.indexes WHERE NAME = N'IX_utf8test_ustr')
DROP INDEX utf8test.IX_utf8test_ustr;
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.tables WHERE name = N'utf8test') 
DROP TABLE [dbo].[utf8test];
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.tables WHERE name = N'ResumeNames') 
DROP TABLE [dbo].[ResumeNames];
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.types WHERE name = N'Utf8String') 
DROP TYPE [Utf8String];
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.assemblies WHERE name = N'UTF8String') 
DROP ASSEMBLY UTF8String;
GO

DECLARE @SamplesPath nvarchar(1024)
-- You may need to modify the value of the this variable if you have installed 
-- the sample someplace other than the default location.
set @SamplesPath= N'C:\MySample\'

CREATE ASSEMBLY UTF8String 
FROM @SamplesPath +'UTF8String.dll';
GO

CREATE TYPE [Utf8String] 
EXTERNAL NAME [UTF8String].[Utf8String];
GO

This is test.sql, which tests the sample by exercising the type.

USE AdventureWorks;
GO

-- simple usage of the type in variables and select statements
-- convert to string, binary, do a substring on it, get the utf8bytes
DECLARE @u Utf8String;
SET @u = CONVERT(Utf8String, 'hello world');
SELECT @u.ToString(), 
    CONVERT(varbinary(8000), @u),
    SUBSTRING(@u.ToString(), 1, 5),
    @u.Utf8Bytes;
GO

-- create a table with this type
CREATE TABLE utf8test(u Utf8String);
GO

-- populate it with some random data
SET NOCOUNT ON;
BEGIN TRAN;
DECLARE @index int, @str nvarchar(4000);
SET @index = 0;
WHILE @index < 1000
BEGIN
    SET @str = CONVERT(nvarchar(100), @index);
    INSERT INTO utf8test VALUES(CONVERT(Utf8String, @str))
    SET @index = @index + 1;
END
COMMIT TRAN;
GO

-- Find a particular UTF8 string

DECLARE @i int;
SELECT @i = COUNT(*) from utf8test 
WHERE u = CONVERT(Utf8String, '100');
SELECT @i;
go

-- Find UTF8 strings with a particular substring
DECLARE @i int;
SELECT @i = COUNT(*) from utf8test 
WHERE SUBSTRING(u.ToString(), 1, 1) = '1';
SELECT @i;
GO


-- Add a computed column over the ToString method
ALTER TABLE utf8test ADD ustr AS u.ToString() PERSISTED;
GO

-- Create an index over the computed column
CREATE INDEX IX_utf8test_ustr ON utf8test(ustr);
GO

-- Binary comparisons on Utf8Strings are not effective.  Even if we use the ToString method
-- to convert it to a string, we may want to have more control over whether case, width, or
-- attributes are relevant to the comparison.  This portion of the test creates a table of 
-- localized data pulled from the resumes stored in the AdventureWorks database,
-- and then demonstrates comparsions and sorting based on the CompareUsingCulture 
-- and GetSortKeyUsingCulture methods defined on Utf8String.


IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.objects WHERE ([name] = N'ResumeFullName') AND ([type] = 'FN'))
DROP FUNCTION [dbo].[ResumeFullName];
GO

-- Returns the complete name of the applicant from her resume.  
-- We don't just use data(/RES:Resume[1]/RES:Name) because we need spaces
-- between each part of the name.
CREATE FUNCTION ResumeFullName (@Resume xml)
RETURNS nvarchar(100)
AS
BEGIN
    RETURN CONVERT(nvarchar(100), @Resume.query(N'declare namespace RES="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2004/07/adventure-works/Resume"; for $b in /RES:Resume[1]/RES:Name/* return data($b)'));
END
GO

SELECT Cast(RTRIM(LTRIM(dbo.ResumeFullName(Resume))) as Utf8String) AS FullName 
INTO ResumeNames FROM HumanResources.JobCandidate;
GO

SELECT FullName.ToString() FROM ResumeNames;

DECLARE @Shai Utf8String;
SET @Shai = N'Shai  Bassli';
SELECT FullName.ToString() FROM ResumeNames 
WHERE FullName.CompareUsingCulture(@Shai, 'en-us', 1, 0, 0) = 0;
GO

ALTER TABLE ResumeNames ADD SortKey AS FullName.GetSortKeyUsingCulture('en-us', 1, 0, 0) PERSISTED;
GO

CREATE INDEX IX_ResumeNames_SortKey ON ResumeNames(SortKey);
GO

SELECT FullName.ToString() 
FROM ResumeNames
ORDER BY SortKey;

The following Transact-SQL removes the assembly and type from the database.

USE AdventureWorks;
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.objects WHERE ([name] = N'ResumeFullName') AND ([type] = 'FN'))
DROP FUNCTION [dbo].[ResumeFullName];
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.indexes WHERE NAME = N'IX_utf8test_ustr')
DROP INDEX utf8test.IX_utf8test_ustr;
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.tables WHERE name = N'utf8test') 
DROP TABLE [dbo].[utf8test];
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.tables WHERE name = N'ResumeNames') 
DROP TABLE [dbo].[ResumeNames];
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.types WHERE name = N'Utf8String') 
DROP TYPE [Utf8String];
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.assemblies WHERE name = N'UTF8String') 
DROP ASSEMBLY UTF8String;
GO

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