Human-readable ranges of integers or dates

This is a real-world problem that I came across the other day. In a reporting scenario, I wanted to output a number of values in an easy, human-readable way for a report. But just making a long, comma-separated string of numbers doesn’t really make it very readable. This is particularly true when there are hundreds of values.

So here’s a powerful pattern to solve that task.

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Splitting a range string into a table

This week’s post is a requirement that I see very regularly as a developer. You get a plaintext string containing one or more ranges. Each range is comma delimited, and the start and end values of the range are separated by a dash. The string could look something like this, for example: 100-120,121-499,510,520,790-999.

Wouldn’t it be practical if we could construct a table value function that returns one row for each range, with columns for the start and end of each range?

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