SQL Server Reverse String

In this tutorial, we will learn about how we can use the reverse function to reverse string, detecting parindromes, and more.

SQL Server Reverse String

In databases, manipulating, querying, and transforming data is fundamental. SQL Server provides us with many functions to help in these tasks.

Among them is the REVERSE function – a simple yet valuable function that allows us to reverse the characters of a string.

SQL Server Reverse Function

As the name suggests, the REVERSE function returns the reverse of a string value. For instance, if your input is DATABASE, the function will return ESABATAD.

Function Syntax

The following shows the syntax of the reverse() function in SQL Server

  • input_string - The string value we want to reverse.


Example 1 - Basic Usage

Let us start with a basic example




Example 2 - Reversing Data from a Table

Suppose we have a table named Users with a column FirstName:

UserID FirstName
1 Alice
2 Bob
3 Charlie

To reverse the FirstName of each user, we can run a query as:

SELECT UserID, FirstName, REVERSE(FirstName) AS Results
FROM Users;

The resulting table is as shown:

UserID FirstName Results
1 Alice ecilA
2 Bob boB
3 Charlie eilrahC

Example 3 - Detecting Palindromes

A palindrome is a word, phrase, number, or other sequence of characters that reads the same forward and backward (ignoring spaces, punctuation, and capitalization). Using the REVERSE function, we can easily identify palindromic words:

FROM table

Example 4 - Reversing Numbers

While the REVERSE function is primarily used with strings, it can also reverse numbers, but remember, numbers are implicitly converted to strings before reversing.

SELECT REVERSE(12345) AS Result;



Creative Uses

Password Strength

You can introduce an additional layer of complexity in passwords by storing a combination of the original password and its reversed version.

Data Obfuscation:

While it's not a secure encryption method, reversing strings can be one of the multiple steps in obfuscating data.

NOTE: Be cautious when reversing Unicode strings, especially those combining characters, as reversing might lead to unexpected results.


The SQL Server REVERSE function offers a handy way to manipulate string data. While it may seem like a simple tool, it can become an influential asset in your SQL toolkit when combined with other SQL functions and constructs.

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