RegEx for not matching items in a quote

So I am trying to figure out a Regular Expression and am having some issues. What I want to find (match) is all of the SQL parameters in a large script file, but NOT match items in single quotes (such as email addresses). For example:

   [UserGuid], [CompanyGuid], [Name], [EmailAddress]
   @UserGuid1, @CompanyGuid, 'Jason', ''

With @UserGuid1 and @CompanyGuid matching, but not @jason matching. I have been using this RegEx:


But it matches the email address, so I tried to do a negative look ahead/behind like this:


but it is matching the '(' in the following example:

INSERT INTO [User] ([UserGuid]) VALUES (@UserGuid1)

Anyone have an idea what I am missing here? Something that can say: "anything that is NOT in a quote set?". Also, it is safe to assume balanced quote sets.

13.10.2009 16:24:41

have you try the following?


basically it makes sure that the captured value preceded by a non-word character, you can add look-ahead too but it's kinda redundant because + is greedy and will match until non-word anyway.

the following will insure that in INSERT INTO [User] ([UserGuid]) VALUES ('@UserGuid1') nothing is matched:

13.10.2009 20:23:11
I don't think that would work, since there is no space before the parameter in the second example text.
Ben Torell 13.10.2009 16:30:55
fixed now (overenginneering begets user frustration, jeff)
SilentGhost 13.10.2009 16:35:09
OK, that seems to work, though it will match items like '@something' that aren't e-mail addresses, but are quoted inputs. Adding the lookahead/behinds for quotes would help, like so: (?<=\W)(?<!')(@\w+)(?!')
Ben Torell 13.10.2009 16:49:56
No, it is necessary. What my regex is saying is that the match must be preceded by any non-word EXCEPT a single quote. This is to prevent something like ('@text') from being matched. If I understood look-behinds a bit better, I could probably condense it further, but specifying that the preceding character not be a quote is definitely necessary.
Ben Torell 13.10.2009 17:11:06
so it must not be preceded by word or a quote in other words, (?<![\w']). Right?
SilentGhost 13.10.2009 17:14:08

(@+[^']+) should help. The [^' ,] will match anything except a single quote, space or comma. You may need to add a few more characters, but that's the general idea.

13.10.2009 16:27:28

Try this:


This specifies that each match must be preceded by a non-word character (except for single quotes), then have an @ sign and a word, and not followed by another single quote.

13.10.2009 17:15:49
yeah, that's exactly what my comment said
SilentGhost 13.10.2009 17:18:11
I'm not about to get into an internet argument, but if you test it, you'll see that I'm right. I'm using this tester:
Ben Torell 13.10.2009 17:23:36
I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm saying that effectively the same thing was posted in the comment before your answer. Additionally, OP writes that it is safe to assume balanced quote sets, so the look-ahead check is again redundant.
SilentGhost 13.10.2009 17:28:05
Oh, gotcha. I didn't see your last comment because it was the sixth one and was hidden, and I went ahead and looked it up. No worries :-) Good point, though, on the look-ahead.
Ben Torell 13.10.2009 17:31:29