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Importing records from a text file and matching (maybe) misspelled names?


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Okay, here's my scoop.  I'm importing updates from a text file into an existing database.

The text file has work assignments for a given period (say month).  I have a text parsing script that breaks down the critical info into separate fields (jobname, jobstart, joblocation, etc).

So far, so good.

I have a related table with worker names. The goal is to be able to both assign jobs to people and to summarize the jobs already assigned to people.

My problem is that the text file isn't always consistent. Sometimes Smith, Joe. Sometimes Smith, Joseph. Even Smith, Joseph P - you get it.

I have a custom function that pulls out First, Last, Middle, etc.

I'm just trying to figure out how to do the 'fuzzy' matching.  

I'm sure there's a best practice here, I just can't think through it.

Any help would be appreciated.

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