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Are you forced to use regular expressions (regex) when optimizing feeds?

Written by Ben Culpin, Posted on August 16, 2018
(Last Updated: April 07, 2020)

regular expression,  or regex, is a sequence of characters, used by string searching algorithms for "find" or "find and replace" operations on strings, or for input validation.

Some feed management tools claim you can transform anything through regex. Yet, as is often the case, regex is so hard to work with for a newcomer and there are many more simple and easy-to-understand techniques you can use instead! 

Take this example:

You wish to change 12.4500 to 12.45

With a tool that wants you to use regex you have to write:

regex 1
and get out 12.45 in the field {1}.

Okay, if this is gibberish to you, don't take it hard, we had to look it up!

At Wakeupdata we use expressions instead. So the above would simply be:

regex 3-001460-edited

That's a bit simpler right? You can actually read and visualize what the expression is doing.


Let's just take another example for the fun of it:

So you have this text:
"Car parts > BMW > 320i > 2013" and you need only the phrase "Car parts"

with a short, efficient and completely incomprehensible regex like this:

regex 2

you get your "Car parts".

In Wakeupdata you need to write a bit more:

regex 4-921114-edited

It may be a bit longer but again it is easy to understand what we are asking for and easy to go back to months later to tweak or update! 

regex is hard

Get in touch with us to hear more about our Expression Engine - and how it can be the easy, intuitive alternative to regex and provide simple optimization solutions to your feed marketing needs. Find out more about WakeupData's Feed Marketing platform

Sign up today! 

Topics:Feature Update

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