A meta post gives a nice snippet of SQL

declare @search nvarchar(max) = ##searchfor:string?carefully %listen##
select id [Post Link]
     , score
     , creationdate
     , lastactivitydate
     , closeddate 
     , owneruserid as [User Link]
from posts
where body like concat('%', @search, '%') collate SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AI
or title like concat('%', @search, '%') collate SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AI

What does double number sign ## mean in there?

I guess that is some kind of string syntax, but I cannot even guess a keyword for that. googling "number sign ## in SQL" returns "prefix temporary tables", which is not the case.


1 Answer 1


## surrounds a query parameter in the Stack Exchange Data Explorer (SEDE).

The portion after the ? is the displayed default parameter value.

From the SEDE Tutorial written by Monica Cellio:

Note: the particular syntax used for parameters is specific to SEDE. Everything we've said so far about SQL is true for all flavors of SQL; this is different.

As shown in this query, you refer to a parameter by surrounding its name with doubled pound signs, such as ##MinScore##. Optionally you can specify the data type (int (a whole number), float (a number with a decimal value, like 2.5), or string): ##MinScore:int##. If you specify a type then SEDE will validate values against that type, so that if you're expecting a number for score and somebody types "unicorn" the query won't run. If you don't specify a type, your query may receive unexpected inputs.

## has no meaning in standard SQL. Though not the case here, it is used in Transact-SQL as a prefix to identify a global temporary object:

Rules for regular identifiers

An identifier that starts with a number sign denotes a temporary table or procedure. An identifier that starts with double number signs (##) denotes a global temporary object. Although the number sign or double number sign characters can be used to begin the names of other types of objects, we do not recommend this practice.

  • It might be worth noting that you would use a global temporary table in SQL Server when you need to create a temporary table that must be accessed by multiple different sessions, but a permanent table is not ideal.
    – Paul
    Mar 6, 2020 at 17:08

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