What is Structured Query Language (SQL)?

By on

SQLSQL or Structured Query Language, is a programming nomenclature used to do set operations (like union, intersect, and minus) to organize and retrieve relational databases, an object based on “set theory and relational algebra.” In any system that uses SQL, “data elements or attributes, categorized into columns, are related into tuples (rows). Sets of relations with identical structure form tables.” These elements, correlated rows, columns and tables form the basis for a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS).

SQL’s power comes from its conformity. According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), SQL is a data sub-language widely used to access relational databases. This means knowing and using SQL from RDBMS will be generalizable to another RDBMS, resulting in efficient querying and reporting. Also, SQL can be picked up easily through accessible training and resources.

Other Definitions of SQL Include:

  • A “relational data language that provides a consistent, English keyword-oriented set of facilities for query, data definition, data manipulation, and data control.”  (Gartner)
  • “The standard language for RDMS for the last 40 years. (Beth Narrish and Dan Hilton)
  • “A standard interface for RDBMS.” (Andrew Pavlo and Matthew Aslett)
  • “Language used to manage and administer the database server.” (Database Journal)
  • “Most common language for querying and manipulating data.” (Angela Zhang, Forbes)
  • “A query language designed for organizing, managing developing and querying large relational databases over computer networks.” (IBM)
  • “A specialized language for updating, deleting and requesting information from databases.” (Indiana University)

Businesses Use SQL to:

  • Access and manipulate information.
  • Generate reports to aid decision making process.
  • Make it easier to import and export data to/from different systems.
  • To facilitate finding and supporting roles using Data Analysis.
  • Provide strict ACID constraints to data assets.

 

Photo Credit: chrupka /Shutterstock.com

We use technologies such as cookies to understand how you use our site and to provide a better user experience. This includes personalizing content, using analytics and improving site operations. We may share your information about your use of our site with third parties in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You can change your cookie settings as described here at any time, but parts of our site may not function correctly without them. By continuing to use our site, you agree that we can save cookies on your device, unless you have disabled cookies.
I Accept