||SQL is a standard computer language for accessing and manipulating databases.
Managing Data with SQL
The Structured Query Language (SQL) is the standard language for accessing databases such as
SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Sybase, and Access.
Knowledge of SQL is invaluable for anyone wanting to store or retrieve data
from a database.
What is SQL?
- SQL stands for Structured Query Language
- SQL allows you to access a database
- SQL is an ANSI standard computer language
- SQL can execute queries against a database
- SQL can retrieve data from a database
- SQL can insert new records in a database
- SQL can delete records from a database
- SQL can update records in a database
- SQL is easy to learn
SQL is a Standard - BUT....
SQL is an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard computer
language for accessing and manipulating database
systems. SQL statements are used to retrieve and update data in a database. SQL works with database programs like MS Access, DB2, Informix, MS SQL Server,
Oracle, Sybase, etc.
Unfortunately, there are many different versions of the SQL language, but to be in
compliance with the ANSI standard, they must support the same
major keywords in a similar manner (such as SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE, INSERT,
WHERE, and others).
Note: Most of the SQL database programs also have their own
proprietary extensions in addition to the SQL standard!
SQL Database Tables
A database most often contains one or more tables. Each table is identified
by a name (e.g. "Customers" or "Orders"). Tables contain records (rows) with
Below is an example of a table called "Persons":
The table above contains three records (one for each person) and four columns (LastName, FirstName, Address, and City).
With SQL, we can query a database and have a result set returned.
A query like this:
SELECT LastName FROM Persons
Gives a result set like this:
Note: Some database systems require a semicolon at the end of the SQL statement.
We don't use the semicolon in our tutorials.
SQL Data Manipulation Language (DML)
SQL (Structured Query Language) is a syntax for executing queries. But the SQL
language also includes a syntax to update, insert, and delete
These query and update commands together form the Data Manipulation Language (DML)
part of SQL:
- SELECT - extracts data from a database table
- UPDATE - updates data in a database table
- DELETE - deletes data from a database table
- INSERT INTO - inserts new data into a database table
SQL Data Definition Language (DDL)
The Data Definition Language (DDL) part of SQL permits database tables to be
created or deleted. We can also define indexes (keys), specify links between tables,
and impose constraints between database tables.
The most important DDL statements in SQL are:
- CREATE TABLE - creates a new database table
- ALTER TABLE - alters (changes) a database table
- DROP TABLE - deletes a database table
- CREATE INDEX - creates an index (search key)
- DROP INDEX - deletes an index
Study our Complete SQL tutorial
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