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What Is SQL?

Reading time 2 min
Published Jan 2, 2016
Updated Oct 3, 2019

SQL, short for Structured Query Language, is a standardized programming language, the primary purpose of which is management of relational databases.

What is SQL best at? The queries. It allows you to create a vast variety of requests for actions with databases. SQL allows you to send, load, modify, create, delete data in databases. Learning SQL is necessary for all database administrators, data analysts, and developers looking to use a wide range of data.

Additionally, SQL has quite a long history, going way back to 1970. Because of this, there are multiple types of SQL by now. However, we will learn the commonly used basic SQL syntax and commands, as supported by the ANSI standard.

What Is SQL: Main Tips

  • SQL is a standardized programming language for writing database queries.
  • The basic SQL syntax and commands comply with the ANSI standard.
  • There are multiple SQL types and some commands only work on certain database systems.

What is possible with SQL?

To give you a better idea on what SQL is capable of, here's a list:

  • Work with a query contrary to DB (database)
  • Bring back data information from a DB
  • Write data records in a DB
  • Edit data records in a DB
  • Remove data records from a DB
  • Produce new DBs
  • Produce tables in a DB
  • Produce a contained procedure in a DB
  • Produce a view in a DB
  • Define a permission in views, procedures and tables

Using SQL on Your Web Site

Is SQL hard to learn? Not really, but you have to have some coding knowledge already. Below is the list of things you need to work with data from a database on your web site:

  • One of the following RDBMS database systems: SQL Server, MySQL, MS Access or other
  • A language for server-side scripting: PHP, ASP
  • HTML & CSS basics

RDBMS

RDBMS (relational database management system) is a software system for SQL and any database system. The information/data records are contained in tables (objects in a database).

What Is SQL: Summary

  • SQL is a query language for managing relational databases.
  • The original SQL syntax and commands are defined by the ANSI standard.
  • Due to multiple SQL types existing, some SQL commands may not work on specific database systems.