SQL stands for Structured Query Language, and is the programming language implemented by a database management system (DBMS) used for managing and querying data held in a relational database.
SQL has been an ANSI standard since 1986 and each different DBMS has its own implementation of this standard. These different implementations have varying adherence to the standard, so in practice SQL code of any complexity is not typically transferrable between different DBMS systems without some modification. However, because of the standard, skills learned in one DBMS system are largely applicable to another.
Types of Statements
SQL statements can be broadly grouped into four different classes, or sub-languages:
Data Query Language (DQL): Includes commands for performing queries on data within schema objects, retrieving some schema relation based on the query passed to it. Examples include:
SELECTretrieves data from the database.
Data Definition Language (DDL): Includes commands used to define the database schema. These commands are used to create and modify the structure of database objects. Examples include:
CREATEcreates an object in the database.
DROPdeletes an object from the database.
ALTERchanges the definition of an existing object in the database.
Data Manipulation Language (DML): Includes commands used to modify the data stored in the database. Examples include:
INSERTinserts new data into a database table.
UPDATEalters data in a database table.
DELETEremoves data from a database table.
Data Control Language (DCL): Includes commands dealing with the controls and properties of the DBMS, such as rights and permissions to database objects. Examples include:
GRANTgrants a user permissions on a database object.
REVOKEremoves a user’s permissions on a database object.
Examples of SQL code
Selecting first and last name from a table of users:
Delete records from a transaction table with a particular field value:
Create a table with three fields:
- SQL Server