SQL Language – Understanding the Comprehensive Background

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In computer science, there are numerous programming languages. But, there is a specific language for getting data stored in databases based on the relational model. In 1970, Edgar Frank Codd created the relational data model by creating a “sub-language” to manage access to data.

The spread of dynamic web pages through the Internet today is mainly because databases handle their content. Database management is a complicated process which SQL language (Structured Query Language) streamlines considerably. As its full name implies, the language makes queries and edits information stored in a certain database management system.

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The Origin of SQL Language

The origins of SQL take us to the 1970s. This refers to the period of creation of the new system R database software in the IBM laboratories. Originally given the name SEQUEL, the language got its name SQL later on. However, people still use the former as an alternate pronunciation.

In 1979, a company Relational Software (today’s Oracle), visualized the commercial potential of SQL. The company launched Oracle V2, its own modified version of the language.

Application of SQL Language

SQL offers great flexibility to the users supporting distributed databases. A distributed database is the one that multiple computer networks can execute simultaneously. Certified by ANSI and ISO, the SQL language has become a standard of a database query. Today, this language is the basis of a wide variety of well-established database applications on the Internet.

It serves both the business purposes and academic needs and works in both individual teams and company servers. With the advancement in the database technology, SQL-based applications have become increasingly affordable for normal users. This is because of introducing various open source SQL database solutions such as MySQL.

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The SQL language quickly became popular. Most popular database managers like Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, MySQL, Firebird, Informix, PostgreSQL, DB2, and others include this language. And, besides database managers, many programming languages base their data access engines on the use of SQL commands. The languages use SQL commands to execute the data movements of applications developed in their environment.

The SQL world is surrounded by many concepts such as insertion, update, query, sub-query, trigger, procedure, and so on. Also, the commands that SQL uses to execute the different actions can range from very simple to complex. SQL uses simple commands to get very general data and complex ones to get fewer general data.

Standards & Adaptation of SQL Language over Time

Over the years, the SQL standard has been updated to adapt to new technologies. For example, in 2005 the SQL standard added the definition of how to import and export XML files. These files became the elements of global use in computing.

However, although there is a standard defined by ANSI, there are particularities among the different database managers in SQL management. For example, The Oracle SQL language is not the same as the Microsoft SQL Server. Normally the differences are minimal, but they exist. Also, different database managers created different adaptations, parallel to the SQL, to develop small programs directly in the database manager. Database managers can create these programs without resorting to an external programming language they use, mainly SQL. For example, SQL Server contains stored procedures and Oracle contains PL/SQL, which is an embedded programming language.

The idea of stored procedure starts from extending an SQL language to create programs destined to execute single commands. Those programs embedded in the database managers incorporate notable differences when comparing those of one database manager with another.

Irrespective of execution environment, SQL standard is essential for a computer application developer to focus on the management computing speciality. Mastering SQL language is very important for performing a programmer’s work.

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