What is SQL ? | SQL Beginner’s Guide

Welcome to the SQL Beginner’s Guide series . In this series we will learn , What is SQL ? What is SQL used for and SQL database management. The objective is to give SQL training to beginners and apply DBMS Concepts we learned in our DBMS Concepts series and code them into an actual database and do practical work .  If you haven’t yet study the series . You need to check the articles first. We really enjoyed composing the articles and had a pretty good feedback from our readers. Here’s the link

  1. DBMS Concepts With Explanations. 

Now that’s out of the way , Time to focus on the current article.

What is SQL ?

SQL Full form is Structured Query Language and it is use for accessing and manipulating databases

Definitions can be so vague sometimes . Brilliant minds can get hold of concepts and understands them just by reading them . People like me , they need to have analogies and explanations to understand such terms. If you’re like me  , let’s go through some explanations and analogies.

In an article on DBMS Relationship & Role of Keys in DBMS  we talked about how real-life scenario is mapped in a database and how everything interacts with each other in pretty much the same way we Humans do between ourselves. Terminologies used in DBMS and real-world are not so different. Same is the case with SQL .

Why Use Standard?

SQL is the basic and the standard Structured Query Language defined by American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  ANSI has defined standard and rules as how database management system will be manipulated and used across the world. This is necessary to have a standard , or else we will end up with a messed up structure and unable to use globally.

What is Query in Database?

Query in database is an inquiry for information from one or more tables according to your specific requirement.

So What’s the Language?

I don’t think I need to explain meaning of Language to you . It’s just as you need to speak English to your American colleagues to interact with them . Because , this is the common language you both know.

This is the first language that was proposed to take care of Dr. Codd’s relational database model which actually took care of implementing it . Now you can find many extended versions of it.  Some major questions around it are

  1. What is MS-SQL ?
  2. What is MySQL , P-SQL etc etc.

I totally get it , this can be confusing but after reading this article . You will be clear about it. See MS-SQL , My-SQL  etc are all extended versions of SQL developed by different SQL software developers such as Microsoft , Oracle and some other players in the market. They have different ways of handling data and some have more functions than others .

One thing however is common , whenever you will try to learn the scripting in any of the above versions of SQL , they will always tell you that this function is Standard and this function is specific to MS-SQL or MySQL.

Golden Tip: Try to Learn SQL instead of it’s different versions . It is a bit difficult but no matter what which version you have to use , Code Written in SQL will run on all it’s SQL versions i.e. MySQL , MSSQL etc.

Basic SQL Queries & Commands

Following are the SQL queries and Commands and the things that SQL can do

  1. SELECT – extracts data from a database
  2. UPDATE – updates data in a database
  3. DELETE – deletes data from a database
  4. INSERT INTO – inserts new data into a database
  5. CREATE DATABASE – creates a new database
  6. ALTER DATABASE – modifies a database
  7. CREATE TABLE – creates a new table
  8. ALTER TABLE – modifies a table
  9. DROP TABLE – deletes a table

There are also others but they will be explained in future. For this article , these are enough.

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Happy Learning!

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Author: Awais

Professional Data Analyst and Business Intelligence Developer with experience of delivering industrial projects for Supply Chain and Insurance Industry . Sharing all my experience and insights in databases and data warehousing and open to learn from fellows ! Happy Reading and Learning!

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