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SQL (Structured Query Language)

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The spread of dynamic websites on the World Wide Web today is largely due to the possibility for their content to be handled through databases. Database management is a complicated process, which has been considerably rationalized by the SQL programming language. As its full name (Structured Query Language) implies, SQL is responsible for querying and editing information stored in a certain database management system.

Table of contents :

SQL History

The origins of the SQL take us back to the 1970s, when in the IBM laboratories, new database software was created - System R. And to manage the data stored in System R, the SQL language was created. At first it was called SEQUEL, a name which is still used as an alternative pronunciation for SQL, but was later renamed to just SQL.

In 1979, a company called Relational Software, which later became Oracle, saw the commercial potential of SQL and released its own modified version, named Oracle V2.

Now into its third decade of existence, SQL offers great flexibility to users by supporting distributed databases, i.e. databases that can be run on several computer networks at a time. Certified by ANSI and ISO, SQL has become a database query language standard, lying in the basis of a variety of well established database applications on the Internet today. It serves both industry-level and academic needs and is used on both individual computers and corporate servers. With the progress in database technology SQL-based applications have become increasingly affordable for the regular user. This is due to the introduction of various open-source SQL database solutions such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Firebird, and many more.

SQL Standard

The SQL Standard has gone through a lot of changes during the years, which have added a great deal of new functionality to the standard, such as support for XML, triggers, regular expression matching, recursive queries, standardized sequences and much more. Due to SQL Standard’s sheer volume, a lot of database solutions based on it, such as MySQL or PostgreSQL, do not implement the whole standard. In a lot of cases, the database behavior for file storage or indexes is not well defined and it's up to the vendors of the various SQL implementations to decide how the database will behave. This is the reason why, even though all SQL implementations have the same base, they are rarely compatible.

SQL Language elements

The SQL language is based on several elements. For the convenience of SQL developers all necessary language commands in the corresponding database management systems are usually executed through a specific SQL command-line interface (CLI).

SQL queries

The SQL queries are the most common and essential SQL operations. Via an SQL query, one can search the database for the information needed. SQL queries are executed with the “SELECT” statement. An SQL query can be more specific, with the help of several clauses:

An SQL query example

SELECT * FROM
WHERE active
ORDER BY LastName, FirstName

SQL data control, definition and manipulation

SQL is a language designed to store data, but the data stored in an SQL database is not static. It can be modified at any time with the use of several very simple commands. The SQL syntax is pretty much self explanatory, which makes it much easier to read and understand.

SQL data manipulation

Data manipulation is essential for SQL tables - it allows you to modify an already created table with new information, update the already existing values or delete them.

With the INSERT statement, you can add new rows to an already existing table. New rows can contain information from the start, or can be with a NULL value.

An example of an SQL INSERT

INSERT INTO phonebook(phone, firstname, lastname, address) VALUES('+1 123 456 7890', 'John', 'Doe', 'North America');

With the UPDATE statement, you can easily modify the already existing information in an SQL table.

An example of an SQL UPDATE

UPDATE phonebook SET address = 'North America', phone = '+1 123 456 7890' WHERE firstname = 'John' AND lastname = 'Doe';

With the DELETE statement you can remove unneeded rows from a table.

An example of an SQL DELETE

DELETE FROM phonebook WHERE WHERE firstname = 'John' AND lastname = 'Doe';

SQL data definition

Data definition allows the user to define new tables and elements.

SQL data control

SQL allows the user to define the access each of the table users can have to the actual table.

SQL with NTC Hosting

MySQL, one of the most famous SQL distributions used by the majority of the scripts on the Internet, is included in all web hosting plans offered by NTC Hosting. And for those who demand a more professional solution, each plan can be upgraded with PostgreSQL. Each web hosting package comes with special graphical interface tools for managing tables - phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin, for MySQL and PostgreSQL, respectively.


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