What is SQL (Structured Query Language)?

Structured Query Language (SQL) is actually a programming language which is generally used to interact with databases, and to retrieve data which can also be manipulated on demand. It is a language which was developed by IBM researchers in the 1970s and which is very user-friendly and accessible on a number of different platforms.

Most businesses will collect tons of information during the course of their operations, and in order to use this data efficiently, it is generally necessary to have a good understanding of SQL so that you can access and manipulate your own business data. Business data is generally stored in tables and these tables taken cumulatively will comprise a database.

A database itself is just a tool for collecting data and having it organized in several different ways. These databases can store information about products, customer orders, individuals, financial information, and just about anything else. Most companies will have a database management system governing the usage of their data, and this management system can be interacted with by developers and SQL programmers.

When you need to use SQL

SQL makes it possible to control information which is stored in your business database, and it allows users to retrieve the specific data needed, right at the time when there’s a need for it. It is a very simple programming language, but SQL is still extremely powerful. The SQL language can be used to insert data into tables, modify data in any way necessary, and even to delete data permanently from the database.

SQL can also be used to modify the database itself, since it is possible to perform all kinds of modifications on the tables comprising your database, as well as other objects in the database. SQL makes it possible to retrieve any specific data from tables in your database, and the SELECT command will be used to access this data. The INSERT command can be used to add records to any database table, and the UPDATE command allows you to modify any record in the database.

These days, businesses heavily rely on big data analytics in order to make the best decisions and drive their future direction, and that makes SQL experience one of the career skills which is red hot right now, and in high demand all across the country. Expert SQL programmers can have their choice of jobs at any one of a number of great companies around the country.

Origins of SQL

The SQL programming language was originally developed by two IBM researchers in the 1970s, and when they began development, they dubbed their new programming language SEQUEL. It was based on a white paper written by Edgar Frank Codd which was entitled ‘A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks’. This paper proposed that all database information could be represented by using relations.

Using this information as their foundation, the IBM researchers went on to develop the SQL language and eventually made it publicly available. A company called Relational Software released its own version of SQL in 1979 and they called it Oracle V2. That company eventually morphed into the database giant Oracle, which has been a mainstay of the American business landscape ever since.

Since that time, the International Organization for Standardization has teamed up with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to designate SQL as the standard language which should be used for all communications with relational databases. Many of today’s major SQL providers do take the liberty of modifying the language to suit their own purposes, but all of them still base their programs on the version of SQL which is approved by ANSI.

Benefits of using SQL

While there may be some drawbacks to using SQL, for instance an outdated interface, the benefits and advantages gained by using the language far outweigh any drawbacks it might have. SQL is very accessible across a wide variety of platforms, and because it’s so user-friendly, almost anyone can become an expert in a short period of time. Here are some of the most powerful benefits of using the SQL language:

  • Standardized language

the language and commands used by SQL make it very accessible to users from all walks of life. SQL uses words and commands that read like English, so it’s very easy to learn it quickly and make use of it, even if you have no previous exposure to SQL.

  • Portability

SQL can be used on laptops, servers, PCs, and even some types of mobile devices. It can run on any intranet system or local Internet, and because it’s so portable, it can be transferred between any two devices with no issues whatsoever.

  • Multiple data views

anyone who learns the SQL language can create a number of different data views, which can be very useful when the data must be served to different users who have different uses for that data.

  • Requires no coding knowledge

many people are put off by the learning curve associated with familiarizing with a new computer language and trying to code with it in order to accomplish some task. Many types of computer programming require years of knowledge and experience before they can be used effectively. That’s not really the case with SQL programming, because it uses some very simple keywords to accomplish most of the tasks it’s commonly used for.

  • Rapid processing

regardless of how large a database might be, the SQL language can quickly retrieve data and insert, update, or delete records from a database. All SQL functions can be done quickly and with a high degree of accuracy, so you don’t have to worry about the results of your update commands.

When the time comes for your business to seek out and hire employees knowledgeable about the SQL language, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a number of specialists, because SQL is one of the most common skills learned by computer professionals these days. It has gained enormous popularity because of its simplicity and its power, and those reasons are likely to keep it highly popular and useful for the foreseeable future.

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