What Is SQL? Your Questions, Answered

by Sudarsan

The year 1970 was when Dr. Edgar F. “Ted” Codd described a relationship model for databases, and that led to the creation of Structured Query Language (SQL) in 1974. 

But what is SQL? And what is SQL used for? Let’s answer all of these questions below. 

What Is SQL? 

SQL is the standard language used for dealing with Relational Databases. It’s how you would manipulate and query data in Relational Databases. It is the standard right now and universally used for this purpose.

But this wasn’t always the case. From the beginning, SQL had certain strikes against it, as it was cumbersome and many thought the overhead of SQL would prevent it from ever being practical in daily business use. 

Interestingly enough, SQL is pronounced both ways, S-Q-L, and also See-Quel, so you can be aware it’s the same thing. 

What Is SQL Used For?

There are many different ways SQL is used by developers and researchers. Here are some of the ways below. 

  • Access data in the RDBMS system
  • Describe the data
  • Set permissions on tables, views, and procedures
  • Use the function in a database
  • Create a view and stored procedure
  • Define the data in a database and then manipulate it
  • Create and drop databases and tables

As you can see, SQL is absolutely paramount in Relational Databases. And as Big Data becomes more important in today’s era, SQL’s importance grows even further. 

How Is SQL Used?

Here is a list of SQL commands that are most commonly used. Do you recognize any of them?

  • CREATE  defines the structure of the database
  • INSERT – inserts data
  • UPDATE – updates data
  • DELETE – removes rows from a table
  • SELECT – selects attributes
  • DROP – deletes tables and databases

Not so complicated you might think. Exactly right!

Also, as culling through and analyzing Big Data becomes more important, learning SQL is becoming ever more useful.

This is because everyone, no matter if they are a marketer or a nonprofit organization, has to work with data in one form or another.

Read here for one example of Relational Databases and their usage in a nonprofit organization. 

Should You Learn SQL?

Even though SQL looks complicated at first glance, it’s actually quite easy to learn. And the benefits you garner by learning SQL quite often surpasses the time investment. 

It’s not only for developers either. Everyone who might end up dealing with Big Data, which is anyone involved with databases, should try and get the basics of SQL down. 

It will also help you get over your fear of learning programming languages. 

SQL Uses Are Many and Varied

Now that you know what is SQL, you can start working on building your knowledge of it even more. If you were thinking that SQL is only for developers, or people more technically savvy than you, get over that now!

The uses of and benefits of SQL are available to all that dare to step into the learning sphere. 

Enjoyed this article on SQL? Check out the other articles we have on our website related to business, technology, and real estate. 

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