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SQL Stands for Structured Query Language: A Comprehensive Guide on SQL



Introduction

SQL stands for Structured Query Language and is a standardized programming language used to perform multiple tasks on data and manage relational databases. SQL is easy to use and understands that it has replaced many NoSQL programming languages in the technical space. Today, popular frameworks had their programming languages too. For example, Hadoop has its SQL language and many other platforms are based on the same concept.

What Does SQL Stand For? - Structured Query Language

We cannot say that SQL is the universal programming language for relational databases. Since the time of its inception, SQL has had certain strikes against it. Many developers and researchers believed that SQL (SQL stands for Structured Query Language) will not work well except for production databases but they were wrong. Today, SQL is used everywhere and runtime performance in the case of SQL is too high.

History of SQL Programming

In the year 1970, SQL was developed by IBM researchers Raymond Boyce and Donald Chamberlin. At the beginning, SQL structured query language was called SEQUEL and was designed to manipulate and retrieve data in the DMS of IBM.

Later in the same year, Relational Software, Inc. which is not known as Oracle was inspired to create their own version and introduced the first commercial implementation of SQL. In the year 1986, the American National Standards Institute and the International Organization for Standardization followed a Standard definition of SQL.

Before SQL – Non-Relational Databases

When SQL (SQL stands for Structured Query Language) was not introduced in the market, there were navigational programming interfaces that were typically designed around the network schema called the Codasyl data model. This data model was responsible for the Cobol programming language and other database extensions too. In the case of Cobol, the records were navigated through sets to express one-to-many relationships. In the case of hierarchical databases, only one record is allowed to be attached with one data set only. In the case of network databases, you can enjoy working with one-to-many and many-to-many relationships. Earlier, programming was quite boring and time-consuming too. The launch of SQL gives a new boost to database performance and today skilled SQL professionals are needed everywhere. Almost every database programmer believes that SQL is quite efficient during both execution and runtime. You can play with data as per your terms and conditions. Even memory consumption is very low when compared to non-relational databases that were used in the past.

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SQL – A Relational Database

Would you like to double the execution speed and memory? If yes, there are two major reasons for the same like portability and ease of development. In 1980, execution speed and memory consumption were not given much importance but as computer hardware improved and became affordable then people focused more on execution speed, memory, and cost of development too.

In simple words, Codasyl databases are also based on the relational database model but improvement in development time was quite significant and portability of SQL turned out to be a pipe dream here. So, what was the reason behind the discovery of SQL? In IBM, there was a scientist who was majorly working on relational model theory and how to publish it. Soon, the IBM team also started supporting the scientist and soon there was a programming language called SQL and soon it was integrated with the Oracle database too. In 1980, SQL became an international trademark and started using it everywhere.

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Now, Oracle and IBM have both started supporting the development of SQL. Soon, the language got support from customers as well. Initially, this was not easy to hire or train Codasyl programmers or developers, so SQL (SQL stands for Structured Query Language) became a highly attractive option in this situation. In the late 1980s, developers stapled a SQL query processor on the top of Codasyl databases where they realized that relational databases should be designed from scratch to make them more relational.

Read: MSBI Interview Questions & Answers for Fresher, Experienced

Since that time, the inception of relational databases came into existence. This was a purely relational database system where tuples were grouped into relations and they are consistent with first-order predicate logic too. For real-world relational databases, there are tables, fields, triggers, constraints, primary keys, foreign keys, etc. SQL helps you in playing with the data where you can filter data and access desired outputs at your fingertips. Further, there is one SQL query processor and the query optimizer to turn SQL declarations into a query plan that can be executed with the database engine. Here, SQL is the sub-language defining schemas, DDL (Data definition language), helps in modifying data, DML (Data Manipulation Language), etc. You could understand the concept closely with SQL declare queries, SELECT statements or relational joins, etc. In the next section, we will focus on the Select statement, how to use the SELECT statement in the SQL.

How to Use SQL

Generally, an application is programmed in any language such as PHP, Python but the database is not configured to understand these. Databases understand only Sequel. That's why working through SQL is important if you intend to work in web development or app development.

Just like any other programming language, SQL has its own markup that makes it mandatory for a programmer to learn SQL (SQL stands for Structured Query Language) makeup before they can use it in the right way.

Apart from the markup, another feature of database programming is the table concept. A database may be represented as a number of tables. Each table contains its own number of columns and browns and presents a set of data.

What is a SELECT Statement in SQL?

The SELECT statement in SQL tells the query optimizer what output could be returned, what should be found in tables, what relations should be followed, or what order should be followed for the return data. The query optimizer can figure out what indexes should be used for an excellent table scan and achieve the maximum query performance unless the particular database supports index hints.

The major part of the relational databases is designed on the judicial usage of indexes. If you want to use an index to perform frequent queries then database performance will slow down under heavy road loads. In case you had too many indexes, then again database performance will get affected due to heavy write and update loads.

Read: Top 100 SQL Interview Questions and Answers

Another fact to focus on here is deciding on the unique primary key for each table. The Primary key is a set of columns having unique values and it should not be NULL. The impact of primary keys should be considered in common queries too but how to perform joins when it is used as the foreign key in any other table. Also, you need to check how it will affect the data locality of references.

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The case of advanced database tables that are broken down into multiple fields also depends on the value of the primary key either horizontally or vertically. For example, when you want to distribute the particular primary key across volumes then you don't have to use data stamps or consecutive integers as primary keys. The SELECT statement in SQL may start simple but it may create confusion later even for expert SQL programmers too. Here, one simple syntax is given below for your reference.

SELECT * FROM Customers;

The syntax seems quite easy and simple. Right? Here, it is asking to select all rows and columns from the customer table. Consider, the customer table has millions of records and each row has a large text field for comments. So, how it will pull down over 10-megabit data every second over the network connection when the row is constrained for an average of 1 kilobyte of data. Perhaps, you must limit the data that can be exchanged over a wire.

For example, you could name a particular row, column, or field that you wanted to extract. You can also filter records for a particular region. In this way, you can make your queries more optimized and they are easy to fetch over a network as well. Also, check out for top 100 clauses like where and order by, etc. that can be clubbed with SELECT query in SQL to optimize the overall database performance.

Read: Top 100 SQL Interview Questions and Answers

Every time you are writing a query in SQL (SQL stands for Structured Query Language), certain rules and regulations should be followed by programmers and developers deeply. There are pre-defined ANSI SQL standards that should be checked by SQL professionals before they start with database programming.

What are Relational Joins in SQL?

Till the time, we were discussing the SELECT syntax for single tables. What to do when you want to join multiple tables together. Here, we need to join clauses to make things easier for you. For this purpose, you need to understand foreign keys and relationships among tables well. It can be explained by a set of examples in DDL with the help of SQL server syntax. With relational joins, understanding relations in SQL are quite simpler. For every table, there is one primary key constraint that could be taken as the single field or combination of fields defined by the expression. When you want to connect tables then you need foreign keys too along with primary keys. Consider the example as given below:

CREATE TABLE Orders ( OrderID int NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY, ... PersonID int FOREIGN KEY REFERENCES Persons (PersonID) );

The queries can be made longer with the CONSTRAINT keyword where you should give a proper name to the constraint. This is the format that is followed by all database tools. Primary keys are always unique and indexed. At the same time, other fields could be indexed optionally. Further, it is necessary to create indexes for foreign keys too by using the WHERE and ORDER BY clauses.

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Further, there are four types of relational joins – INNER, OUTER, LEFT, or RIGHT, etc. The INNER join is taken by default that considers only rows containing matching values in both tables. If you wanted to list persons whether or not they have an order then you should use LEFT join in that case. If you want to join more than two tables then you can use expressions. Fortunately, there are database development tools that could always help you in designing a robust set of SQL queries just by dragging or dropping commands from the schema diagram to a query diagram.

So, now you know what SQL stands for? In today’s time y, SQL stands for getting popular and accepted widely worldwide. This post takes us back to the Codasyl database space and tells us how SQL came into existence. I hope you must have liked reading this post. TO know more about queries that can be performed on database tables then you should spend more time learning SQL queries from some reputed training provider online. You can also sign up for SQL courses where you will learn more than just what SQL stands for on Janbask Training.

Read: What are Data Types and Their Usage in SQL Server Tables?

Major Elements of SQL Programming Language

Generally, SQL (SQL stands for Structured Query Language) is made up of statements that begin with a keyword and end with a semicolon. Here is the list of some other elements of SQL language:

  • Keywords: Keywords are basically words that are used to perform different operations in a database, like JOIN, VIEW, etc.
  • Search Conditions: It is used to choose a subset of the rows from a table. It allows the users to create If statements to figure out whether the condition is right or wrong in a particular row or group of rows.
  • Expressions: They are a symbol or string of symbols, doing mathematical operations on data.
  • Identifiers: Identifiers are the names of objects in the database like views, tables, indexes, columns, etc.
  • Data Types: The type of data that will be stored in each column when creating a table.
  • Nulls: It is used to specify when the value is unknown or missing.
  • Comments: It explains the sections of SQL statements.

Learning Opportunities in SQL Language

SQL is an easy-to-learn language that is specifically designed to work with the database. The demand for professionals who can handle databases is rapidly increasing. Present-day, every giant brand is working with SQL. This language is used in different activities from banking to ticket booking to data sharing, eCommerce, etc. Overall, there is a great career scope available for the SQL developer.

Here’s a quick rundown of the steps, when it comes to learning opportunities in SQL language

1. Begin with the Basics: First, learn the basics of SQL syntax. There are various online tutorials available for free that can help you get familiar with the language.

2. Enrollment in a SQL Course: In the next step, you can take a proper SQL language course to build your knowledge.

3. Real-life Experience: Real-life experience is the most effective way to learn anything. To gain expertise in this language also, you need to practice with real data plus a database.

4. Best Resources to Learn SQL: Here are some good resources from where you can learn SQL, including course options, video tutorials that can take you from beginner to expert professional in SQL.

Career Scope after Structured Query Language

Present-day SQL is one of the most in-demand skills among jobs in data. SQL developer is probably the popular choice. In addition, here are some career options that generally need SQL skills:

  • Database Administrator: Data administrator is responsible for taking care of data, he ensures that data is stored, organized, and managed correctly to make it easier to retrieve data quickly and accurately. DBAs also oversees a team of developers and also analyze an organization’s data management, input, and security needs.
  • Business Analyst: A Business Analyst helps businesses to grow and make better processes, products, and solutions through analysis. They generally work to find the required steps to get from the current state of the business to a desired future state.
  • Data Analyst: Another popular career choice after the SQL program is becoming a Data Analyst and analyze data. As a data analyst, one has to sort the massive amounts of data and find important business insights from it. Generally, data analysts take help from SQL to access data stores in a database, change it as per their choice and analyze.
  • Software Engineer: Software engineers are the brains behind computer programs. They make apps that allow people to do specific tasks. Knowing SQL is a fundamental skill to become a good Software Engineer. Software engineers have to work with databases either directly or indirectly. Here, having a good knowledge of SQL can be highly beneficial in terms of more payment than their peers.
  • QA Engineer/Tester: More like penetration tester, QA engineers work to find, investigate, and report bugs in software. The knowledge of SQL helps them to verify if the databases are working properly.

FAQs on SQL

1. What is a Query?

A query is any question or request expressed for information in a formal way. Here, in terms of programming language, a query is almost the same, the only difference is the answer or asked information comes from a database.

2. What does SQL stand for?

SQL stands for Structured Query Language.

3. What is SQL?

The sequel programming languages are used for storing, manipulating, and retrieving data stored in a relational database. In other words, to answer the question, what is SQL- it is the standard language for a Relational Database System.

4. How do you pronounce SQL?

The standard way to pronounce SQL is 'Ess-cue-ell'.

5. Is SQL a programming language?

SQL stands for Structured Query Language, it is a programming language used to communicate with relational databases.

6. What Is Structured Query Language Used For?

SQL coding language is a standardized programming language used for managing relational databases and involving various operations on the data in them.

7. Is SQL hard to learn?

To become a certified SQL developer you need specialized skills sets and thorough knowledge of SQL. Learning SQL is not hard but it requires constant practice. If you know what does SQL stands for and about its basic information, SQL is an easy language to learn. Plus, if you have some basic knowledge of programming and have already learned some other languages, you can easily learn SQL in a few weeks. But for a beginner and new to programming, learning SQL or sequel programming languages will require continuous efforts.

8. What kind of job can I get with Structured Query Language?

Business Analyst, Data Scientist, Software Engineer, Database Administrator, Quality Assurance Tester are some of the popular job options you can have after learning what's SQL, how it works, and a lot more.

9. How long does it take to learn SQL Programming for beginners?

It takes around two to three weeks on average to learn the basic concept of SQL, what does SQL stands for, its definition, basic functions, etc., and start working with the SQL databases. This is for basic, if you want to use them effectively in real-world situations, you will need to work on becoming quite fluent and that takes time.

10. Can you get a job with just SQL?

The career path for SQL Developer has a lot of potential and immense opportunities. Along with the right certification course, you need to have some experience with SQL or sequel programming languages.

11. What is the salary of a SQL developer?

The salary of an SQL developer may vary depending on certain factors like job role, location, experience, certification, skills, and many more. However, the average annual salary for a SQL developer is $88,180 in the US and around $4,000 cash bonus annually

12. What is the difference between sequel programming language and structured query language?

Structured query language works to manipulate data ( creating, reading, updating, and deleting it whereas programming languages are used by humans to instruct a computer which actions it has to take to resolve any particular issue.

Conclusion

So, now you know what SQL stands for? In today’s time, SQL stands for getting popular and accepted widely worldwide. This post takes us back to the Codasyl database space and tells us how SQL came into existence. I hope you must have liked reading this post. TO know more about queries that can be performed on database tables then you should spend more time learning SQL queries from some reputed training provider online. You can also sign up for SQL courses where you will learn more than just what SQL stands for. 

If you have any queries or doubts, feel free to write us a mail or comment below. We will be happy to hear from you!

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    Jyotika Prasad

    Through market research and a deep understanding of products and services, Jyotika has been translating complex product information into simple, polished, and engaging content for Janbask Training.


Comments

  • A

    Ali Price

    I was seeking information related to SQL server, but was not getting satisfying information. Thanks to your blog, it includes basic to advanced level information for beginners as well as professionals. Keep it up!

     Reply
    • JanbaskTraining

      Hello, JanBask Training offers online training to nurture your skills and make you ready for an amazing career run. Please write to us in detail at help@janbasktraining.com. Thanks!

  • E

    Eduardo Bennett

    I am still confused about how to SELECT statements in SQL? The answer that you have mentioned is not that satisfying, can you share some more links related to it?

     Reply
    • JanbaskTraining

      Hello, JanBask Training offers online training to nurture your skills and make you ready for an amazing career run. Please write to us in detail at help@janbasktraining.com. Thanks!

  • C

    Cruz Peterson

    Overall a good article, I will definitely recommend this to my friends and colleagues. Thanks for the information!!

     Reply
    • JanbaskTraining

      Hello, JanBask Training offers online training to nurture your skills and make you ready for an amazing career run. Please write to us in detail at help@janbasktraining.com. Thanks!

  • K

    Kairo Gray

    The blog is really impressive, it includes all the information that should be included in any SQL article. My friend was also asking me about SQL, I would definitely recommend it to them.

     Reply
    • JanbaskTraining

      Hello, JanBask Training offers online training to nurture your skills and make you ready for an amazing career run. Please write to us in detail at help@janbasktraining.com. Thanks!

  • D

    Dante Ramirez

    As I am going to learn SQL classes, I thought of trying to explore a little bit about it. And this post helped well with that.

     Reply
    • JanbaskTraining

      Glad you found this useful! For more such insights on your favourite topics, do check out JanBask Training Blogs and keep learning with us!

  • H

    Hendrix Howard

    I have a question, after learning SQL what kind of job roles we can get and what is career growth possibility, what will be the salary package.

     Reply
    • JanbaskTraining

      Hello, JanBask Training offers online training to nurture your skills and make you ready for an amazing career run. Please write to us in detail at help@janbasktraining.com. Thanks!

  • D

    Derek Ward

    I have a question, after learning SQL what kind of job roles we can get and what is career growth possibility, what will be the salary package.

     Reply
    • JanbaskTraining

      Hello, JanBask Training offers online training to nurture your skills and make you ready for an amazing career run. Please write to us in detail at help@janbasktraining.com. Thanks!

  • C

    Cristian Torres

    I want to know if I do not have a professional degree but learn SQL , what is the possibility of getting a good job.

     Reply
    • JanbaskTraining

      Thank you so much for your comment, we appreciate your time. Keep coming back for more such informative insights. Cheers :)

  • C

    Cruz Peterson

    As far as I know SQL is more relevant to database handling, is it possible to get the job of database administrator after learning SQL. and one thing i want to add about this post is, it is very helpful for people or SQL learners.

     Reply
    • JanbaskTraining

      Thank you so much for your comment, we appreciate your time. Keep coming back for more such informative insights. Cheers :)

  • K

    Kairo Gray

    Looking for tutorials based on SQL coding, is there any coding based tutorial you have published or a community relevant to that.

     Reply
    • JanbaskTraining

      Thank you so much for your comment, we appreciate your time. Keep coming back for more such informative insights. Cheers :)

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