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SQL is an acronym for Structured Query Language. Whilst primarily used to insert or extract data from relational databases, the language itself is not inherently tied to the database domain. Knowledge of SQL is considered by many to be a key aspect of application programming (for instance dynamic web development), due to the prevalance of relational database driven systems.

The basic statements include:

  • SELECT - eg SELECT * FROM table_name
  • INSERT - eg INSERT INTO table_name [(fieldn_ames)] VALUES (values_to_insert)
  • UPDATE - eg UPDATE table_name SET field_name = new_value WHERE row_index_field_name = index_to_update
  • DELETE - eg DELETE * FROM table_name
  • CREATE - eg CREATE TABLE table_name (field_name field_data_type)
  • DROP - eg DROP TABLE table_name

n.b. [] denotes optional

Unfortunately SQL constructs and behaviour may differ slightly across database platforms, with vendors offering their own implementations of (and extensions to) SQL and the underlying data types and storage thereof.

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