what is sql

SQL: An Overview, Usage, and Examples

Pavlo Ivlev 05 September 2023

SQL, an acronym for Structured Query Language, is a standardized programming language specifically designed for managing, manipulating, and querying data held in a relational database management system (RDBMS), or for processing data streams in real-time in a Relational Data Stream Management System (RDSMS).
In the broad spectrum of database technology, SQL holds a central place due to its integration into prominent database systems such as MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and SQLite. Its efficient and straightforward means to read and write large quantities of data makes it a fundamental asset for many fields where big data plays a vital role.
Now, let us delve deeper into what SQL is and its diverse utilizations.

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What is SQL?

Introduced in the 1970s, SQL was one of the first commercial languages for Edgar F. Codd's relational model. It's a standard language for creating, querying, updating, and managing databases. SQL operates through simple, declarative statements. This keeps data accurate and secure, and it helps in maintaining the integrity of databases, irrespective of their size.
SQL commands can be categorized into several types: Data Definition Language (DDL), Data Manipulation Language (DML), and Data Control Language (DCL), among others. DDL includes commands like CREATE, ALTER, DROP. DML includes commands such as SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, and DCL encompasses commands like GRANT, REVOKE.

SQL Usage

SQL finds its application in many fields where substantial data management is required. This includes, but is not limited to, various sectors like finance, healthcare, and telecommunications, where voluminous data needs to be stored, accessed, and managed effectively.
For instance, in the finance sector, SQL aids analysts in accessing large databases swiftly to analyze and report on financial trends and market changes. In the healthcare sector, SQL enables professionals to manage hospital records, patient data, drug information, and much more.
Data Analysts, Data Scientists, Back-End Developers, System Administrators, and Data Architects commonly use SQL. They employ it to build databases, maintain them, fetch data, and handle numerous operations associated with data processing and analysis.

SQL Examples

Now, let's consider a few examples of SQL queries:
1. Creating a Database:


In this example, we've created a database named 'StudentDB.'

2. Creating a Table:

CREATE TABLE Students ( ID int, Name varchar(255), Age int, Grade char(1) );

This statement creates a table called 'Students' with the columns ID, Name, Age, and Grade.

3. Inserting Data:

INSERT INTO Students (ID, Name, Age, Grade) VALUES (1, 'John', 13, 'A');

Here, we're inserting the data into the 'Students' table.

4. Selecting Data:

SELECT * FROM Students;

This statement selects all the data in the 'Students' table.


SQL, despite its age, remains an essential tool in the data management world due to its straightforward, robust, and flexible design. It's an essential skill for anyone interested in handling data effectively in diverse sectors.

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