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SQL (Structured Query Language) is used to perform operations on the records stored in the database, such as updating records, inserting records, deleting records, creating and modifying database tables, views, etc.SQL is not a database system, but it is a query language.

Suppose you want to perform the queries of SQL language on the stored data in the database. You are required to install any database management system in your systems, for example, Oracle, MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, DB2, etc.

What is SQL?

SQL is a short-form of the structured query language, and it is pronounced as S-Q-L or sometimes as See-Quell.

This database language is mainly designed for maintaining the data in relational database management systems. It is a special tool used by data professionals for handling structured data (data which is stored in the form of tables). It is also designed for stream processing in RDSMS.

You can easily create and manipulate the database, access and modify the table rows and columns, etc. This query language became the standard of ANSI in the year of 1986 and ISO in the year of 1987.

If you want to get a job in the field of data science, then it is the most important query language to learn. Big enterprises like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, use SQL for storing the data in the back-end.

Why SQL?

Nowadays, SQL is widely used in data science and analytics. Following are the reasons which explain why it is widely used:

  • The basic use of SQL for data professionals and SQL users is to insert, update, and delete the data from the relational database.
  • SQL allows the data professionals and users to retrieve the data from the relational database management systems.
  • It also helps them to describe the structured data.
  • It allows SQL users to create, drop, and manipulate the database and its tables.
  • It also helps in creating the view, stored procedure, and functions in the relational database.
  • It allows you to define the data and modify that stored data in the relational database.
  • It also allows SQL users to set the permissions or constraints on table columns, views, and stored procedures.

History of SQL

Dr. E. F. Codd published the paper, "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks", in June 1970 in the Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) journal, Communications of the ACM. Codd's model is now accepted as the definitive model for relational database management systems (RDBMS). The language, Structured English Query Language (SEQUEL) was developed by IBM Corporation, Inc., to use Codd's model. SEQUEL later became SQL (still pronounced "sequel"). In 1979, Relational Software, Inc. (now Oracle) introduced the first commercially available implementation of SQL. Today, SQL is accepted as the standard RDBMS language.

Some SQL Commands

The SQL commands help in creating and managing the database. The most common SQL commands which are highly used are mentioned below:

  1. CREATE command
  2. UPDATE command
  3. DELETE command
  4. SELECT command
  5. DROP command
  6. INSERT command

CREATE Command

This command helps in creating the new database, new table, table view, and other objects of the database.

UPDATE Command

This command helps in updating or changing the stored data in the database.

DELETE Command

This command helps in removing or erasing the saved records from the database tables. It erases single or multiple tuples from the tables of the database.

SELECT Command

This command helps in accessing the single or multiple rows from one or multiple tables of the database. We can also use this command with the WHERE clause.

DROP Command

This command helps in deleting the entire table, table view, and other objects from the database.

INSERT Command

This command helps in inserting the data or records into the database tables. We can easily insert the records in single as well as multiple rows of the table.

Advantages of SQL

SQL provides various advantages which make it more popular in the field of data science. It is a perfect query language which allows data professionals and users to communicate with the database. Following are the best advantages or benefits of Structured Query Language:

1. No programming needed

SQL does not require a large number of coding lines for managing the database systems. We can easily access and maintain the database by using simple SQL syntactical rules. These simple rules make the SQL user-friendly.

2. High-Speed Query Processing

A large amount of data is accessed quickly and efficiently from the database by using SQL queries. Insertion, deletion, and updation operations on data are also performed in less time.

3. Standardized Language

SQL follows the long-established standards of ISO and ANSI, which offer a uniform platform across the globe to all its users.

4. Portability

The structured query language can be easily used in desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and even smartphones. It can also be used with other applications according to the user's requirements.

5. Interactive language

We can easily learn and understand the SQL language. We can also use this language for communicating with the database because it is a simple query language. This language is also used for receiving the answers to complex queries in a few seconds.

6. More than one Data View

The SQL language also helps in making the multiple views of the database structure for the different database users.

Disadvantages of SQL

With the advantages of SQL, it also has some disadvantages, which are as follows:

1. Cost

The operation cost of some SQL versions is high. That's why some programmers cannot use the Structured Query Language.

2. Interface is Complex

Another big disadvantage is that the interface of Structured query language is difficult, which makes it difficult for SQL users to use and manage it.

3. Partial Database control

The business rules are hidden. So, the data professionals and users who are using this query language cannot have full database control.