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O'Reilly Network: What's the Big Deal about SQL?

Oct 29, 2000, 13:10 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Paul Ashenfelter)

"Tired of not knowing what SQL is? Any serious application developer is going to need to learn some SQL at some point in their career. And once you start learning it, you'll use it. A lot."

"This column is all about SQL and to get things started, this time we'll be focusing on what SQL is and why you'd want to use it. Trust me, it'll be fun.

"Back in the old days, the 1970s... IBM was the prime source of all things computer at that time, and a research group in San Jose came up with a new database paradigm... System R... Part of the development of System R was a non-procedural, roughly English-like language for structuring database queries. This language was dubbed Structured English Query Language, or SEQUEL. ... As more relational database products were developed, it became clear that a standard was necessary, so in 1986 the so-called SQL-86 standard was adopted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and early the following year by the International Standards Organization (ISO). Since 1986, three new versions of the SQL standard have been developed. SQL-89, SQL-92, and last year's SQL-99 (also called SQL3) all add additional functionality to the specification and tend to be driven by developments in the database tool community."

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