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O'Reilly Network: AboutSQL: Introducing SELECT

Nov 04, 2000, 12:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Paul Ashenfelter)

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"One of the most important functions of any database application is finding the data that's in the database. We're going to spend the next few columns exploring the SQL SELECT command, the workhorse of most database applications. Hopefully you've got a database up and running so you can try this yourself as we work through the command."

"We'll be using the simple database we started with last week as a starting point for our experiments with the SELECT command. We'll be SELECTing data from our tiny music database table..."

"As was mentioned in the original article, SQL is very English-like. Commands typically consist of a verb, an object, and possibly a set of clauses that modify the object. So to find all of the musical artists in the database, we could say something like "Choose all the values from the Artist field of the database." The SQL translation of this sentence is

SELECT Artist FROM MusicCollection;
The is the most basic version of the SELECT command. It returns an entire column of data from the database."

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