The internet is filled with databases that contain rich storehouses of information on everything you could possibly imagine. These databases are incredibly important in many ways. There’s no business online that wouldn’t benefit from using a database.
If you’d like to communicate with these databases, you need to learn SQL.
What Is SQL?
Structured Query Language – or SQL – is a simple query-based language that is easy to read and write. It’s one of the most universal languages in the world. Our entire economy depends on databases like SQL.
The American National Standards Institute recognizes SQL as an essential part of the technology industry, and it is the standard language for database management systems in the United States. Companies such as Oracle, Microsoft, Sybase, and Ingres use SQL to power their databases. However, SQL isn’t just the choice of big businesses. Since it’s an inexpensive, open-source software that enables everyone to store and update information in a convenient and secure way, it’s commonly used by small businesses, as well.
SQL is mainly used for storing and retrieving data from databases, but it can do much more than that. Anything you need to do with a database, you can do with SQL. It’s flexible, powerful, and quick while being accessible and affordable for most businesses.
How Does It Work?
SQL works by reading and displaying content stored in the fields and tables of a database. A database is a collection of tables made up of rows and columns that contain relevant and useful information. A typical e-commerce website might contain a database with information such as names, emails, phone numbers, and payment details of customers. A music website might store information on all available songs, albums, and artists on their databases, instead.
There are four basic SQL operations that you will always need to use:
- CreatePutting data into a table.
- ReadQuery data out of a table.
- UpdateChange data that’s in a table.
- DeleteRemove data from the table.
These four queries, also known as “CRUD”, form the foundation of SQL. Databases only understand SQL, so if your database can’t run any of these actions, then something has probably gone wrong.
SQL also comes with its own set of markups and rules. If a programmer ever intends to work on SQL, they would need to understand SQL markups first to use the language effectively.
Uses of SQL
Databases are commonly used in the technology sector to support websites and businesses. They’re an integral part of business operations, and every technology-based business needs a robust database along with a database management system. However, SQL is used in many other industries as well.
- Finance industry
The finance industry is one of the biggest users of databases. Banking applications and payment processors are the most common applications of SQL. Since the internet is poorly regulated, banks require extra security precautions to make online transactions happen. SQL provides just that, along with great database support.
- Music industry
The music industry has slowly undergone digitization. As a result, several companies were created to stream music. They require huge libraries of music available at any given moment to hundreds of millions of customers.
- Social media
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat all have an enormous amount of users that consume an incredible amount of bandwidth every single day.
Users of social media apps are constantly sharing photos and posts, which requires databases to constantly update information and display content to millions of users at the same time. Social media apps also contain the personal information of millions of users, which can be tracked. This forms the foundation of data collecting, which marketers and advertisers now rely on in the digital age.
What Are The Features Of SQL?
- SQL is high performance.
SQL’s performance is seamless despite heavy workloads and high usage. It’s perfect for highly transactional, complex databases.
- SQL is highly accessible.
SQL is compatible with most databases, such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, MySQL, SAP HANA, SAP Adaptive Server, and Microsoft Access. Most relational database management systems have SQL support, and they come with additional features as well. You can also use SQL to create application extensions for procedural programming.
- SQL is highly scalable.
It’s incredibly easy to create new tables and carry over existing tables to new databases. They can be easily dropped or created at your convenience.
- SQL has great transactional support.
SQL can support enormous records and handle tons of transactions at the same time.
- SQL has great security features.
Permissions are easy to manage with SQL. It’s very simple to provide and verify your permissions, ensuring the security of your data.
- SQL suits organizations of any size.
Is your company compatible with SQL? The answer is probably yes. SQL is perfect for small and big businesses. It can easily scale upwards to accommodate all your future growth.
- SQL is open-source.
Open-source software often comes with a vibrant community of developers who are quick to provide updates and troubleshooting assistance. As a result, it’s more cost-effective than most proprietary solutions, and it’s ideal for small organizations that don’t have a big budget. The community involvement in open-source software cannot be overstated, and it allows for a reasonable amount of future-proof software.
There are several advantages of using SQL over other database management languages:
- Rapid query processing.
SQL processes a large amount of data in a very short amount of time. The core operations such as deletion, insertion, and any kind of data manipulation happen at lightning speeds because of their efficiency.
- Requires little coding knowledge.
If all you want from your database is simple data retrieval, you don’t need to learn to code. All you need to do is learn the select, insert, update, and into functions and their syntax. The language isn’t needlessly complex or verbose.
- It has a standardized language.
SQL is open-source and supported by its community of users. You can find documentation and troubleshooting guidance no matter where you are in the world.
- SQL is portable.
SQL can be used on desktop computers, gaming systems, laptops, and servers. You can even embed it within applications according to your personal needs and preferences.
SQL is a powerful, yet simple, query-based language that helps you handle databases with ease. It comes with great community support, and is open-source, making it an inexpensive choice no matter what your budget is.
SQL is used extensively across many business industries, including technology, finance, retail, music, and even the medical sector. It’s incredibly accessible, scalable, and user-friendly.