What Is Structured Query Language Sql Webopedia Definitionwebopedia

SQL Programming

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a powerful tool used in the field of database management. With SQL, you can easily interact with and manipulate data stored in relational databases. In this article, I will provide a comprehensive definition of SQL and delve into its various applications and features.

What is SQL?

SQL stands for Structured Query Language, and it is a standard programming language for managing and manipulating relational databases. It was developed in the 1970s by IBM researchers Raymond Boyce and Donald D. Chamberlin. SQL allows users to create, modify, and retrieve data from databases.

SQL is a declarative language, meaning that users can simply state what they want done, and the database management system (DBMS) takes care of the details. It provides a set of commands, such as SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE, which allow users to perform various operations on the data.

One of the key characteristics of SQL is its ability to handle structured data. It uses a table-based format, where data is organized into rows and columns. Each table represents a collection of related data, and each row in the table represents a specific record or entry. Columns, on the other hand, define the type of data that can be stored in each field.

Applications of SQL

SQL is widely used in many different industries and sectors. Some of its main applications include:

  1. Database Management: SQL is the backbone of most database management systems (DBMS). It allows users to create and manage databases efficiently, ensuring data integrity and security.
  2. Data Analysis: SQL provides powerful tools for analyzing large datasets. With SQL, you can extract meaningful insights from complex data, perform aggregations, and generate reports.
  3. Web Development: SQL is commonly used in the development of web applications. It enables developers to interact with databases, retrieve data, and update information dynamically.
  4. Data Integration: SQL is often used for integrating data from multiple sources into a centralized database. It allows users to combine, transform, and clean data from different systems.

Key Features of SQL

SQL offers several features that make it a versatile and powerful language for working with databases:

  • Data Manipulation: SQL provides commands for adding, modifying, and deleting data from databases. The INSERT statement is used to add new records, the UPDATE statement is used to modify existing records, and the DELETE statement is used to remove records.
  • Data Definition: SQL allows users to define the structure of a database using the CREATE, ALTER, and DROP statements. These statements are used to create tables, modify table structure, and delete tables, respectively.
  • Data Querying: SQL offers a comprehensive set of commands for querying data from databases. The SELECT statement is used to retrieve data based on specific criteria, and it can be combined with other clauses, such as WHERE, GROUP BY, and ORDER BY, to filter, group, and sort data.
  • Data Control: SQL provides commands for managing user access to databases and ensuring data security. The GRANT statement is used to grant specific permissions to users, while the REVOKE statement is used to revoke those permissions.


In conclusion, SQL is a fundamental language for managing and manipulating data in relational databases. Its versatility, power, and widespread adoption make it an essential skill for anyone working with data. Whether you are a database administrator, a data analyst, or a web developer, SQL can help you efficiently interact with and extract value from your data.