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Part III: Appendixes > SQL Reference

Appendix D. SQL Reference

There are dozens of different database management systems on the market today, from nearly as many vendors. Developing applications that are more or less database-independent requires a standardized interface to the underlying data. Since the early 1980s, this interface has been SQL, a sophisticated database manipulation language.[1]

[1] The acronym expands out to either Structured Query Language (based on the original IBM acronym from the 1970s) or Standard Query Language (which has been more popular in recent years). Perhaps because of this confusion, most people just say "SQL," pronounced either "see-quell" or "ess-cue-ell."

Unlike Java, SQL is a declarative language. It allows users to specify particular actions on the database and retrieve the results of those actions. It specifies a set of standardized data types and standard error messages, but it lacks procedural constructs. There are no conditionals or loops standard in SQL.


  

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