Select Statement  «Prev  Next»
Lesson 8

Foundations of SQL Conclusion

This module discussed the foundations of SQL and the origins of the structured query language. SQL has evolved over time by becoming a standardized language, one that is governed by an external, independent committee.
You briefly saw how SQL is a bit different from programming, that it requires that you ask the database for the information you are looking for without regard for how that information will be retrieved.
You only want the information in the manner in which you have requested it. The SQL engine will take care of working with sorted information to return the information you need.
You also set up your database engine with the sample information that you will be referring as you work with this course. You should now have full access to the PUBS database on your platform of choice.
The course project that we will be working toward is learning how to extract information from several different tables to determine which customers have purchased a Green Snarfle Widget. There are several tables you will have to work with to extract the information, and you will need to understand how to filter, sort and display the information from these tables.


SQL was adopted as a standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1986 as SQL-86 and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1987. Nowadays the standard is subject to continuous improvement by the Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology, Subcommittee SC 32, Data management and interchange which affiliate to ISO as well as IEC. It is commonly denoted by the pattern: ISO/IEC 9075-n:yyyy Part n: title, or, as a shortcut, ISO/IEC 9075. ISO/IEC 9075 is complemented by ISO/IEC 13249:
SQL Multimedia and Application Packages (SQL/MM) which defines SQL based interfaces and packages to widely spread applications like video, audio and spatial data. Until 1996, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) data management standards program certified SQL DBMS compliance with the SQL standard. Vendors now self-certify the compliance of their products. The original SQL standard declared that the official pronunciation for SQL is "es queue el".

Brief History of Databases

Modern databases emerged in the 1960s thanks to research at IBM and other companies. The research mainly centered around office automation, in particular automating data storage and indexing tasks that previously required a great deal of manual labor. Computing power and storage had become much cheaper, making the use of computers for data indexing and storage a viable solution. A pioneer in the database field was Charles W. Bachman, who received the Turing Award in 1973 for his pioneering work in relational database technology.
In 1970, an IBM researcher named Ted Codd published the first article on relational databases. Although IBM was a leader in database research, Honeywell Information Systems, Inc., released a commercial product in 1976 based on the same principles as the IBM information system, but it was designed and implemented separately from the work of IBM. In the early 1980s, the first database systems built upon the SQL standard appeared from companies such as Oracle, with Oracle Version 2, and later SQL/DS from IBM