11.3. Using SQL to Work with Database Data

To get data in and out of a database, you need to use Structured Query Language (SQL). This is the de facto language for querying relational databases that almost all relational database systems understand. There are a number of clear standards, with the most popular one being the ANSI 92 SQL standard. Besides the grammar that this standard supports, many database vendors have added their own extensions to the language, giving it a lot more flexibility and power on their own system, at the cost of decreased interoperability with other systems.

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 database is no exception, and supports most of the grammar that has been defined in the ANSI 92 SQL Standard. On top of this standard, Microsoft has added some proprietary extensions. Collectively, the two are referred to as T-SQL, or Transact SQL. I'll stick to the term SQL for the remainder of this book.

In the following sections, you see how to use SQL against a SQL Server 2005 database to retrieve and manipulate data in your database. However, before you can write your first SQL statement, you need to know how to connect to your database first. The following exercise shows you how to connect to the sample database that comes with the downloadable code for this book.

Try It Out: Connecting to the SQL Server Sample Database

In this exercise you learn how to connect to and work with a database from within VWD. To give you something to work with, the code download for ...

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