Introducing Transact-SQL Language

In the early days of relational databases, a number of industry-wide efforts were made to unify different, proprietary query languages. IBM had established an early standard called Structured English Query Language. This name was condensed to literally spell the word SEQUEL. Another effort resulted in a language called Select Query Language (SQL) that included commands allowing data to be read only for reporting and record look-up. This became a popular, product-independent standard to which the “Sequel” acronym was still applied by members of the database community. Eventually, additional commands were added, enabling records to be added, deleted, and modified. This created a quandary. They had worked so hard to create a standard language with a cute name that no longer fit. The word Select was finally replaced with the word Structured… and the universe was once again brought back to a state of balance. Of course, the purists will insist that SQL is pronounced ESS CUE EHL, rather than “SEQUEL.” So, how should you pronounce it? Any way you want. Disagree if you like, but I save one syllable and say “SEQUEL.”

For the SQL language to survive outside of a specific product or company, the standard was published and held by an independent standards organization. The SQL standard was originally registered with the American National Standards Institute and officially called the ANSI SQL standard, established in 1986. This standard has been revised a ...

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