Chapter 4. Building and Maintaining a Simple Database Structure

In This Chapter

  • Using RAD to build, change, and remove a database table

  • Using SQL to build, change, and remove a database table

  • Migrating your database to another DBMS

Computer history changes so fast that sometimes the rapid turnover of technological generations can be confusing. High‐level (so‐called third‐generation) languages such as FORTRAN, COBOL, BASIC, Pascal, and C were the first languages used to build and change large databases. Later, languages specifically designed for use with databases, such as dBASE, Paradox, and R:BASE (third‐and‐a‐half‐generation languages?) came into use. The latest step in this progression is the emergence of development environments such as Access, Delphi, and C++Builder (called fourth‐generation languages, or 4GLs), which build applications with little or no procedural programming. You can use these graphical object‐oriented tools (also known as rapid application development, or RAD, tools) to assemble application components into production applications.

Because SQL is not a complete language, it doesn't fit tidily into one of the generational categories I just mentioned. It makes use of commands in the manner of a third‐generation language but is essentially nonprocedural, like a fourth‐generation language. No matter how you classify SQL, you can use it in conjunction with all the major third‐ and fourth‐generation development tools. You can write the SQL code yourself, or you can ...

Get SQL For Dummies® now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.